Word Games That Help Teach ESL Students Wordplay

 In Grammar

For ESL students studying the English language word games can be a fun change to the normal study routine. Word word gamesgames which involve different ways of exploring words and usage are a great way to practice their English skills.

Wordplay Definition

Wordplay is the term used when words are manipulated to create another meaning from a sentence. This meaning is usually humorous. An example of wordplay on a phrase includes:

  • Original: “Time flies when having fun”
  • Wordplay Version: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

As you can see there is a play on words without changing too much of the phrase around. To test your wordplay skills why not take a simple sentence and see if you can rearrange it to create a fun and humorous sentence with a new meaning.

Word Games

Word games are great for building vocabulary and definitions of words as part of improving your English language skills. The following are some word games you can try by yourself or with your peers.

Word Counter

Word Counter is a fun and simple game to play. Start by selecting 8 letters from the alphabet. 2 vowels and 6 consonants. Example W, F, T, L, K, S, E, O. Next set a time limit, say 2 minutes, and have a race with your classmates to create as many words as you can from only the letters above. The student who creates the most words wins the game.


Scrabble is another great word game which can be played by you and your friends. Scrabble is generally played by two to four people and is scored by how many words you can create using the letter tiles. The idea of the game is to form as many words as you can using the tiles you have. Other players can build off your words to score more points.

Online Word Games

The following are some websites in which you can play some simple ESL word games.

This is a great way of making learning not only effective but fun too!





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