Top 5 ESL Games for Teenagers

ESL games for teenagers

Teaching English to teenagers can be quite difficult because they are notorious for not really wanting to participate in class. However, help is here with these top five ESL games for teenagers that are guaranteed to get your teenage students participating in class, speaking English, and having fun despite themselves.


Concentration is one of the best vocabulary ESL games for teenagers. It takes a bit of time to make the cards, but if you laminate them, you can use them again for different classes in the future, so it’s well-worth it to have a few sets of these handy. Students find the game really challenging, but fun and it brings out their competitive natures.

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples is a game that can be used for a “game” or “activity” class and it also makes an excellent vocabulary review game. You can buy the cards on Amazon, make your own with the specific vocabulary that you’ve been teaching, or have the students help you make them as well.

Running Dictation

Running Dictation is one of the best ESL games for teenagers I’ve ever used in class. It’s fun, challenging, covers all 4-skills and can really energize even the quietest, most apathetic of classes. It also makes an excellent review activity if there is a specific grammar point or vocabulary words that you want the students to see one more time.

Board Games

I love a good ESL board game, especially for teenagers because they harness the power of competition in a challenging way. Make sure you design them well, however, so that there is an element of random to them. Also design the questions so that students must speak English in order to complete the task.


Charades is an oldie, but a goodie and it makes an excellent way to review vocabulary. It’s also great for a “party” day where you just want to have some fun with your students.
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  1. ольга спыну

    Jackie, thank you for so many wonderful ideas! Find them very helpful and motivating for my kids in the classroom.Such great job of yours!

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