5 Classroom games guaranteed to engage your students

Classroom games are a brilliant way to start and end TEFL lessons on a high – or to inject some much-needed energy into an English lesson that’s feeling a little dry! Here are five of our favourite TEFL classroom games guaranteed to engage your students. Pick suitable topics and vocabulary and each of these games can work for all levels and ages. Have fun!

“Change places” 

How to play:

Set out seats in a circle. Make sure there is exactly one less seat than the number of people. The person without a seat stands in the middle. Say “Change places if you …” then a statement that will be true about some of your students (eg walked to school / are wearing red). Everyone for whom the statement is true has to stand up and find a new chair. One person will always be left in the middle.

Great for: TEFL lessons scheduled for straight after lunch when you want to get students moving around and not snoozing in their chairs!

 classroom games


How to play:

Write five categories on the board (eg animals, transport, food). Divide the class into small groups and give each group a sheet of paper. Ask the students to split their sheets into columns with the name of a category at the top of each column. Then pick a letter and tell the class to write down something for each category that begins with that letter. The first group to write down a correct answer for each category wins. Repeat for other letters.

Great for: Helping TEFL students practise talking, writing and vocabulary all at once



How to play:

Divide students into groups. Give each group a piece of paper and ask them to write the letters of the alphabet down the side. Next give the class a topic. Each group has to write a story or dialogue (or set of words) on that topic on their paper – and read it out. The twist is that each sentence has to begin with the next letter of the alphabet. It makes for some hilarious tales!

Great for: Making writing feel fun. It works for all levels but it’s particular good for TEFL students at pre-intermediate level and above


TEFL teacher and students in Vietnam

“Find someone who…” 

How to play:

Write five short descriptions on the board and briefly go through each, if required. Next give each student a piece of paper. Tell the students to walk round the room and find someone who matches each description. The first student with a different (correct!) name for each statement wins.

Great for: Breaking the ice in introductory TEFL classes



How to play:

Think of a word. Draw a dash on the board for each letter in the word. Ask students to guess letters. If the letter is in the word, then write it in the correct space(s). If not, add a line to the hangman. Students need to guess the word before your hangman is complete.

Great forRefreshing vocabulary, developing class spirit (can they beat the teacher?) and filling in an unexpected few minutes in a TEFL lesson.


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