ESL games and activities for adult English learners

Welcome to an ever expanding collection of ESL games and activities which have been built up over more than a decade of teaching English to adults. Our aim is to give English teachers everything they need to put these activities into action by providing detailed step by step instructions, clear examples, and all the necessary printables.

Games and other fun activities are just as stimulating for adults as they are for students from younger age groups. The games and activities on this site will help bring your class together, raise their energy levels and, most importantly, provide a framework which will motivate your students to produce the desired language.

Teaching online

As many of us have now shifted much of our teaching online, I am putting together a page of activities which can be tailored to an online learning environment there are also lots of activities suitable for online use on the teaching with technology page; including conversation questions, the random question generator and fortune telling runes.

Warm-up activities

This section contains a variety of warmers and fillers. Loosen your students up with something fun before moving on to more demanding tasks. Popular posts include the big list of no preparation warm-upsthe A to Z game, and pass the bomb.

ESL games for adults

Grammar games and activities

These games are designed to get students to repeat targeted grammar structures. Posts include fortune tellingcomparing adjectives and stand up if you’ve ever…, as well as classic ESL games and activities like find someone who and alibi.

Vocabulary games and activities

Here you can find games and activities which review and extend the learner’s vocabulary. Posts include jeopardy, the A to Z gamethe recipe game and number bingo as well as old favourites like Kim’s game, the categories game and taboo.

Pronunciation games and activities 

This section contains a growing selection of ESL activities to help students with their pronunciation including word match for practising minimal pairs, pit pat putt and word mazes to practice syllable stress.

Conversation questions

This page contains sets of printable conversation cards based on more than 50 ESL topics. These discussion questions are designed to initiate lively debate and deepen the students’ knowledge of each other. A collection of 50 topics with additional learning activities is available as a PDF eBook and an  A4 paperback book.

Speaking activities

A range of speaking activities for adults that are designed to encourage free speaking. Activities include surveys, interviews and discussion questions.

Tech & Apps

It is becoming more and more common to find smartboards or laptops and projectors in language classrooms, and your students will often have smartphones and tablets with them too. This area is dedicated to activities which make use of such technologies. The contents include grammar photo sets and our ESL Apps page including apps like 500 Conversation Questions, What Happens Next? and Fortune Telling. You can also find the Short News Article Finder here.