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Board Football (soccer)

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This ESL game works really well but it can be quite difficult to set up and explain to your students. Once the students get the hang of it, I'm sure that you'll be pleased with the results. This ESL activity can really get the kids excited.

Time: 20 minutes

Materials: White board and blu-tac.

Preparation: Draw a football on a piece of paper and place the blu-tac on the back. Draw a football pitch on the board (see below).

ESL Football soccer activity game

Divide your class into two teams and assign team names.On the pitch, write the team names (or abbreviations, in this case E=England and K=Korea)) on various different places around the pitch. The more team members you have on the pitch, the longer it will take for the ball to get from one end of the pitch to the other.

I suggest using three or four players in each team. If the game is too long the students will lose interest. The object of the game is for the students to reciprocate the target vocabulary and then pass the ball up the pitch and score a goal. The ball should start in the center of the pitch, the teacher should decide which team will go first. This can be done by flipping a coin.

Let's assume that team England won the toss. Now E3 has the ball and needs to pass it to E4. To do this, the student must say the correct vocab. If this is done successfully the ball is moved. Then the next student must do the same. If the student is successful then he/she shoots the ball into the net and scores a goal. If the student is unsuccessful then the other team makes a tackle and the ball goes to the player from the other team adjacent to the previous team (in this case the ball would have been lost by player E4 and would go to K2). The whole process is then repeated with the students from the Korean team passing the ball up the pitch in the other direction until they score a goal.


    1) If students are misbehaving in the classroom then you can award the other team a penalty. They then get a chance to make a shot at the goal i.e. if they say the correct vocab. then they score a goal.

    2) You can give the other team a chance to make a save when a shot is made by using the rock, paper, scissor method.

    3) You can adapt this game to encompass other sports e.g. basketball or hockey.