ESL Volleyball

ESL Volleyball

ESL Volleyball prioritizes fun, making it the perfect go-to for those unexpected rainy days or when students need a refreshing break. With minimal setup, it offers a quick and lively activity that can be adapted for various language learning targets.

Materials and Setup:

You only require a balloon and a makeshift barrier, such as sofas, portable whiteboards, or chairs. Ensure safety is a priority when setting up your “net”. The game is ideally suited for 4–10 students and typically runs between 10 and 20 minutes.


After setting up your “net”, select your lesson topic. It could range from teaching alphabets, like the letter 'E', to verbs or adjectives. Inflate the balloon, and encourage students to write the chosen topic or vocabulary on it. For instance, they could scribble 'E' repeatedly or words like 'big', 'small', 'fast', and 'slow'.

Split the class into teams. The objective, as in traditional volleyball, is to keep the balloon aloft and prevent it from touching the ground on your side. To infuse learning, stipulate that students must use the target language while playing. For instance, if they let the balloon fall or fail to use the language, the opposing team earns a point. Set a score limit (like first to seven) to declare a winner.


The game is highly adaptable. For teaching “I have”, you can draw random items from students' backpacks on the balloon. As they hit the balloon, they can declare, “I have a pencil”. If teaching preferences, with food items drawn on the balloon, they can say, “I like apples” as they volley. For advanced classes, incorporate question-response patterns to promote more engaging conversations.

If ESL Volleyball becomes a class favourite, consider adding other games like ESL Basketball to your teaching repertoire.

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