EFL/ESL Speaking Games

ESL Games: Running Dictation

15-30 minutes Pairs or small groups Remember words and phrases and dictate them to your partner

  • Use pictures for children who can’t spell and have them draw the picture instead of writing the words
  • Use multiple sentences for more advanced students
  • Place
    sentences around the room and have each group member do one each.
  • Groups have to put the sentences into the right order before turning in the paper
  1. Break students up into groups of 3-4, or pairs for small classes
  2. Put one sentence on a piece of paper for each team
  3. One leader from each team goes to the board and tries to remember their sentence
  4. The leader returns to their group and dictates the sentence while team members write it down
  5. First team to finish correctly gets a point
  6. Change words/sentences and switch leaders

Colored Ballons

5-10 minutes 14702 Learn colors by hitting balloons to each other

  • Have balloon colors represent different vocabulary words
  • Have balloon colors represent sentences for more advanced classes
  1. Blow up balloons of different colors
  2. Send 4 or 5 balloons into class
  3. Balloons cannot touch the ground
  4. Students call out color of balloon every they hit one

Dictation Game

10-15 minutes Groups of 2-3 Review dialogs by having students dictate to each other Have groups of 3 with one ‘runner’ who relays between reader and writer

  1. Select a dialogue/short story from the lesson
  2. Have each student work with a partner
  3. One student reads the dialogue/short story
  4. The other student writes it down
  5. The first team to finish it correctly wins

Guess Who aka Guess What

10-20 minutes Any Form questions and identify a person or thing

  • This game can be played as ‘Guess What’, in which case students are playing to identify an object, animal, etc
    • It is often good to start with an object in the room until students get the hang of it
  1. Identity a student leader for the class or individual groups
  2. Ask leader to think of a famous person
  3. In turn, group members will ask yes/no questions to get information about the target celebrity
  4. If a group member receives a ‘yes’ to their question, they can ask one follow up question
  5. If the answer to a group member’s question is no, play passes to the next student
  6. Play continues until a student is ready to guess who it is
  7. Students can only guess who it is when it is their turn

Assebly Line Monster

5-10 minutes Any Learn and practice body parts by drawing monsters

  • Let students take the drawings home for coloring
  • Have students explain their pictures with other students
  1. Make sure each student has a piece of paper/notebook
  2. Ask one student a ‘How many?’ question such as, ‘How many heads does it have?’
  3. Ask follow up questions like:
  4. Is it big/tall?
  5. Does is have a round head, a big head, a beard, etc
  6. Once decided everyone draws the monster
  7. Move on to the next student and ask another question
  8. Keep going until everyone has drawn a monster

Bingo Trivia

20-25 minutes At least 6 Review class material by playing bingo style trivia

  • Use different categories for ‘W’ and ‘Q’
  • Use more than 2 categories
  • For large classes, have one person in each group be the leader and give them a complete grid with questions
  • Have students come up with their own questions and ask each other
  • If a team can’t answer correctly, give the questioning team a chance
  1. Draw a bingo grid on a piece of paper
  2. Fill the squares with ‘W’, ‘Q’, ‘+s’, and ‘-s’
  3. Draw the same grid on the board without the letters
  4. Divide students into groups and decide which team goes first
  5. One team decides how many points they want to use and chooses a square on the board
  6. ‘W’= give them a word to spell
  7. ‘Q’= question from the lesson’s story
  8. ‘+s’= automatically get the amount of points they bet
  9. ‘-s’= automatically lose the amount of points they bet
  10. Team with the most points wins

Black Out

10 minutes Groups of 3-5 Review vocabulary/grammar structures with dice and flashcards

  • Have more advanced students say a full sentence using the structure or vocabulary indicated on the flashcard
  • Make a dialog with 6 lines and have flashcards represent lines 1-6
  1. Prepare six flashcards (numbered 1-6) for each group
  2. Each flashcard should have a picture/clue on it
  3. Give each player a paper cup, a standard die, and 6 chips/pieces of the same color (squares of paper, etc.)
  4. Students place the die in their cup, shake it up and roll the die
  5. If they roll a 1, they place their marker on card #1
  6. Students must say the word indicated by the flashcard
  7. If they are answer correctly, they leave their chip on the card
  8. The first player to have a chip on all 6 flashcards is the winner

Blow That Fish!

10 minutes Groups of 5-7 Practice spelling vocabulary words and blow a paper fish around the room

  • Have students start on the other side of the room away from the board and WALK to the board before spelling
    • This will give weaker students more time to think of the word before everyone starts to write
  • This
    game is sometimes known as ‘Flap the Fish’ or ‘Fan the Fish’, in which
    case the players try to direct their fish using a piece of card or a
    rolled-up newspaper to ‘fan’ the fish across the room

    • Make sure to have these extra materials to add variety to the game
  1. Bring students up to the board and provide with chalk/dry erase marker
  2. Call out a word form the current spelling list
  3. The first student to spell the word correctly is awarded one point
  4. When on student reaches an pre-agreed upon number of points (ie 5) you play one fish race round
  5. Give each student a tissue and scissors and tell them to quickly cut out a fish shape
  6. Students line their fishes (fish?) up at one end of the room and kneel or crouch on the floor next to their fish
  7. The teacher calls “Go!” and the student who won the spelling game tries to blow their fish to the other side of the room
  8. Five seconds later, the teacher calls “Go!” again and the rest of the students join in
  9. Whoever is the first student to get their fish to the other side of the room is the winner and gets one ‘Fish Point’
  10. Return to the board, record the winner, and play another round of the spelling quiz