Teaching English to teenagers can be quite difficult because they are notorious for not really wanting to participate in class. They are often shy, tired, and haven’t chosen to take your English 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. Try out just a few of these ESL games for teenagers and you’ll notice that students like your class, like you, and will begin to like English more and more each day.
ESL Games for Teens: Top 5 Picks
Let’s get to the best ESL games and activities for teenagers.
#1: Concentration ESL Memory Game
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.
This ESL memory game also works extremely well for little children. You can adapt the cards to make them easier, or harder depending on the level and age of your students. For example, older students may have to match synonyms or antonyms. Younger students may just have to match a picture and a single word.
You can check out all the details about how to play the concentration ESL memory game with your students today:
#2: Apples to Apples ESL Vocabulary Activity
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. It really is up to you and how much time you have.
Here’s how to set up Apples for Apples for your ESL classes:
#3: Running Dictation: A 4-Skills ESL Activity
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.
If you want to do this engaging 4-skills ESL activity with your classes, here are more details about how to set it up:
#4: Board Games for ESL Students
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.
Check out this video where I explain how I use board games in my classes, and a link to an example board game that I made for my students here:
#5: Charades: A Fun ESL Party Game
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. Fun with a bit of review thrown in there? Love it!
Here’s how I set-up the Charades ESL activity for my students:
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Have your Say about these Games and Activities for Teenagers
What are your thoughts about our top picks for ESL games and activities for teenagers? Have you tried out any of them from this list, or do you have another that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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