The 5 Best TEFL Games for Adult Students
Most TEFL certified teachers abroad will come across adult students sooner or later in their career. While you might have already prepared a folder full of fun TEFL games that work like a charm for young learners, not all of them will be useful for adult students. That does not mean, however, that adults don’t enjoy games in the classroom! Here are our 5 favorite TEFL games for adult students.
Two Truths and a Lie
This activity is a great way to get adult classes going and it’s so easy to play! Have your students think of three statements, two have to be true and one of them has to be a lie. Next, the students share their three statements with the class and the other students, or the teacher, have to guess which statement is the lie. This is especially great as a way to get to know your students in the very first lesson. It’s even more fun when the teacher joins in as the students are always curious to learn interesting facts about you!
Jeopardy is a popular game for all types of students, but when playing it with adults, you can choose harder categories and they get really fired up! It will take some time to prepare, but once you have done it once, you can use the material over and over again. Here’s how you can play it with adults:
- Select your categories depending on your students level or background. For example “past continuous” or “business vocab”.
- Next, write the value of the clue on one side of the paper and the question on the other side. Prepare clues valued at $100-$500 for regular and $200-$1000 for double Jeopardy, just like in the TV show.
- Divide your students into two or three teams depending on how big your class is.
- When you’re ready, determine who starts and have them choose a category, for example, “Business Vocab $300”.
- Read out the question and wait for the student to answer. The student may consult with his team. If they don't know the answer, you can pass the question on to the other team.
- Keep track of the money and don’t forget to subtract money for wrong answers!
This game works especially well for adults as it allows them to talk freely and express themselves in English on multiple levels. Basically, you divide the class into two teams. One student from each team writes down facts about a movie onto the board for everyone to see. His or her team members now need to guess the correct movie. If they get it right, they get a point but if they don’t the other team gets a chance. You can also play this with books or even songs, for example. To make it harder, you can limit the students to only sharing 3-4 statements about the movie. This also saves time and makes sure the game won’t take too long.
A very fun game that really gets your students’ creative minds going is the “How-To Game”. If your students don’t know this game yet, show them a video of a short “How-To“ tutorial. Once they understand the concept, divide them into groups and have them write their own “How-To” instructions for a secret task. Encourage advanced students to be as creative as possible, such as “How to travel back in time” or “How to become a millionaire”. Next, the groups present their tutorial and the other students need to guess the secret task. You’ll be surprised what your students come up with!
The Great Debate
Advanced students always love a good heated debate. Show your students photos or articles about recent or controversial topics, such as war, protests, etc. Next, divide your students into two teams and assign an opinion on the matter to each team. One team will be pro and one team con. For example, one team is for the reunification of North and South Korea and the other is against it. It’s important to assign the opinion to each team so that the students don’t need to share their personal opinions. Next, have them start debating in an orderly fashion switching from one team to the next. Also be sure that every member of a team expresses their thoughts during the debate and nobody is left out.
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