Published 4th September 2018


One of the nicest aspects of teaching English as a foreign language is being able to make the classes fun. Teaching vocabulary by using games is a great way to engage a class and get them learning for example using flashcards.

One of the fun ways to do this is through the use of flashcards. It’s particularly useful for animals, transport, body parts, colours and foods.

Flashcards should have a colourful picture on one side with the word underneath. Leave the other side blank because you can use them to play memory games.

You can make the flashcards yourself or you can get the students to make them as a class activity or for homework. You can get flashcards on the internet. Choose the cards that you can print and then colour. There are some resources here.

Once the cards have been made you can then use them for a number of games and activities:

Memory Games:

  • Place the cards on a table or on the board and give your students time to study each one then take away the cards and ask the students to write down as many cards as they can remember.
  • Place the cards on the table or board and take one away. See if the students can remember which one is missing.

Get them talking

  • Put your students into small groups and lay the flashcards down on the desk so they can be seen. The first needs to say “I went to the shop and I bought a …” at this point they name a food. The next student must then say the first food and pick another one, so each student says the name of the food chosen by the previous students. You can also use animal flashcards by saying “I went to the zoo and I saw…” or “I went to the doctors because I hurt my…”
  • Put the cards where they can be seen and then put your students in groups. Pick up a flashcard and ask for an adjective to go with the card. The group that says an adjective first wins the card. The group with the most cards at the end win the game.