top-esl-games
Top 5 ESL Games

Let The ESL Games Begin….

As we all know, its important for students to be stimulated whilst learning. Therefore, I have used my on the job experience and also scoured the net, to find what could be considered as the best esl games for your lessons. Whether your students have just started learning English or they have been studying for a while, these games should brighten up your lessons and leave some smiles on your students faces! Here are my top 5 ESL Games for ESL students.

Top 5 ESL Games

1. Running Man


There is a game that goes under many names, however, I have always called it, ‘Running Man,’ after the hit TV show. For example, print out two pieces of text. One for each team, put these at the back of the classroom on different sides of the back wall. A student needs to go to the back, read a sentence or word and then run to the front of the classroom and write it on the board. This is an exciting game for all age groups and will be guaranteed to bring enjoyment to your lesson.

2. 20 Questions

There is a game known as, ‘20 Questions,’ which has been around for a while. Simply, find a list of questions online about any given topic. Divide your classes into teams and award a point for each correct answer or attempt, if the spoken English is good. If your class is competitive, this can be a great warm up exercise and also a good chance for your students to demonstrate the expert spoken skills that you have been teaching them! Moreover, depending on your questions and the students’ level, you can choose more thought provoking questions and ideas for the students to think about.

3. Hot Seat

One classic game you must have heard of is called, ‘Hot Seat.’ Place a chair in front of the black board at the front of the class and ask one student to sit on it. Write a word above the students head. The rest of the students must then describe the word without saying it. This game is certain to bring enjoyment to your students and will draw the most shy students’ attention. Just be sure no one is shouting the word out!

4. Target

Another perfect game for your class, you can make it as intricate as you wish. This game can be named, ‘Target,’ personally I call it the less refined name of ‘Dart Board.’ Draw a dart board on the black board at the front. On each circle or segment, write a word. The students can throw a ball, or even use some small pieces of chalk as a dart. When the students hit a word, they should make a sentence with it to get a point. All students will love this game and its even better if you introduce a competitive element.  

5. Drawing Game

A basic but classic game, which goes by many names. I simply call this, ‘The Drawing Game.’ Ask your students to draw a picture on the board and the students need to guess what they are drawing. It can be as complex as they like, from an animal, to a world landmark to an uncountable noun. Just make sure the picture is followed up with a sentence to ensure the target language is being used!


These are some games that I use in my lessons to shine some light on the students’ spoken English education. They work at my school, and so I hope they can be of use to you! I hope my Top 5 ESL Games can help you. Good Luck.

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