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Remember all those card games you played as a kid?

You probably remember some, but it doesn't automatically make you think of learning English, right? Well...there are endless opportunities with these to teach English both at home & in the classroom. Let's take a look!


Great card game for teaching colours, numbers and simple functional language such as 'pick up, take, pass me, do you have, your turn, my go, what colour/number is that'. Loads of options to introduce new language and learn it naturally.

Go fish

This is a game where you need to collect 4 of a type of card. This can also be played using uno cards whereby you collect numbers - The winner is the one with the most sets of 4 cards on the table (You can find full game rules online).

Use of phrases such as 'do you have any, is it my turn, what do you have' as well as number learning are all possible here.

Schwarzer Peter

Another classic game which involves a lot of communication - This is a great game, as you can create your own sets of cards relevant to whatever language you want to teach - When a player gets a pair, they have say 'I have two ..... or he is running etc..' The possibilities are endless and it's a very easy way to introduce new words as well as reviewing topics.

These are just a few card games you can use.

Have a think about others you have played and you'll see that they are just waiting to be adapted into ESL games which can easily be used at home & school.

As always, let us know your thoughts, and if you have any other card game examples feel free to write about them below.


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