10 Interesting ESL Games And Activities For Adults

English as a second language (ESL) is important among non-native speakers owing to the significance of English at the global level. Not only children, but non-native adults also need it as a part of their profession. Strategies like board and online games can be accompanied by classroom or practice activities to make learning easy. 

The list of offline games and activities listed here are great take-ins for adult learners. Even with minor changes, try implementing these in your workplace or home to see a good difference in your English skills.

ESL games and activities- Crafted for adults 

1. Partner up 

Partner up

Adults are provided with a few lines of dialogue which they need to complete with their creativity.

  • To start with, teachers come up with a topic 
  • They choose a couple of students and ask them to talk about the same
  • They are given some time to think and prepare for the activity. 
  • They can retain a few insights and deliver their discussion to the rest of the class after they’re ready. 

It’s an admirable method for kids to be more creative while yet providing enough structure for newcomers. Grown-ups will have the confidence to speak up through this activity.

2. News and Read

News and Read

To ensure a definitive practice session before or after a lecture, this exercise can be opted. The activity is all about converting all announcements and news into text format to ensure a reading session. 

  • To start with, the teacher lists out the set of announcements and news that are to be declared in the classroom. Now, these are written/printed in a listed form on paper. 
  • At the end of class, this sheet is handed over to one student. 
  • The learner reads out the first bullet to the class and handovers to the neighbor
  • The second one reads out the next point to the class
  • The cycle continues till all points are read out.
  • Now, the one who reads the news headline needs to write the whole news in their own words just like a journalist and submit it to the teacher for feedback. 

Since not all may get a chance to read in one day, the same can be continued to the next day with a new set of announcements. This effortless activity gives an additional chance to read out English. Further, it also ensures confidence in learners.

3. Extempore 


This activity lets the learners focus on their speaking skills. 

  • To start, write a number of topics on the whiteboard. 
  • The students will then have to talk for a whole one minute or two minutes.
  • One by one it takes turns to come over the stage and speak a few words on one topic. These are inferences from the discussion that just took place.
  • The best speech can be declared the winner. 

Raising a discussion is easy. Nonetheless, turning it into valuable time is important, and this activity ensures the same. Apart from better English communicative skills, social abilities and engagement are often added edges 

4. Chain it up

Chain it up

Grouped practice can make activities much more interesting. This activity ensures learners form a chain of words with guidelines.

  • The teacher takes a piece of paper and writes a word on it to start with.  Say, “Letter”
  • Now, hand over this paper to the first student. This learner needs to write a word starting with ‘R’, as the previous word ends with it. Say they wrote “Rabbit”
  • Next, the second learner takes the paper to write a word that starts with “T”, the last letter of Rabbit.
  • This cycle continues till all the students have addressed it. To make it complicated and lengthy, the paper is brought back to the first student to start the cycle again. 

This chain can be formed of any length based on time. As the instructor may ask them to come up with a unique word every time, the learners can brainstorm and learn new words for the game, making it effective to learn English.

5. Re-narrate

Listening to learn employs audio cues, this strategy can be crafted into an interesting activity.

  • To start, the teacher prepares an English story in 3-4 lines. In class, they narrate this story snippet in a proper pace that pupils can easily interpret. 
  • Later, they start narrating another snippet of the story and stop in the middle.
  • A student is called upon and is asked to finish the story. They can finish the story in their own words. 
  • Similarly, another student is called upon to give an alternative ending for it. 

This activity lets the pupils understand the language before speaking, Also they get a chance to speak about ensuring English practice.

6. ESL surveys

Surveys in English as a Second Language (ESL) are exercises that move the attention away from the teacher and onto the students.

  •   Learners are asked to read particular questions, which are addressed to them,
  •  Then they must respond to the questions while taking notes with reference to the answers.
  • These activities are designed to help students improve their reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities simultaneously.

It’s a game that mimics what happens in real life, in which they have to focus in different things at a single time. Students can wander around the room and chat with their peers during surveys, which encourages engagement and better vocabulary as they interact.

7. Finding new words

Finding new words
  •  In this game, the instructor or the teacher chooses a difficult-to-understand word or term.  
  • Following the selection of the word, each student should write the definition of the term on a sheet of paper. 
  • After that, all of the papers should be gathered, and all of the definitions are read out to the class so that students can vote on which definition they believe is accurate. 
  • Students gain points if they know the proper definition or if their definition is voted as the best. 

This game enhances the vocabulary of students allowing them to learn many new words. It will also generate a sense of competitiveness among them as they will want to win this game.

8. Role play activity

Role play activity

This activity lets the learners indulge in a scene so that they can act and talk in English. 

  • To start, teachers prepare a simple script for the learners
  • Each student is selected for a character and each one is provided with the script
  • Now, to start the play they can hold their dialogue sheets and start with role-playing
  • The one who performs well is declared the best MR/MS ESL of the day.

This activity not only focuses on the betterment of vocabulary but also emphasizes the accent and culture of English. This way, non-native speakers get a chance to traverse English contexts easily. 

9. Share Hub

Share Hub

Sharing experiences can improve insights on a topic. This activity gets learners a chance to dive into a topic and share insights and tips. 

  • To start with, the teacher procures a set of papers and writes one topic on each of it
  • They form chits out of them and place them in a box. 
  • One student is called upon and is asked to shuffle them. Now, they take out one chit and read out the topic. Say “Reading from websites”
  • This student shares one tip, insight, or an experience of how to read from websites easily and goes back to their position
  • The second student comes up and narrates their insights
  • This cycle continues till all students are covered. 

By the end of this activity, apart from learning English, every student can be backed up by an overflow of tips, which they may find useful later.. 

10. Taboo Activity

Taboo Activity
  • To start with, the leader procures a set of cards with four words written on them.
  •  One player in the game has a card with four words on it: The first word in the phrase is “secret.” 
  • The objective of the game is for the player to decipher the main word. Until another student names the term, the student holding the card must describe it as creatively as possible.
  • The other three words on the card are the more obvious alternatives for describing the hidden word. They’re all “taboo,” and the student can’t use them in his or her explanation of the secret phrase.

This is a game that may be played by two teams. It may also be played with two people. It motivates students to learn new words while having fun.

Other resources for building English fluency – Easy tips to accompany these activities

The activities and games stated above often facilitate English learning by offering a sense of real-life cues and also create a value-creating pass time. These exercises can be accompanied by some personal level tips to make learning further effective. Here are a few of our working suggestions:

  • English learning Websites: After the class or in leisure time, if you want to do a quick practice, or want to bridge some personal gaps for the next lectures, opting for a good accompanying website is a good idea. These are often free and easy to use. 
  • Youtube Channels: There are a few channels on google’s video platform that offer reliable training on grammar. These may not be a complete training session, but these multimedia snippets offer pieces of crucial information.
  • Online and board games: English learning games are available in both board and online formats. These can help learners to make our training sessions interesting at a personal level as well. Try these after the activity to make sure you have mastered concepts.  


When learning a second language, especially English, non-native speakers may feel arduous to start with. As a result, every instructor should integrate games into ESL sessions to make learning more enjoyable and less stressful. In other words, ESL activities and games help adult ESL students gain confidence.

We hope you find this selection of adult ESL games useful and that you enjoy playing them in your English classroom! When you attempt anything new, make a note of how it goes over with your students so you can figure out what they enjoy and use that information to drive future decisions.

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