Let's Have Fun! 7 Most Entertaining ESL Games For Adults

Let's Have Fun! 7 Most Entertaining ESL Games For Adults

It’s not always easy to study English. Even if your willpower is strong, sometimes you need something different and entertaining to keep you focused.

Engaging kids in language learning is a lot easier than adults.  Luckily, there are many ways that can be both helpful and fun for ECL students.

As much as classic games such as Hangman or Scrabble seem exciting, they, on the other hand, aren’t entertaining to everyone. 

That’s where games made especially for ESL adult students come in.

Read on to find out whether games are efficient learning tools for adults and which ones are precisely useful to help them improve their English.

And now, take a break from learning and have fun with ESL games.

Are ESL Games Really Efficient?

Playing any game that helps you improve your target language is useful. Not only that adults can have fun and learn something useful at the same time.

  • Playing ESL games is a great break from dictionaries and books. As much entertaining as a book can be, sometimes you can get stuck with dull dialogues or exercises.
  • Changing the way of learning is good because it keeps you motivated to move forward and make progress.
  • ESL games can help the shy and students with a lack of confidence to communicate with other learners and liberate themselves a bit. This way, students can meet others and practice their speaking skills even beyond classes.
  • Through different activities, students can express their other skills, such as a talent for arts or acting.

And we could write twice as many reasons why using games is more than helpful, but perhaps it’s better to show you some concrete ESL games for adults. That way, you can see and understand how to play those games.

7 Entertaining ESL Games For Adults to Help You Improve Your Language Skills

Vocabulary ESL Games

No matter your proficiency level, vocabulary is a necessary tool to speak with native English speakers.

Often, it can be pretty boring memorizing new words and phrases or writing them down over and over again.

That’s why the following games may help you facilitate learning new and repeating familiar words.

Phrasal Verbs Match Up!

Best for intermediate and advanced students

This game is perfect for memorizing and practicing phrasal verbs. It is well-known that phrasal verbs are a must in English, so let’s find some fun way to learn them.

The more learners there are, the better. Let’s students divide into groups, each containing 2-4 participants. Every group gets two piles of papers. Write down the verbs on one pile of papers, and on the other, prepositions.

The game starts when each participant chooses one paper from each pile. This way, they get a verb and a preposition. If the verb and the preposition the player got exists as a phrasal verb, he has to think up a sentence with it.

You can play the game until there are no piles left.

If you can’t think of the examples, here are some suggestions:

Verbs pile: call, come, give, get, go, keep, make, put, set, take

Prepositions pile: about, around, at, away, in, into, of, off, on, out, through

Number Bingo!

Best for beginners

This game is perfect for practicing numbers from one to ten, although once you master the first ten numbers, you can expand the range.

As much dull as the game may seem, it is actually one of the favorite games because it releases the pressure of learning and shows that repeating numbers over and over again can be fun.

Make bingo cards. Which number you will use and how it is going to look like depends on your creativity.

For a start, use the numbers from one to 30. When all the numbers from one to 30 are found on the card, it’s time to start picking numbers randomly and saying them out loud. The one who has all or most of the numbers on his card has to say ‘Bingo!’

Conversation ESL Games

Best for intermediate and advanced students

There are no specific conversation games to help you improve your speaking skills because every communication in English as your second language counts.

However, if you want to make learning more entertaining, here are some recommendations about speaking activities. Talk to your classmates or friends about the topics you are interested in the most.

If some of your worry about global warming and the environment, write down some questions and arguments and start discussing it.

If you choose to talk about the environment, we can recommend some questions as a starting point.

Environment questions:

  • Are you worried about the environment?
  • What do you think about global warming?
  • Do you recycle?
  • Can technology help recycle and solve issues about the environment?
  • What do you think future generations will think about their environment, global warming, and will they do something useful about it?

Grammar ESL Games

Grammar games for adults can help them repeat known grammar structures and to learn new patterns easily.

Here are some of the fun and light games to help you with grammar rules.

Tic Tac Toe

Best for intermediate students

The game is ideal for practicing past simple tense of irregular verbs, although you can combine with other tenses as well.

Make two teams. Draw a Tic tac toe on paper or on the board. Write the infinitive of irregular verbs in each square. To win the game, each team has to make sentences using the correct form of the verb given in the grid.

Passive Party

Best for intermediate and advanced students

Passive voice can be challenging if you don’t get it on time. If you don’t want it to give you a headache and knowing exactly how and when to use it, try playing the ‘Passive Party’ game.

Not only will you practice grammar, but you will also improve your vocabulary.

You can find some useful worksheets on the internet, or you can make your own Passive party.

Usually, at parties, a lot is going on. At your party, something got out of control. 

As a host, you have to know, what happened exactly. You can ask questions and others have to answer.

For example:

  • What happened to the kitchen?

Answer: It was flooded.

  • What happened to my priceless vase?

Answer: It was broken.

  • Where 100-year-old scotch disappeared?

Answer: It was drunk. (by someone)

Pronunciation ESL Games

Many ESL learners have difficulties in pronouncing words correctly. The main problem is the accent.

That’s why some of the following games can help you improve your English pronunciation.

Homophone Go Fish

Best for beginners and intermediate students

This is quite an entertaining way to practice homophones in English.

Write down the homophones you are using on a separate piece of paper. You can make many cards as you want.

Divide into small groups. Let each group get a set of cards, five of them, for example. The remaining cards are put on the table to pull if needed.

To win the game, each participant or a group has to find a matching homophone by asking various questions with the questions ‘do you a have a word that sounds like…’ and then you say a similar word.

If the group doesn’t have a homophone, they have to say ‘Go fish!’ and opponents draw a new card from the pile on the table.

Word Match

Best for beginners and intermediate students

The aim of the game is for the learners to know the difference in one element of the word, such as the difference between ‘bad’ and ‘bed.’

Every language has a different set of vowels and consonants in a word so it’s essential for ESL learners to practice this way the more possible.

Make two columns and write down similar pairs of words that differ in only one sound. You say one word of a column and the other student has to find its pair and to say it correctly.

 

It’s not mandatory to put the words in columns. You can write them down on cards and divide them into two piles. The participant picks a card and pronounces the word. The other participant has to find a similar word from the other pile which is spread on the table. When he finds it, he has to say it correctly, otherwise, his team loses poi

Final Thoughts

As you can see, playing ESL games is ideal for several people, so teamwork is essential. It’s not called the game, after all.

The point of all these ESL games is to motivate adult learners to continue learning and practicing all parts of the language because only with practice one can get to the next level of proficiency.

Which of these games became your favorite? Which one do you consider challenging? Share your experience in the comments below!

Are ESL games effective?

Playing any game that helps you improve your target language is useful. Not only that adults can have fun and learn something useful at the same time. Playing ESL games is a great break from dictionaries and books. As much entertaining as a book can be, sometimes you can get stuck with dull dialogues or exercises. Changing the way of learning is good because it keeps you motivated to move forward and make progress. ESL games can help the shy and students with a lack of confidence to communicate with other learners and liberate themselves a bit. This way, students can meet others and practice their speaking skills even beyond classes. Through different activities, students can express their other skills, such as a talent for arts or acting.

What are the most entertaining ESL games for adults to learn languages?

Vocabulary ESL Games, Phrasal Verbs Match Up, Number Bingo, Conversation ESL Games, Grammar ESL Games, Pronunciation ESL Games.

What are the best grammar ESL games?

Grammar games for adults can help them repeat known grammar structures and to learn new patterns easily. Here are two of the fun and light games to help you with grammar rules;Tic Tac Toe and Passive Party

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