5 games for the ESL classroom for adults

Hey there teachers, nice to find you here! We as educators are always looking for ways to make our English classes fun, to keep them dynamic and to inject some laughter and lightheartedness into them. Well, here I have 4 great games you can use in your English Classes, they are perfect for the ESL classroom and they are mainly games for adult learners.

1. An ESL game to get people talking: Taboo

Taboo is a fantastic game for adults, I use it in my English classes quite often in order to give a small gap in the lesson. There are quite a few different ways to play it and I have added a video for the rules.

I usually play with one student and we trust each other not to say the taboo words, it is, after all, the fun of the game.

🤫 Click here to find the cards to play the game!

Or you can play the game online on these links as well:

Here are the rules for the official game

2. An ESL game with some grammar and a lot of fun: Would you rather

This is a great game, it’s the perfect game for adults in the English Classroom or in any safe environment and I love using it in my English classes. I use it online and offline.

First I teach “would you rather”, “I’d rather… and “I would prefer to”, “Would you prefer to

Then you can start the game. You can make up your own questions. The game usually consists of asking difficult questions in which both options are not desirable / desirable.

👉 Find here Would you rather questions to play this game in English class:

game for English class

You can also find the would you rather game online:

🔥 Making the would you rather game a big challenge:

If you want to turn up the heat make sure your student uses the second conditional.

I would rather eat cold coffee than tea because if you made me drink cold tea, I would be sick!

So it’s “I would rather X than Y because + second conditional”

3. A quick ESL game for all ages: YES/NO game

This game is really simple and it’s a great game for English Classes because it is a conversation game.

The trick is to make your opponent say yes or no or to nod or shake their head.

👉 Find the game here

game for english class speaking

The way to win is to make your opponent relax. You don’t just say “do you have any brothers or sisters?” you make them feel comfortable:

“aww, when did you last see your brother?”
“Oh I saw him 3 weeks ago at a family dinner”
“how was he doing?”
“he was fine, we spoke about the world cup”
“So did you watch the world cup”

(and I win!)

4. ESL game for speaking: Who is more likely to…?

Here you have a fun activity to use in your English class 1 to 1. It’s a really fun and easy game and it’s great to get to know each other better!

👉 You can find the game here

warm up game english teaching

How to play: Take a few seconds to read the 1st question. The teacher counts to 3 aloud and both student and teacher say what they think the answer is (aloud and at the same time). Discuss it, then continue to the next question and repeat.

5. An ESL game for big groups: Code names

Code names is a fantastic game, it’s like minesweeper, battleship and taboo all rolled into one fun-packed idea. I love this game because when played with more people (not the two player one) you can talk with your partner about the options and this is a great exercise for students. I’m obsessed with this game! (I have the board game version and it’s just great).

You can play it online for free. They have a two player mode and a multiple player mode. I would recommend learning the rules first, this game isn’t as simple as the other games here.

👋  Before you leave! Did you enjoy this article? Could you support me with a small donation so I can continue creating content? Thank you! 🙏