Do games for group and individual lessons differ? Yes! When we work with a group of students our classes tend to be more lively with lots of pair and group work, classroom presentations and healthy classroom noise. Any students can add fun and driving energy in mingling activities. I would say that any game is joyful for a group of students. That is lacking in individual classes. In this article, we will speak about a number of games that can be used during individual lessons and liven up the learning process. 


The student takes a budget of, say, 100$ of mythical money. The idea of the game is to bet his/her money to try to win more (establish a minimum bet). Write an incorrect sentence on the board and ask the student to identify the error, write it down, and make a bet. If the learner can identify the error, he wins. If he can’t find the error he loses the bet. Overall, the student has the chance to correct 5 sentences. If after the correction of 5 errors he/she exceeds the established amount of money, he/she wins the game. 


This is a great way to get students to speak and practice their unit’s vocabulary. In Taboo, the student must communicate a concept or word to the teacher without using a specific list of related words. For example, they must make the teacher say “forest”, yet they are not allowed to use the words “tree,” “woods». .Both the teacher and the student prepare 10 taboo cards. They mix the cards on the table and each takes out a card and explains the word by collecting 1 point for each correct answer. When all the cards are explained, they calculate the points.  

A similar game is Heads Up. In this game, the teacher doesn’t see the words and shows them to the student who describes them to the teacher. The teacher then guesses what the word is based on the student’s description. You could add a time limit for each word to increase the pressure!

Board Games /Puzzles 

One of the great activities which can be used during one to one classes is a board game. Most of the board games, that are not designed for learning a language process, can be easily used in English lessons. For example, Codenames is one of the best party games according to the New York Times. The rules are relatively straightforward: the student gives one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. The teacher attempts to guess the words.

Moreover, the web is full of free downloadable sources of board games about different language patterns (tenses, vocabulary, idioms, phrasal verbs, etc). Here is an example of a board game. Follow the link to get a wealth of board game templates. 

With my individual students, I tend to play a lot of criss-cross puzzles when it comes to vocabulary repetition. Puzzle games are easy to play, they are not boring and add a feeling of pace and competition which is very important during one-to-one classes. Follow this link to create your own criss-cross puzzles and many other types. 

In this article, we have tried to describe those games which are widely used in group classes and can be easily adapted to one-to-one classes. They are engaging, fun and add a feeling of drive and speed to any classroom. 

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