Over the years I’ve often used online ESL games in my classroom teaching environments. I was lucky enough to usually be teaching in connected classrooms with access to projectors (and then Smartboards). I’ve used ESL games both as warm-up activities and as the main focus of a lesson to reinforce different pieces of target language.
But what about games for the online classroom environment? Where do teachers find online ESL games? I’m happy to report that the web is full of great online ESL games that work well in the online environment. Here’s short list of the places I go to find online ESL games on the web:
This site literally contains hundreds of different games that are perfect for 5-10 minute warmups (or cool downs) at the beginning and the end of your lessons. Most of the games are organized by levels and target language. I recently played this body parts vocabulary game with a private student after teaching my Parts of the Body Lesson Plan and it was a great way of reinforcing the target vocabulary. Since the site has grown immensely you’ll need to take some time to sort through everything but it’s worth the effort. It’s a wonderful resource.
English Club offers a large library of online ESL games. Matching exercises, online crosswords, hangman and more. Again, similar to ESL Games plus there are a lot of games here and you’ll need to take some time to find what works with your students. They are mostly organized by the type of game being played (e.g. hangman, matching) and the target language (mostly vocabulary groupings). Recently, I played this Gapfill game which focuses on professions after teaching my Vocabulary – Jobs Lesson Plan to a student.
Almost every ESL teacher by now has heard of Quizlet. The core use of Quizlet is to create flashcard sets which can be shared with your students (and other teachers). What many teachers don’t realize is that you can use your flashcard sets in different game modes. These include scatter (where you combine like pairs to make them disappear) and space race (where you make words disappear by typing in their corresponding term). The wonderful time saver here is that you can play other teachers’ sets. There are literally hundreds of thousands of flashcard sets (of course of varying quality) covering everything from minimal phonetic pairs to superlatives and beyond!
My own online ESL games, coming soon…
I’m excited to announce that soon Off2Class
will be releasing has released our own online ESL games. They aren’t yet ready for release but I can let you know that they’ll be linked to our lesson content, you’ll be able to track your students. They are intended to work well in both one-on-one and group lessons. They’ll fit both the online and in-person environment. Stay tuned!