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A Chatteris Tutor talks to an ESL student in Hong Kong

4 Easy ESL Games

As an ESL teacher, it can be hard to create new games and activities to keep your students engaged. Here are some of Chatteris Tutors’ favourite activities to use inside and outside of the classroom.


1. Spot It – By Jess

Similar to the game ‘Dobble’,  there is a deck of cards. Each player gets one card and a new card gets drawn and put in the middle. There is only one identical symbol in common between each card. Fastest to spot the identical symbol between two cards and name it out loud can then take the card. This game can be made appropriate for all ages and proficiency levels – you could make your own cards to include your target vocabulary or use regular Dobble for an unstructured activity at recess! 


2. Big Dice Words – By Hannah 

Using a big dice, assign each number a word within your target category (e.g verbs, colours, numbers, animals etc).Students role the die, read the answer and perform an action based on the roll. For example, doing the action word on the verb die, pointing at something that is the same colour on the colour, or clapping or doing an action for a number. Students read and repeat high-frequency words and revise their meanings by performing an action. To make it more challenging you could ask students to make sentences with the words on the dice. This is a fun recess game that can run for as little or as long as you need. Can be played in the classroom or extracurricular settings.





3.  Fortune Teller – By Ethan 

Students can create origami ‘fortune tellers’ based on a topic, theme, or student interest. Then using english, they can respond to the prompts or questions to find their fortune. You could make it more difficult by adding more questions and tasks to the inside of the origami to test your students knowledge.


4. Secret Words – By Iven

Students walk around the room,  and are told (verbally or in writing) a secret word, that when said they must freeze. Students must listen carefully to the story so that they know when to freeze. If the word was ‘blue’, you could say ‘shoe’, ‘too’, or ‘blow’ to test them. This is a physical activity to get your students moving, and could be made more challenging by adding more secret words that correlate to different actions (e.g. jump, touch the floor, spin). You could use target sounds to test phonics skills or use clues and definitions to test students’ comprehension. 



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