ESL Game: Word Association

ESL Game: word association
5 Oct, 2017

ESL Game: Word Association

Word Association is a great game to practice vocabulary, introduce a topic, assess what students know or even revise vocabulary from earlier classes. This game is great at focusing a class but make sure they can explain their answer (level depending).


  1. To Start, give students an initial word. Choose a word from a topic they have studied recently. For example, if students studied ‘fruit’ recently you could start with ‘banana’.
  2. The next student has to say a word that is related to ‘banana’. So the student might say ‘monkey’. Then the next student takes their turn and must say a word related to ‘monkey’. The game continues like this until all the students have said a word or a time limit is reached.
  3. If a student says a word that has no obvious connection, encourage them to give a reason for their answer.
  4. Enjoy and have fun!


More vocabulary activities
Discover more vocabulary activities for kids.

Quick Fire Vocabulary – No-prep vocabulary game for all ages.

What Am I? Riddles – Simple riddles to get students thinking.

Stop The Bus – Fun game to practice spelling and vocabulary topics.

Grass Skirts – Is a great way to recycle vocabulary with young learners in an active way.

Password – A fun activity to recycle vocabulary with all ages.

Organise Yourselves – A simple activity where students organise themselves in order.

Find more games and activities on our YouTube Channel


David has been teaching ESL for a number of years across Asia and Europe. He currently lives and works in Seville, Spain where he has been teaching for the past three years. He is currently studying an MA in Digital Technologies, Communication and Education in TESOL.

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