How to Teach English Using Games
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How to Teach English Using Games

This article outlines what you should remember when using games to teach English as a Second Language (ESL).

There are a huge number of things you can do that are fun and interesting to teach English. This article will show you how games can be used for teaching. This article will not give you a list of games, but instead guidelines on choosing a good game to play with your class. When you are learning the core skills there are many games that you can use to effectively teach English in a fun and interesting way.

1. Ensure Games are Educational

There is no point in playing a game for the sake of playing a game when teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). You need to ensure that all your games have some sort of teaching element to it. For example, the popular game, 'Simon Says' can help listening skills, the students need to listen for the word 'Simon' and the action of the word. Another example, may be word bingo. This can help the students recognize any new words.

2. What Level are the Students?

You need to use games that are not only good for learning English but that they actually challenge the students in some way. A game that is too easy for the students will have little educational value and the students will become very bored.

3. What age are the Students?

Again, you don't want your class of middle aged Japanese businessmen playing 'Simon Says'. They will probably be looking for a new teacher as soon as your class has finished. Chose a game that is appropriate for the age group when teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Games that adults find fun will not usually be fun for children and vice versa.

4. Don't let the Students Choose the Game!

If you ask the students to play a game that they know they are very likely to choose a game with no educational value. You can always add educational value to your games by insisting the loser answers a question, spells a word, etc. Ensure that your game is teaching at the same time as having fun

5. Have many games handy and ready to play!

Students of all ages and ability will get bored if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, this also applies when playing games whilst teaching English. There are many games that require no or little resources that can be used in an educational way. A quick internet search will allow you to find many games for teaching English as a Second Language.


Games can be a good way to teach English if they are used effectively and properly. Use games as a fun way for students to practice any part of the English language that you have taught them. Just ensure that games do have some educational value when teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) using games.

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Comments (1)

Thanks for sharing.