Games are an important part of a teacher’s lesson plan for several reasons: they not only create and maintain a lively classroom but also provide multiple methods by which ELL students can develop their English language skills.
Students can be shy, fear a wrong answer, or simply not want to participate in class. This is why we want to equip you with a small list of the best speaking games that will engage your English language learners in your classroom:
- Call My Bluff
This is the perfect game for the start of the term as it helps everyone get to know each other. Have your students prepare two truths and one lie about themselves and share them with the class without revealing which is the lie. Let the students ask questions about the statements in order to “call the bluff” and guess the lie. If they guess correctly, they win!
Make sure to leave a bit of time after the game to correct any language errors while playing so they learn how to correct themselves in the future.
- Impromptu speaking
This is a fun game that helps your students with the fluidity of their speech through informal presentation.
Separate the class into two teams and invite students to grab a slip of paper with a number (corresponding to the number of students) and a random topic. In numerical order, students will talk about their topic for forty seconds. Once each student finishes, the other team will check the language errors and provide input.
- Banana Race
This is a game in which you ask children questions (Target Vocabulary) such as:
“What fruit is red and round?”
“How many chairs are there in the classroom?”
Split the class into small groups. The teacher draws a race track on the board and each team will be symbolized by a banana waiting at the starting line.
They will approach the goal line as they answer each question. Each correct answer yields a step towards the finish line. The banana team who reaches the finish line first wins.
- Scavenger Hunt: Prepositions of Movement
This game not only helps with language acquisition but also encourages camaraderie and teamwork. Tell your students you will give them a list of ten prepositions. Divide them into teams and instruct them to guess how many accurate sentences they can create using the ten prepositions. Write the prepositions to be practiced on the board, such as: in, under, on, into, above, below, behind, at, in front of, and between.
Ask the teams how many sentences they can create with the propositions. For example:
Team A: We think we can write eight.
Team B: We can do ten.
If both teams accurately produce the number of sentences, they said they could, they are awarded that number of points: Team A gets eight points and Team B gets ten points. If a team gets even one sentence wrong or does not reach the number they said they would, they get zero points.
Now it’s time to put these games to use! Have an amazing class!