I love me a good board game. Three of my favourites are King of Tokyo, Settlers of Catan and Puerto Rico. Because I’m essentially totally and completely burnt-out on the teaching after almost nine years of doing it in Korean universities, my USA internship preparation classes have become, “Jackie is going to teach you how to play some awesome board games and you’re going to love it!” The students are getting so good that they actually beat me sometimes. If you go this route of lazy, yet awesome, I recommend starting with King of Tokyo, then Setters of Catan and finally Puerto Rico.
ESL Board Games
However, in my real, for-credit classes I’ve been keeping up appearances of seriousness and we’ve been powering through some academic learning. I still like to use some board games though because my students always have lots of fun playing them and it’s a bit of a break from the daily grind. In order to help them review for their final exam speaking test, I designed these two ESL board games loosely based on the second halves of Touchstone 1 and Touchstone 2:
How to Play These Board Games
These ESL board games took me around 10 minutes to prepare. Yes, it’s really that easy to make your own review class awesome!
In class, I put the students into groups of four and each person has to get a token (eraser, pen lid, key, etc.). Each group needs two coins because I hate using dice which always seem to roll around on the floor and are also really noisy.
The first student (decided by rocks-scissors-paper) has to toss the coins up and sees what they get.
2 heads = 1 space
1 head, 1 tail = 3 spaces
2 tails = 5 spaces
They move ahead the assigned number of spaces and complete the action, or answer the question. If the answer is satisfactory, they remain on that spot. If not, they go back the number of spaces they went ahead. The teacher acts as the final judge in case of dispute.
The winner from each group of four gets a little prize (Choco Pie!).
Happy and Fun Times!
Learning and review doesn’t always need to be a grind, so make sure you have a bit of fun with your students by doing some fun activities or games. I love to use board games because they’re extremely student-centred, which is actually going to help your students far more than powering through another review lecture. Get your ESL awesome on!