If you’re looking for some of the best ESL review games, then you’re certainly in the right place. We’re going to give you the rundown on these review activities to choose from. Keep on reading for all the past details you need to know about reviewing key grammatical concepts or English vocabulary with your students.
Review Games and Activities for ESL
Are you ready to get into these fun teaching review games for English learners? Let’s get to it!
#1: ESL Surveys
If you’re looking for the ultimate ESL review activity, then look no further than surveys. I love them so much because they’re interactive, cover a wide range of skills and can be used for just about any topic. Plus, students have to get up and out of their seats to talk to their classmates, so it’s a nice way to inject some energy into a tired class. And, they are perfect for getting students to use WH questions as a follow-up.
What’s not to love! Sounds like exactly what you need? Learn more here: ESL Questionnaires and Surveys.
#2: A-Z Alphabet Game
This is one of the best ESL review games that lends itself to just about any topic. The way it works is that students have to try to think of a word in a certain category for each letter of the alphabet. It’s perfect for teaching colours for example. It’s an ideal way to finish off a class or to review vocabulary from previous classes as a quick warm-up.
Try it out with your English learners today:
#3: Ball Toss ESL Review Game
Ball Toss is a fun ESL review activity that can be used to inject some energy into a class. There are various ways to do it, but the gist of it is that write some words or questions on a beach ball. Then, students take turns tossing the ball around the class and answering the question or making a sentence with the word where their right thumb is (or whatever finger you choose).
Find out all the details about it here: Ball Toss ESL Game.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 97 Pages - 06/09/2016 (Publication Date)
#4: Mystery Box Interactive Review Game for the Classroom
If you teach kids, one of the best teaching review games to consider is the mystery box. It’s ideal for basic classroom objects as well as adjectives (hard, soft, big, small, etc.). The way it works is that students have to reach their hands into a box of things and then use some words to describe what they feel.
Find out more here: ESL Mystery Box Activity.
#5: Hot Potato Review Game
#6: Using Videos for Review
One of my favourite things is to use videos to review grammatical concepts or vocabulary sets. There are a ton of things you can do with them but one of my favourites is to play the video and have students listen for examples of a certain thing that I’ve just taught them.
Then, they can write them down and compare them with a partner. Finally, we talk together about them as a class and then students can watch the video one more time.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to use videos in the classroom as well. Here are some of the best ideas:
A nice way to review just about anything is with this fun game for all ages! Have a look here:
#8: Proof-Reading and Editing
If you want to do some review work that focuses on writing, then consider doing some proofreading exercises. I like to have some quieter activities in my classes too because not everyone likes busy and active and fun all the time!
In this case, you’d want to focus most of the errors on the target language. For example, to review past tense verbs, make some errors in the passage related to that. Find out some tips for doing this in your class here:
#9: Is that Sentence Correct
A nice way to review grammar concepts and sentence structure is to use this activity. The way it works is that you can make a worksheet (or put up on a PowerPoint slide) with a number of sentences, some of which are correct and some of which are not. Then, students have to decide which ones aren’t correct and make any required changes. Be sure to monitor this activity well so that you know if students have grasped important concepts or not.
I like to make this into a competition to see who can complete it first. If you do this, let students know how many errors they can expect to find. Want to try it out? Here’s what you need to know:
#10: ESL Memory Games
One of the best ways to review new things with our students is to play some of these challenging memory games. Not only are they challenging, but they’re a fun way to test our students’ memories. Here are some of my top picks:
#11: Jigsaw/Information Gap Activities
#12: Word Challenge Spelling Game
It’s always good to have a few activities that require nothing in the way of preparation or materials in the back of your mind before you walk into any classroom. This is one such activity.
Spelling is an often-neglected skill but it does deserve a bit of classroom practice time. It’s also an ideal way to review vocabulary words. Check it out here:
#13: Me Too! Interactive Review Activity for the Classroom
A simple way to review new vocabulary like food, sports (check out this list of sports) or hobbies is to use this speaking and listening activity. The way it works is that students have to say facts about themselves and then find out if their classmates are the same or different from them.
Want to know more? Check this out:
#14: Dictation Practice
A nice review activity for just about anything is getting your students to do some dictation. While it focuses mostly on listening and writing skills, it also hits spelling, grammar and vocabulary in a big way so consider trying it out! Another great thing about dictation is that it can be used for a single student or a class of 100 equally well.
