Published 12th October 2015


Who doesn’t love a good game? If it’s a computer game, board game, quiz show or logic puzzle, there is bound to be someone who will enjoy it. It’s no different in the EFL classroom and the magic thing is, these games take on a whole new level of complexity when trying to do them in a foreign language and they provide a great way for learners to use and practice their English skills.

30 seconds is a consistent favourite and a great way to get your students to do revision without realising it. Write 3 to 5 words or phrases on pieces of paper; words or phrases that have been covered in class or are definitely familiar to the students (If you don’t have time, your students can spend some time making them). Once you have a pile of cards, divide the students into groups and divide the cards between the students. The students then take turns picking up a card and explaining the words on the card to the others in their group, without saying the words. You time them for 30 seconds and award points based on how many they guessed correctly. Introducing competition into a game always increases its popularity, and you can see how this game is easily adaptable to level, topic and time.

Pictionary and Hangman are easy options for a quick activity. They are very useful to fill a few empty minutes, to introduce a topic or for revision.

A sentence race is a way for learners to focus on the more technical aspects of language while competing with their classmates. Decide on certain stipulations for a sentence – for example:

  •        Must include a phrasal verb
  •        Must be 7 words long
  •        Must include the present perfect

Learners then race to construct a completely original sentence under those specifications. When they are done, you check if it is correct and whoever is able to construct a grammatical correct sentence which satisfies all the conditions first, wins.     

Who Wants to be a Millionaire is a great way to get the learners excited. It’s possible to find a PowerPoint template for the show online and you just need to fill in the answers and make up the questions. Turn it into a team game but allow the options of phone-a-friend or ask-the-audience to involve the whole class.

Games are an integral part of any TEFL classroom and a great way to bring some fun and excitement into the classroom. Become familiar with a handful of games and soon you will have a whole range at your fingertips when you need one.