Published 5th December 2018

grammar games, EFL classroom

One thing you’ve probably realised by now if you’re an English as a Foreign Language teacher, is that games are part and parcel of an EFL lesson. Sticking religiously to the coursebook is a bit dry (okay, very dry) so games are used to make activities more engaging and lessons more fun. This is especially important when dealing with grammar, so grammar games are essential.

Games range from running all over the classroom to working quietly in groups. There are tons of good games out there to spice up your EFL classrooms, but have you noticed that many EFL games are familiar games with an EFL twist? This grammar game is no different. Have you ever played Rummikub? If you have then this game will be super easy for you to follow. If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’ll still be easy for you to understand!

What you need to play Grammar Rummikub

Rummikub is played with tiles. These usually have numbers on them. For this game you need to create tiles, which can just be pieces of paper. If you can laminate the paper, even better. On each tile is a word or phrase. A complete set of tiles will make a full sentence. For example:

[               I             ]   [   Have been  ]   [            to            ]   [        Paris         ]

As you can see, each set incorporates a specific language structure, so the game can be used for whatever language you are teaching.

You will need a few sets of tiles (depending on how big your class is), but each set must include the same language structure. In this example, each set – or sentence – would include the present perfect.

How to play Grammar Rummikub

Divide your students into groups. Put all the tiles face down on the table in the middle of each group. Each student must take a certain number of tiles – four or five or however many you decide. You can even divide up all the tiles if you want. Once everyone has their tiles they can turn them over and look at them.

If they can make a sentence with their tiles they can put it out. If the other students agree that the tiles make a correct sentence, the student gets a point. The set must stay on the table. In other words, those tiles cannot be used again.

If no one can make a set, each student must put back one tile into the middle of the table (face down) and take another one. They must then try to make a set with the new tile. When someone can make a set the game stops to make sure the sentence is correct and to assign points. This continues until all the sets have been made or it is no longer possible to make any more sets.

This is a great game for grammar consolidation and practice, as well as revision.