Sounds like something you want to try out? Here’s the information you need to get started with it:
#15: Dictogloss ESL Review Activity
If you want to challenge your students with their listening skills in a big way, then consider doing this activity with them. The way it works is that find a passage to read out to your students at a faster pace than normal. To make this useful as a review exercise, ensure that it includes some of the target vocabulary or grammar that you’d like to review.
Then, in pairs, students have to work together to recreate what they just heard. Want to give it a try? Find out all the details here:
#16: Vocabulary Auction Grammar Review Game
#17: Word Association Vocabulary Challenge
If you want to review vocabulary from a previous class, then consider using Word Association. The way it works is that students have to make a mind map with words that they know, grouping them into categories. Learn more about it here:
#18: The Flyswatter Game
A fun way to review just about anything is to play the flyswatter game! The way it works is that students compete against each other to slap the correct word or phrase on the whiteboard in response to a clue that you give them. It lends itself particularly well to simple grammar concepts or new vocabulary. Check it out for yourself:
#19: ESL Clothes Quiz
#20: Concentration, a Fun Review Game
One of the best ESL review games for new words is concentration. How it works depends on the level of the student. But, you’ll need to make cards with the following:
- Word + picture
- Word + definition
Then, students play together in small groups, placing the cards facedown. After that, it becomes a memory game as they try to find matches. Find out all the details here:
#21: Running Dictation
#22: Error Correction Relay Race
I love to take something old (error correction) and make it new again with a fun relay race. It’s the perfect way to review key grammatical concepts and is ideal for both kids and adults.
Sounds like the right fun review game for your students? Find out how to do it here:
#23: ESL Board Games
#24: Brainstorming Games and Activities
A nice way to review new vocabulary is to have students do a brainstorming game or activity. Of course, students can also add other related words that they may have learned previously which can serve to reinforce any new things that they learned.
There are a number of things to consider doing. Here are some of the best ones:
#25: Closest in Meaning ESL Review Game
If you want to review some key vocabulary, then consider using this simple reading activity. Students have to read an original sentence and then compare it with some others to find the one that is closest in meaning. It’s ideal for a warmer activity to review new words from previous classes. Have a look:
#26: 120/90/60 Speaking Activity
#27: Password (an Interactive Review Game for the Classroom)
Try out this fun vocab review game that’s fun for elementary, middle or high school or even adults. Students have to give hints about a secret word to their classmate who has to guess what it is. Check it out here:
#28: Charades or Pictionary
If you want a fun English review class idea, look no further than these two! Charades is acting out a word or phrase while Pictionary is drawing it. Either way, they’re fun games for a review session where you want to cover some vocabulary words.
#29: The Memory Circle Game
Try out this simple game to review just about anything, from vocabulary sets to the simple past. Learn more about it here:
Did you like these ESL Review Games and Activities?
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 65 Pages - 06/10/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Yes? Thought so. Then the book you’re going to love is this one over on Amazon: 39 ESL Review Games and Activities for Teenagers and Adults. There are dozens of top-quality, engaging and student-centred review games to choose from. Help your students remember new grammatical concepts and vocabulary with these fun TEFL activities.
The best part? It’s easier than ever to get lesson plans ready to go in minutes. Seriously, just open up the book and choose a review activity or two and then adapt it to whatever you’re planning to review. It really is that easy to have better English classes.
The book is available in both digital and print formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your teacher’s room to use as a handy reference guide when making lesson plans. Or, take the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop on your phone, tablet, or computer for some lesson planning on the go.
Do you want to find out more details about this book filled with awesome teaching review games? Head on over to Amazon to check it out:
Review Games FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about reviewing vocabulary and grammar with language learners. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
How do you review for ESL?
To review for ESL classes, here are a few tips and tricks:
- Schedule regular review sessions throughout the course.
- Review key concepts at the end of each class.
- Use a variety of ESL review games and activities.
- Get students to conduct a review session.
- Encourage questions from students.
- Give homework to review key concepts.
What is a review lesson?
A review lesson is one in which key concepts are taught again, very briefly. It’s brief because students are already familiar with the material. Then students should have an opportunity to practice using these key concepts again in a game or activity of some kind.
How do you write a good review lesson?
To write a good review lesson, follow these simple steps:
- Choose the material that needs to be reviewed.
- Hit the main points very briefly.
- Plan an exercise or activity for students to put what they’ve learned into practice.
What is the importance of review?
Review is important because it makes sure that students actually know the key concepts. It can help develop a concrete base for learning, upon which new concepts can be added.
What are some interactive review games for the classroom?
ESL Review Activities and Games: Join the Conversation
What’s your top pick for an activity to review things with your ESL students? Is it one of the options from this or do you have another favourite? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API