Definitions is a fun TESOL game for learners to review and recycle vocabulary. It is simple to set up, works great with large classes, can be adapted to suit different levels and exploited in numerous ways. The game also allows learners to practice their speaking and listening skills as it require them to explain terms in English so that their team or partner can identify the vocabulary.
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In this TESOL game, it is essential that learners only use spoken English when explaining the term. They cannot act or draw the term because the main objective of this activity is to get learners to speak and listen. It is also important that the teacher ensures that turn-taking is happening so that each member has an opportunity to speak.
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TESOL Game – Procedure
The first time learners do this activity, they will need the instructions explained or modelled. For beginner levels, you could take a term like ‘apple’ and give them different ways to identify the term.
- It is a fruit.
- It is round and the size of your hand.
- It begins with a vowel.
- It has a stem and small seeds in the center.
- It is crispy and often in a pie.
- It is red or green.
- McDonalds has an ___________ pie.
- It has skin you eat.
- You do not eat the stem and seeds.
- An _____________ a day keeps the doctor away.
For intermediate level groups, the vocabulary will be more challenging and will include different parts of speech.
Setting Up The TESOL Game
This activity can be carried out with only a chalkboard and requires no preparation time. Arrange groups so that one member has his/her back to the board. The members facing the board must then take turns to explain the term until one person guesses it.
With a little more preparation time, the teacher can create slips of paper with the terms written on them, enough for as many teams as necessary with no more that 4 or 5 students in order to a group to maximise participation. The teams can then compete to try to see which team can successfully identify all of the terms.