The Yes/No Game

The Yes/No Game

ESL games are a great way of engaging high school students as well as adults. All too often however they are left out of the EFL classroom in favour of more studious approaches. As a new teacher, I felt that students commonly failed to make the connection between games played in class and their own language development.

The Yes / No game is an ESL game that is instantly recognizable as difficult and effective.

There are no materials required to play and the rules are simple.

How to play:

Divide you class into pairs.

In each pair one student job is to ask questions and the others job is to answer those questions.

The only rules are that the student answering questions is not allowed to say yes, no, nod their head in agreement or shake their head in disagreement.

Set a timer for 2 minutes. If the student answering the questions can get through the full 2 minutes without breaking any of the rules they are declared the winner.

If the student asking the questions can force the other student into a binding “yes or no” question before 2 minutes is up, then they are declared the winner.

Switch the student’s roles and repeat.

Switch partners and repeat a few more times.

This is a great activity to use when teaching tag questions. Ex, “Your Italian, Right?” “It’s not going to rain tomorrow, is it?”

I always try to switch partners several times to keep the energy and excitement in the class as high as possible.


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