ESL Games: Telephone


1. Divide class into groups of 6 or more, and arrange each group in a straight line or row.

2. Ask for a volunteer listener from each group. Take them outside of the classroom and give them a message (one sentence or more, depending on student level).

3. Open the door, and let the students run to the first member of their group to whisper the message.

4. Each member passes the message, by whispering, to their neighbor.

5. When the message reaches the end, the last person should run to the board and write the message that they heard.

The winner could be determined in various ways: first team to pass a legible, complete message (even if it’s wrong), first team to finish, first team with a message closest to the original.


– Ask the last student to repeat the message to YOU, and write it on the board yourself. This is a good way to practice pronunciation, and to determine which sounds students have trouble with.


This game could take up 5 minutes or 30, depending on how much time you have and how interested the kids are. I’ve used it with high schoolers in Korea and they loved it. We spent over half the class on this activity.

This ESL Game was submitted by finityjm