Many English teachers these days are switching from teaching in a classroom to teaching English online.
Making the transition to teaching English online can be challenging, especially when all of the classroom games and activities you are used to are no longer possible.
That’s why we put together this list of games and activities which you can use when teaching English online. This list also includes lots of resources for teaching English online that you can use for free.
Related: Best Online TEFL Courses
Games, Activities and Resources for Teaching English Online
If you are teaching online via zoom, Google Hangouts, or another platform that allows you to share your screen, then PowerPoint games can be a great resource for teaching English online.
On Games4esl you can download many ready to use PowerPoint games and PowerPoint templates for FREE.
Below are some of our most popular PowerPoint games for teaching English online.
Hidden Picture PPT Games
When teaching ESL kids online, Hidden Picture PPT games can be a great way to introduce or review vocabulary.
In these games, a picture his hidden behind some colored shapes. When you click the shapes they disappear to reveal the picture beneath. Students must then try to guess what it is before all the colored shapes disappear.
Click the button below to visit our Hidden Picture Game page where you can download over 30 ready to use games on many ESL topics, or a blank template with which you can add your own words and pictures.
Another great PowerPoint game you can use while teaching English online is the ‘Telepathy Game’.
In this game there are ten questions, and each question has 2 possible answers.
Students must use ‘Telepathy’ to read the teacher’s mind to find out the answer.
Even though this game is so simple, kids really love it. Especially when they guess correctly.
TIP: To make this game even more fun, when teaching kids online, pretend that you are using telepathy to send them the answer over Wifi with the power of your mind.
Quizzes can be a fantastic way to review your online English lesson in a fun way.
One of our favorite quizzes to play is the ‘Top Five Quiz’ PowerPoint. In this game, each question has multiple possible answers.
Students must write down / say oneanswer. If their answer is in the ‘Top Five’ answers, then they score points.
You can download a ready to use quiz, or a blank template to add your own quiz questions from our Top Five quiz PowerPoint page.
All PowerPoint Games
Click the button below to see all our PowerPoint games for teaching English online.
Flashcard games are perfect when teaching English online to kids.
All you need is some flashcards, and some flashcard game ideas.
You can download hundreds of FREE flashcards, large and small, from our flashcard page by clicking the link below.
Read on for some flashcard game ideas to use when teaching English online.
Flashcard Guessing Games
Flashcard guessing games are very effective when teaching English to kids online.
There are many ways to play guessing games with flashcards. For example, after practicing the key words with the flashcards, choose one and don’t show the students.
Then, ask them to guess what it is. You can even introduce points to make it more fun. If there are 8 flashcards, then if the student guesses correctly with just one guess then they get 8 points. If it takes them 2 guesses, then they get 7 points. And so on.
Then it’s the teacher’s turn. Choose a card without looking and hold it up to the webcam so the student can see what it is. Then start guessing what it is.
Simple guessing games with flashcards like this are very effective with young learners when teaching English online.
Flashcards can also be used for many types of memory games when teaching English online.
For example, print out 2 sets of the same flashcards and attach them to a board with the picture hidden. Then ask students to choose 2 flashcards. If the flashcards match, the student gets a point. If they don’t match, turn them back over to hide the picture again.
Of course you may not have a board to attach the flashcards to while teaching online from home. In that case, there are other memory games you can try.
For example, you could show students the flashcards in a particular order and ask them to remember the order in which you showed them. Then ask them to recite the flashcards in the same order. If they can do it easily, introduce more flashcards.
Alternatively, you could remove one or two flashcards and then ask the student to guess ‘What’s missing?’.
Memory games like these are simple online teaching games which kids really enjoy. All you need is some flashcards.
Our activity videos are perfect resources for teaching English online.
These games really grab students’ attention and keeps them engaged. There are over 50 activity videos on Games4esl on many different ESL topics.
The above video is one of our latest activity videos to teach lessons about food and / or countries and nationalities.
Online Vocabulary Exercises
Another fantastic resource for teaching English online are our online English vocabulary exercises.
Our Vocabulary Exercises are a collection of different interactive activities that you can use while teaching online and sharing your screen, or the student can complete these exercises on their own.
Here is an example:
Other Game Ideas For Teaching English Online
There are also plenty of games you can play while teaching online that do not require any prep at all.
‘Find Something’ is a very simple but effective game that you can use while teaching English online to kids.
Simply tell your student to find something which you are focusing on in your lesson.
For example, if you are teaching colors, you might tell your student to find something red. Give the student ten seconds to find something in his/her house that is red. Then ask them ‘What is it?’ and they can answer ‘It’s a red (pencil.)’
This concept can be applied to many different lessons. You can even ask your student to find something that begins with a certain letter (e.g. find something beginning with the letter b) as a fun warm up activity.
To make this game even more fun, you could ask your student to challenge you to find something too.
I spy Game
The ‘I Spy’ game is another kind of guessing game.
The game is very simple. Choose something you can see in the room, or in the student’s room, and don’t tell the student what it is.
Then, give the student a clue like this: ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with (b).‘
The student must then guess what object you are thinking of that they can see which starts with the letter b.
Once the student guesses correctly, then it’s his/her turn to look around the room and choose something.
Drawing games can be a really fun way to practice listening skills with students while teaching English online.
For example, you could describe a picture that you have drawn, or describe an object / flashcards and ask the student to listen to your description and try to draw what you are describing.
For example, if you are practicing describing people, you might say ‘He has big blue eyes. He has short hair. He has a big nose.‘, etc.
Then, once the student has finished his/her drawing, show the student the original picture / object and compare.
Kids find this game really fun and often make some hilarious drawings.
Thanks for reading. I hope you found some useful activities and resources for teaching English online.
If you are new to teaching online or are interested in teaching English abroad, then you will likely need a TEFL certificate.
Check out our list of The Best Online TEFL Certificates to help you start your career in the exciting world of TEFL.