If you have ever experienced teaching English as a second language to children then you know how difficult it can be at times to hold their attention. A possible solution to the problem is to run a few games through your lessons to give a sense of fun and enjoyment. This article gives a brief introduction to some games that are popular with ESL kids.
The first game is X / O. Divide the class into two teams, one is X and the other O. Choose a topic, such as clothes, and draw nine squares on the board and number them one to nine. Write a random letter in each square and ask the students to choose one of the squares. The students have to give a word that begins with the letter in the square and is also a member of the chosen topic, such a hat for h, sock for s. As the topic example is clothes. If they give a correct word they get to mark the square with their teams letter, X or O. The first team to make a line of three in a row eg OOO is the winner.
Another good game that students enjoy is the 9 letters game. The teacher divides the class into teams. The teacher writes nine letters on the board, including the letters a, e, i, o, u. Students have to make words using the letters. They get a point for each letter in a word, so a word such as 'beach' would get their team five points. The team with the most points in an allotted time is the winner.
Lastly, their is the game known as Run / Stop. The teacher says a verb and the students mime the action. The teacher then shouts 'stop' and the students have to freeze. Any students that do not remain still are out. The last student left is the winner.
I hope these games are helpful and give you some support in what can sometimes be a difficult task.