Tried and tested (and approved!) games and activities to help English learning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Level: Intermediate and Advanced.

Skills: writing.

Topic: vocabulary.

Materials: sheets of paper and pencils (or pens).

Time: 10 to 20 minutes.

The objective of this favourite game of mine is to think of words that start and end with letters determined by one word written forwards and backwards. Did it sound complicated? But it is not!

First, you choose a word of at least four letters (usually six or more), which each student writes in a column down the left-hand side of their paper. Then they write the same word in reverse down the right-hand side of the paper. Students have to fill in words which start and end with the resulting letters. The students, however, cannot use the given word as the first word in their lists (for instance, if you give the word 'English', the students cannot use it).

The winner is either the student who fills in all the spaces first; the student who finishes within a set time; or (better!) the student with the highest amount of points obtained. To count the points, each used letter is counted as one point.

Let's suppose you chose ´Horses' as the word. The winning student could have written the word like this:

             Total:      41 points!

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