Are you looking for a simple, fun way to get your students practicing English vocabulary? Then you’re most certainly in the right place! Keep on reading to learn more about Concentration, an ESL activity that your students will love.
Concentration ESL Vocabulary Game
Skills: Reading and vocabulary
Time: 10-15 minutes
Materials: Concentration cards
This is an ESL vocabulary game designed to help students remember vocabulary words and definitions. It’s best for children and kindergarten kids, but you can even play it with lower-level adult students.
If your students want to speak English fluently, they’ll probably have to know more English vocabulary. This activity is an excellent way to help them with this.
Remember, the key to making words “stick” is repetition. Sure, students can study at home, but many of them won’t. That’s why it’s useful to build some repetition into your classes. This game is one way to to do that.
How to Set Up Concentration: Make Some Cards
Make up sets of cards with words on half the cards and the matching definition on the other half. For example, you may want to do prepositions of place. Put the word on one card and then the corresponding picture on the other one (more ESL preposition of place games here).
A total of 16 cards (8 sets of words and definitions) works well. Make enough cards so that there is one set for each group of four students.
You can use more cards for older students, and fewer cards for younger ones. Younger students may need picture-word matches, while older students can use word-definition ones.
If you teach the same thing multiple times, you may want to laminate the cards to make them more durable.
How to Play
Students mix up the cards and put them face-down on the desk in an organized fashion. The students play rocks-scissors-paper. The first student chooses two cards and places them face up on the desk so that everyone is able to see them. If they make a set, the student keeps the cards (they’re removed from the game), gets one point and is able to choose again.
If they don’t make a set, the student places them face-down in the same spot (it’s a memory game!) and the game continues with the next student. I make a point to tell children NOT to mix the cards up and that this is actually cheating. If they do this, they will be eliminated from the game.
If I forget to mention this, some groups will start to mix them. And…then I’ve realized my mistake! Instead of a useful activity, it just becomes a random waste of time mostly.
Procedure for Concentration:
1. Make concentration card sets of words and definitions (16 cards per set, one set per four students).
2. Have students mix the cards and place them face down on the desk in an organized manner.
3. The first students chooses two cards and places them face up on the desk. If they make a set, the students keeps the cards and get one point. If they don’t make a set, the student places them face down in the same spot and the game continues with the next student who reveals two more cards.
4. The winner is the student with the most points.
Like this ESL vocabulary game?
Do you like this English vocabulary game? Do you want lots more ideas for your ESL or EFL classroom to help your students learn vocabulary effortlessly and easily? Then you’re going to want to check out this book over on Amazon: 39 ESL Vocabulary Activities for Kids 7+.
There are dozens of fun ESL games and activities that’ll make learning fun. Add some variety into your classes so that your students are engaged, while learning English at the same time.
The good news is that the book is available on Amazon in both digital and print formats. The (cheaper!) digital copy can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app.
Sounds like exactly what you need for your ESL lesson planning? Check it out for yourself over on Amazon:
Want to Learn about Student-Centered Language Teaching?
Concentration is one of my favourite student-centered activities. After all, the students are doing all the hard work, not the teacher! Once you set the game up, you just have to supervise and offer feedback, while the students are thinking, reading, and actively learning English.
Check out this short video for more details about student-centered teaching:
What’s your Favourite English Vocabulary Activity?
Do you have a favourite ESL vocabulary game or activity that you use with your students? Leave a comment below and let us know your secrets!
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy teachers, like yourself find this useful teaching resource.