Spelling is one of those skills that often gets overlooked in many ESL/EFL classrooms. However, it’s quite an important skill! It can save a ton of time if our students don’t have to constantly look up things in their dictionaries and of course, it’s ideal for English writing proficiency tests where students are not able to use a computer or cellphone. This chain spelling activity is ideal for helping students out with this in a fun way!
Another reason to consider this spelling game is that it requires absolutely nothing in the way of preparation or materials. It’s always good to have a few of these kinds of ESL activities to have in your back pocket in case of those last minute classes that might get thrown at you.
ESL Spelling Activity: Chain Spelling
Time: 5 minutes
If you want your students to practice spelling some vocabulary words that you’ve been teaching, use this game. Another bonus is that students will also be practicing their listening skills at the same time.
Have all the students stand up and the teacher says a word. The first student says the first letter, the next student the next letter, and so on until the word is done. Then, say a new word.
If someone makes a mistake, they sit down and you start with the next student and new word. Continue until you have only 1 or 2 students standing. This is an excellent “filler” game if you have a few minutes left-over at the end of class—just use whatever vocabulary you were teaching that day.
Spelling is an often neglected skill in many classrooms but it’s an important one. When I taught academic writing at a major university in South Korea some students had atrocious spelling which really hampered their ability to write well. Nobody will take you seriously, no matter how good your ideas are, if you make basic spelling mistakes. That’s why I try to include at least a little bit of it into my classes.
This activity is certainly better for smaller classes as opposed to larger ones. No more than 10 most certainly and 4-6 students works even better. The reason is that for larger classes, students will get bored waiting for their turn and lose interest.
Another variation is to do this activity using a whiteboard and turn it into a race between two students who have to write the word correctly. Or, have each student write one letter and make it into a relay race.
- All students stand up.
- The teacher says a word.
- The first student must say the first letter.
- The next student must say the second letter, etc.
- If incorrect, the student has to sit down. The teacher says a new word and the game continues until there are only one or two students remaining.
Did you like Chain Spelling?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 100 Pages - 11/12/2019 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon: English Teaching Emergency, No Textbook, No-Prep, No Materials ESL Activities and Games. It’s the ultimate resource for all those last minute classes where you’re not quite sure what you’re going to do. Or, for those few minutes at the end of class when you’ve finished your lesson plan early.
I recommend keeping a copy with you at all times! The book is available in both digital and print formats so it’s easier than ever to get your hands on it.
Check out the book over on Amazon but only if you want a serious dose of ESL teaching awesome in your life:
Have your Say about this Chain Spelling Game
What do you think about this ESL spelling activity? It is a winner or do you have another one that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy English teachers, like yourself find this useful resource.
Last update on 2020-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API