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Word Games for Vocabulary and Fluency

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Loren Lee Chiesi

on 10 March 2016

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Transcript of Word Games for Vocabulary and Fluency

Word Games for Vocabulary and Fluency
How can teachers use
games in the classroom?
Introduce a topic
Practice vocabulary or grammar
Review key concepts
Concept of the Game:
Start with a list of different categories (e.g. movies, junk foods, cars)
Pick a letter
Write one thing for each category that starts with the chosen letter

Modify for your classroom:
Use to practice collocations or grammar points (e.g. gerunds and infinitives)
Have students create their own categories
To make it more challenging, set a time limit
Even more challenging: students don't get points if they have the same word as another student or group
Allow students to write more than one thing per category

Concept of the Game:
Select a word
Describe the chosen word without actually using the word in the description
Your partner or team has to guess the word
Guess as many words as possible in a set amount of time

Modify for your classroom:
Have students create "taboo" cards.
Use words that focus on target vocabulary or unit concepts in the curriculum (i.e. characters from the
, vocabulary from a news article)
To make it more challenging: set a time limit; have additional words that students cannot use to define the word
Rory's Story Cubes
Concept of the Game:
Use dice with pictures on all 6 sides
Roll as many dice as you want
Look at the pictures on the tops of the dice that were rolled
Create a story that involves all the pictures
Be as imaginative and descriptive as possible

Modify for your classroom
Have students bring in images (printed or drawn) for homework
Instead of rolling dice, have the students choose pictures from different piles or fanned in a hand
Use pictures that come from themes or concepts discussed in the curriculum
Have students use target vocabulary or grammar structures in their descriptions
Why are games useful in the classroom?
Competition, imagination, excitement and learner ownership (Gardner, 2008)
Students see the "game discourse" as a space where they can suggest new rules
Reinforce vocabulary
Encourages students to think in English and to relax, which enhances fluency
Students may already know how to play some word games in their own languages

Other Word Games for the Classroom
Work Cited
Gardner, S. (2008) Transforming talk and phonics practice: Or, do crabs clap? TESOL Quarterly 42 (2)
Introduce a topic!
Building fluency!
Review vocabulary
For multiple levels
Text twist

For advanced learners
Word Games for
Vocabulary & Fluency

Elinor Westfold

Antalya International
Loren Lee Chiesi

Al Akhawayn University
Activate schema!
Think in English!
Build Fluency
Pairs share their answers category by category.
All students must agree that the words are good.
Pairs score 1 point for each correct and unique word.
If two or more pairs have the same word in the same category, they don’t get any points.


Each pair gets a worksheet.
Choose a letter – randomly.
Write it on the left side of your worksheet.
Players have 1 minute to think of a noun that goes with each verb.
The noun must start with the right letter.
Don't use the same word twice.
Score and add up points.

Order of Play

Get in pairs
Sit across from your partner
1 person in pair 1 starts by taking a card
You have 1 minute to get your partner to guess as many of the key words as possible.
You cannot use any of the words on the card
Another player checks this
1 point for each word correctly guessed in a minute
Switch to the next player in the circle

How to play

....the team with the most points when all the cards are gone!

The winner is…


Write 4 related words for each key word
Separate to make cards.
Put the cards face down in the middle of the table
Set up

Presentation Materials
You can access all the materials used during this presentation on the TESOL website
Please feel free to take our business cards and contact us for more information about our presentation
Elinor: elinoraw@gmail.com
Loren: llchiesi@gmail.com
Get into groups
Full transcript