Othello is a great game that makes ESL learning fun. In my experience any game you can use that your students already know the rules to is almost guaranteed to work. To play the game Othello there is a little bit of preparation required but it’s super easy. All you need to do is cut out circles. 25 white and 25 black, then glue them together. These ones are laminated but that’s not required.

To play the game of Othello simply put 25 vocabulary cards on the ground in 5 x 5 grid. For this version of the game I used food cards.

This ESL game is simple. Students place their circles (black or white) on the card they want. The goal is to out flank your opponent. If the pieces are ordered B-W-W and then the player using black places a black circle at the far end of the chain out flanking the white player B-W-W-B then the white circles are turned over B-B-B-B.

To make this an ESL game you simply have to insert a language target.

Black -> “What food do you like?”

White -> “I like apples.” Then the white player places a circle on the apple card.

Alternate and repeat until all of the squares are filled.

When every square is full the player/team with the most pieces wins.


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