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There are a wealth of sites out there with hundreds of games - you can find links to some of them at the bottom of this page (eventually) or on my links page. Many of the same games are repeated ad infinitum on site after site. As such I am trying to avoid typing up these ones all over again & instead am focusing on games I haven't seen elsewhere. Bearing this in mind if you'd like to suggest a new game for inclusion then please mail me with your idea(s)

Newspaper Bash

Great game guaranteed to raise a few laughs if nothing else.

Put your students into groups of about 6.

They stand in a circle with one person in the middle holding a rolled up newspaper (best if you demonstate 1st). Each person chooses, for example, an adjective (of course you can use any vocab & it's more fun if you change it every few minutes to keep them on their toes). The person in the middle must choose one as well.

Go round the circle each person repeating their adjective two or three times with the object that everyone remembers who is which word.

Now the T calls out one of the adjective's, that person must quickly call out another  adjective who must then do the same. If they are not quick enough the person in the middle bashes them on the head with the rolled up newspaper and they swop places.

Be warned: with some groups this can get a little aggressive so don't make the paper too thick.

Anagrams Noughts & Crosses (Tic Tac Toe for my American readers)

Make anagrams of whatever vocab group you want to practise. Eg months. Draw a chart of three columns & three rows on the board. Write one anagram in each of your nine squares.

Put the students into two teams. Now SHUT UP & let them work out what they have to do. After a bit of umming and ahhing & begging you to explain you will eventually get one bright spark who gives you a word eg "Oh, February!"

Now whoever said the word, WITHOUT help, has to spell the word correctly AND pronounce each letter correctly. If they do so they score a point & get an X or an 0 in that square. Now it's the other teams turn.

You may need to point out that the object of the game is to make a line of Xs or 0s but hopefully they will suss that.

However because you are also playing for points you can keep going after one team has scored a line (for which they receive an extra point).

This game is great because it's so versatile (you can play with grammar as well) & the Ss love playing - it can also take quite a while & they don't get bored, always a plus point in my book!

Running Dictation

This is another common one I first heard of while teaching in Oxford (thanks Andy).

First of all you need some kind of text - for an example you can modify for your own situation see
below. Anything will do more or less, the game is very versatile so you can fit it to whatever your working on or just use it as a filler.

Here's how I've used it recently: 

The Cornellá Pyscho

A text written in the vein of a newspaper article (idea snaffled from Steve at Salisbury summer 2000 - cheers mate!)

Cut up the text into paragraphs. Mix up the order. Copy onto two sheets. So now you have one text mixed up & split into two parts. Stick one sheet on one wall & one on another. 

Put your students into pairs. One student has to run to the wall, read & memorize as much of the text as possible, run back to eir partner & dictate said text. The partner (naturally) has to write down what's being dictated. If they have problems with the spelling the running student can spell the word but ey must not help to write it. They can swop who's writing & who's running every few minutes (or YOU can decide when).

The objective is NOT to finish first but to finish with the most correct copy.

After they've finished put them in groups of four so that each group has a copy of the complete text.
They then have to decide on the correct order. For extra fun in the text I've used they also have to put in a correct word in place of "pants".

When they've finished you give them the original text to check.

(There's also a follow on activity for this particular running dictation but that's more of a grammar exercise than a game - I'll put it up maybe next week).

Obviously (I hope) click on these links to find the original text & cut up 1 & cut up 2 for the running dictation.

Links : John & Sarah's Tefl Pitstop. Fun site with loads of games & quizzes designed so you can print them straight out. Very useful.