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ESL Game Catchphrase

ESL Game: Catchphrase

ESL catchphrase is a simple game that is a great way to start or end class. Watch the video below to see how to play. A list of catchphrases and definitions can be found here. This activity is great to play at the start or end of class and is an effective way of exposing teen and adult students to common phrases and expressions in English while having fun in the classroom. As ever, enjoy and have fun!

Can’t see the video? Click here to watch on youtube.com


1. Make a copy or note of some of the catchphrases in the printable download.

2. Put students into group or 2, 3 or 4.

3. Write 2 or 3 catchphrases on the board.

4. Students discuss what the possible meaning of the catchphrases are.

5. Get groups to share their ideas with the rest of the group.

6. The teacher then reads out meaning of one of the catchphrases and students try to guess which catchphrase the definition matches. Continue with the rest of catchphrases.

Other ideas: Get students to compare with catchphrases from their own language. How would they translate them? Are they similar in English?

5 Flashcard Games for young learners

5 flascard acitivities for young learners

This post looks at 5 flashcard games for young learners. These activities are a great way to practice vocabulary and speaking with young learners .





1.  Flashcard Story

Give students some flashcards in pairs. Get students to invent a simple story using the flashcards. The students tell the other students in class their stories.

2. Team game

Have ready two sets of word cards for the same flashcards for this game. Divide the class into two teams. Stick flashcards (as many as there are children in each team) on the blackboard or on the walls around the classroom. Give one word card to each child in both teams. When you call out the name of one of the flashcards, the child in each team who has the corresponding word card gets up and goes to touch the flashcard and hold up their word card as fast as they can. The child who gets there first each time wins a point for their team.

3. Classify the words

Draw two or three large circles on the blackboard and write the topic words at the top of each one e.g. animals, food, clothes. Children take turns to come to the front of the class, either individually or in pairs, read a word card that you give them and stick it in the correct circle.

4. Flashcard whispers

Children stand in two lines facing the blackboard. Secretly show the last child standing in each line a flashcard. This child then whispers the name of this flashcard to next child and so on up the line. The child at the front runs to the blackboard and draws or writes the word. They then go to the back of the line. Repeat the procedure several times.

5. Ball game

Have a soft ball ready for this activity. Stick 8-10 flashcards on the blackboard. Children stand in a circle. Hold up the ball, say One, two, three… and name one of the flashcards on the blackboard e.g. Dog! as you throw the ball to a child in the circle. The child who catches the ball repeats the procedure and names another flashcard. The game continues in the same way until all the flashcards on the blackboard have been named.

ESL Password

“Password” is a great game that can be used again and again for revision of vocabulary. This is a game every ESL teacher should know. This game is great with kids, teens and adults and is always a popular game with groups. 

Activity Time: 10 mins +
Materials required: whiteboard.
Skills practiced: Vocabulary and spelling. 
Level: Young learners
1. Divide the class into two teams. Put a chair in front of the whiteboard facing the class. 
2. One person from one of the teams sits in the chair. Write a word on the board that team can see and not the person in the chair. The team then have to explain that word to the person in the chair without saying the word. You can set a time limit if you wish.
If the student says the word their team gets a point.
3. The second team now try. The team with the most points win.

Secret Spies

ESL Secret Spies is a simple game for Kids. Its a great game to revise vocabulary and practice spelling in a fun and interactive way. Ciphers are always great fun and loved by young learners.

Activity Time: 10 mins +

Materials required: Scissors, paper, pens/pencils
Skills practiced: Vocabulary and spelling.
Level: Young learners


1. Write words on pieces of papers that you want the students to revise.
2. Cut up the words up into letters and give them to the students to put back into the correct order. Students write down the words that they decipher.
3. Get the students to make their own ciphers and swap them with the other students.
Find more great ideas here:

Create curiosity in the classroom