ESL Games are Wicked Awesome Classroom Fun
Ok, so you might be thinking, how are ESL games, different from our ESL classroom games? Well, in addition to teaching, elementary-school English, I’ve been on the private school circuit as well. If you’ve ever done both, then you know that a lot of the games that you use in large classrooms, just don’t work in the eikaiwa setting. Wanna play the Fruit Basket game with 3 people? Boring! Impossible! So in short, ESL Games, are those games which can be played in limited space and with smaller groups of students. These are board games and card games and the like. Now that isn’t to say you can’t play these with large groups and I have and they work quite well.
If you’ve got a small group, then just play these games, like the instructions direct. If you’re playing with larger groups, here are some suggestions:
- 1. You’ll want to break your classroom up into smaller groups. A board game totally sucks, if you’ve got forty other people who also get a turn. The average classes at my school are 40 per class which breaks down nicely into eight groups of five.
- 2. Because you’re likely to have several groups of kids all playing at the same time, it’s harder to monitor how well they’re using English. Although you may find the HRT or JTE encouraging the kids to use Japanese in place of English (YUCK!), you’ll have better success at getting the kids to use English if you’ll hold off on using these games until the third or fourth lesson. By this time, the kids will have had plenty of exposure to the vocabulary and feel confident enough to use English autonomously.
- 3. Some of the pair-based games feature really quick game play. Encourage the kids to seek out new friends to challenge once their initial games end.
- 4. If you’re not laminating game sheets but instead using the copy-friendly versions, make extra copies because the kids will steal them or ask for extras.
Overall, in the eikaiwa, these games are less intense than in the school classroom, which is great because you can really help with the English, but at school they are a total blast and it’s extremely rewarding seeing the children’s faces light up when these games are announced.
- Alphabet Games help kids learn the alphabet of course! In this sections, you’ll find not only printable games and puzzles but also games and puzzles to play online!
Go to ESL Games top or ESL Kids Home.
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