Teaching English Overseas can either be an experience that you will never forget (in a good way); or it can be an experience that you will never forget, but in a bad way. There are two kinds of ESL (English Second Language) Teachers in Asia: THE GOOD ONES and THE BAD ONES.

The bad ESL teachers don’t play any ESL Games; even though ESL Games are proven to motivate your students to try hard, and encourage them to learn.

The good ESL teachers play ESL games in every single class. They play fun, exciting and challenging ESL games in the class because they know that their students will be able to learn English at a much faster speed than students who don’t use ESL games.

Here is one great ESL game that you can start to use in your next class:

This teaching game is called “TABOO.” TABOO is a fun game that helps teach new vocabulary and it is a blast to play!


1. The teacher will divide the class into two equal teams. The n the teacher will then pick a number from one to ten. Whichever team guesses the correct number gets to choose if they would like to go first or last..

2. The teacher will pick one student from the team that will go first, and get them to come to the front of the classroom. The teacher will get this student to sit down on a chair with his/her back turned to the blackboard.

3. The teacher will then write the “WORD” which that student will have to say in order to get a point for his/her team.
 For example: The teacher writes the word, “SPIDERMAN” on the board.

4. Next, the teacher will write 3 keywords that relate to the main keyword (Spiderman).
For example: Mary Jane – Venom – Peter Parker

5. The object of the game is to help the student who is sitting on the chair to say the main keyword; in this case, “Spiderman.” However, none of the students are allowed to say any of the words which are written on the board. The words are the board are “TABOO.”

The class will try to help their teammate guess the word by giving clues, such as:

“He is a boy.”
“He is like Batman.”
“He has a comic book.”
“He is in many movies.”
“He works as a newspaper reporter.”
“He was bitten by a radio active insect.”

6. Each turn has the same amount of time to help the chosen classmate to guess the word.

7. After time is up or the team gets the point – pick someone from the other team to come up.

This is a great ESL classroom game that encourages your students to speak English; and most importantly they will be speaking English and having fun at the same time!

Tips and Warnings:

Try to use keywords that are related to which ever subject you are teaching them.
Don’t make the words too easy or too difficult to guess.
Have fun while you are teaching English and your students will enjoy you much more!