ESL Games: Learning English with ESL games: The Word Association esl game.
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ESL Games: Learning English with ESL games: The Word Association esl game.


Arrange the seats or desks in the classroom into one wide ring. Decide on a topic, and begin with just one word. One by one go around the circle in a counter clockwise direction and ask the children to say another English word that they think links to the previous word. (E.G. If you began with ‘hot’, the next word might be ‘cold’, and then ‘ice’, ‘snow’, ‘sledging’, and so forth). If a child hesitates for too long or calls out a word that does not really fit with the previous utterance, ask them to move out of the circle. The person on their immediate right will then begin an entirely new topic with a word of their choosing. Continue the process until there is just one winner left, and award the child a sticker or a badge.

A harder variation of this game is to ask the child to give a word that begins with the last letter of the previous one. This can be as topic specific as you wish. For example, if your first word is ‘animal’, it could be followed by words such as ‘little’, then ‘elephant’, ‘tiger’, ‘rabbit’ etc. If the game is going slowly put a time limit on the students for giving the next answer.



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