Teaching English as a foreign language to young kids requires a lot of games and engaging activities in the classroom. Games will liven up your session and ensure that your students leave the classroom wanting more, whether you’re teaching adults or youngsters.

Games can be used to warm up the class before your lesson, to offer students a break during the session when you’re teaching a difficult subject, or at the end of class when you have a few minutes to spare. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different games you can play with your kids. TEFL games are used to practice speaking, test vocabulary, and learn tenses, among other things.

Classroom Games for Teaching English to Kids

These classic TEFL games that every teacher should be familiar with will help you get started and feel prepared. Having these on hand before entering the classroom will guarantee that your classes run smoothly, and you’ll be able to quickly regain the attention of the class if things get out of hand.

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One of the most effective strategies to promote engagement and motivate students to participate in the TEFL classroom is to use Games!

Including games in your classes can have multiple advantages for your students:

  • Help with increasing your student engagement by providing engaging and stimulating activities in the classroom.
  • These games can be used as a reward for good student behavior and for any progress the kids make in class.
  • It allows you kids to take a break from going over the instructional material delivered in class.
  • Gives students the chance to study and practice the language they learned in class.
  • Aids teachers in developing a bond with their students as well as a professional relationship.

If you need some help looking for TEFL activities and games to incorporate into your classroom, we have some advice!

  • Ask your students what games they like to play themselves! Then, adapt these games for your classroom, most common games such as Hangman or Tic-Tac-Toe, can be changed and altered to incorporate English learning concepts!
  • Joining Facebook groups for TEFL teachers is a great way to get inspiration for the classroom! Other teachers will be happy to help and share their advice and ideas on getting the most engaging classroom setting.
  • Websites and blogs are another great resource for finding ideas on the best TEFL games for the classroom

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Simon Says

This is one of the best classroom games for kids. This one will get them enthusiastic and wanting more whether you wake them up on a Monday morning or send them home on a Friday afternoon. The only risk I’ve discovered with this game is that students will never stop playing it.

How to play:
  • Stand in front of the class (you are Simon for the duration of this game).
  • Do an action and say Simon Says [action]. The students must copy what you do.
  • Repeat this process choosing different actions – you can be as silly as you like and the sillier you are the more the children will love you for it.
  • Then do an action but this time say only the action and omit ‘Simon Says’. Whoever does the action this time is out and must sit down.
  • The winner is the last student standing.
  • To make it harder, speed up the actions. Reward children for good behavior by allowing them to play the part of Simon.

Pictionary

Kids enjoy this game because it allows them to be creative in the classroom, teenagers enjoy it because it doesn’t feel like they’re studying, and adults enjoy it because it provides a respite from the monotony of learning a new language – even though they will be learning as they play. Pictionary can help students practice their vocabulary and it tests to see if they’re remembering the words you’ve been teaching.

How to play:
  • Before the class starts, prepare a bunch of words and put them in a bag.
  • Split the class into teams of 2 and draw a line down the middle of the board.
  • Give one team member from each team a pen and ask them to choose a word from the bag.
  • Tell the students to draw the word as a picture on the board and encourage their team to guess the word.
  • The first team to shout the correct answer gets a point.
  • The student who has completed drawing should then nominate someone else to draw for their team.
  • Repeat this until all the words are gone – make sure you have enough words that each student gets to draw at least once!

Top TEFL Classroom Games for teaching English to Kids

Taboo

To play Taboo, choose one student from the class and invite them to come to the front, where you will whisper a vocabulary word into their ear.

How to play
  • Pick a word from a previous class that you want to revise.
  • The rest of the class must guess what the word is while your student explains it without pronouncing it.
  • Of course, the student who guesses the correct answer first receives a point!
  • You can change the game’s main idea in a variety of ways! Students could doodle or imitate the word instead of describing it.
  • You could even split the class into teams and have them compete against one another.

The Association Game

This is a fantastic game for helping students expand their vocabulary. You can keep to one topic and use it at the conclusion of a class to give students a chance to practice what they’ve learned, or you can use it at the end of the year to review the terminology you’ve covered.

How To Play
  • have all of your kids stand in a circle.
  • You choose a word, and the person next to you must say another word that is related in some way.
  • If someone said ‘strawberries,’ the next person might say ‘red,’ and the next person might say ‘tomatoes,’ for example.
  • Set a time restriction for the kids to choose a word, and if they don’t come up with one in that time, they’re out.
  • The more you walk around the circle, the more difficult it becomes because you can’t repeat anything that has been spoken before you.

Stand up if you…

This game is best played with a larger group and requires an open location to play in (it would also work great outdoors if you have one!

How to play
  • Assemble all of the youngsters into a large circle, with you in the center.
  • You should then issue an instruction, such as “stand up if you’re wearing shorts,”
  • everyone wearing shorts should swap positions in the circle with each other as you try to steal one of their slots.
  • The child who is left in the middle gets to shout out the following command.
  • This game is very adaptable to the vocabulary that the class is learning, such as appearance, clothing, likes/dislikes, family members, and holidays – it’s fantastic!

Bingo

You can either make your own bingo cards and a call sheet or print them from a website. For this popular game modified for young learners, You can utilize the standard numbers and letters for your call sheet, or get more creative with vocabulary you’ve recently taught.

How to play
  • Use images instead of words with extremely young students. ‘
  • Cut the call sheet into squares and place them in a hat.
  • Give each pupil a bingo card and something with which to mark their card.
  • Allow each pupil to have a turn as “caller.”
  • Allow the caller to select one square from the hat at a time and announce what is on the square.
  • The other pupils listen for the word or image that is called and write it on their cards.
  • The winner is the first student who completes their bingo card and cries out “Bingo!”

These games can keep your kids interested and entertained in the classroom, while they are learning! Remember that these are just ten of the hundreds of EFL games you can play with your students. As your classroom confidence grows, you can begin to put your own spin on games and eventually create your own.

Your students will undoubtedly like playing TEFL games in the classroom, regardless of their age. These activities will get you started in the right path in a TEFL classroom that is entertaining, dynamic, and challenging. When you add games to your lesson plan, your job will be more fun! In time, you’ll find you can adapt almost any game you know and turn it into a learning game. Games are always a great opportunity to have fun but also to teach important lessons about classroom behavior. Ensure that everyone is taking turns, following rules, listening to the teacher and each other. These skills are all crucial for everyone to learn new vocabulary and have a good time.

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