Here is an easy ESL speaking game for any class size, level and age, from six to adults.
It’s easy, fun and needs no preparation time.
Relay Race Variation
Class size: This ESL speaking game variant is suitable for classes of twenty students or less. Any more, and waiting for a turn would be tedious. However, it can be adapted to one-to-one lessons, with teacher and pupil taking turns.
Have the class sit in rows of 4, and each 4 is a team. Alternatively, adapt the team size to something that fits your class size.) Hand a card to the first student in the first row who says something about the card or asks a question. Then, they pass the card to their neighbouring teammate, who says something else about the item. The point here is that each student says something different. Anyone repeating something that has already been said loses a point for the team. Finally, the last student brings the card to the front.
Give some examples to help pupils get started. For example, using a flashcard for Japan students come up with comments like:
1. I live in Japan. 2. I come from Tokyo, Japan. 3. I like Japanese food. 4. I can speak Japanese.
The student holding the card is the only one allowed to speak. Other students listen carefully, so they don’t use the same sentence or question.
It helps to use a stopwatch and see which team can finish fastest. Speed, however, is not the most important thing. They must use correct English!!
Use this easy speaking game to work on any language. You can ask your students to stick to a specific sentence type or target structure, or you can give the more advanced students a free hand, as described above.
Ask each student to write a word in a given theme on a piece of paper. The first student in each team collects these. Then, the game commences and continues until most teams have passed all the papers down the line.
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Hear from Jovita McCleod, teaching in South Korea, giving fun lessons with my games:
“Thank you for writing this book. I have been teaching English in South Korea for one month now. I had been at a total loss for how to teach the young students. The school has textbooks that we fly through and are not very interesting. The students seem bored and always want to play Uno instead of study English. Every day has been exhausting as I try to figure out a way to educate and entertain the students.
Today I worked harder than most of my previous days, but I had fun, and I was excited about the games because I knew they were fun and educational. The kids liked them, and I went home feeling like there was a chance I could thrive teaching and not just survive.
Thank you so much; you have given me more than hope, you have provided an answer to my big question: How do I teach?”
I hope you enjoy using this game with your pupils soon. Feel free to ask me for help if you need any!
Kind regards, Shelley Ann Vernon