Go Fish

Go Fish

Go Fish is an adaptable and engaging game for ESL classes, allowing students to practice English in an interactive and fun way. With minimal materials - just a deck of cards - Go Fish is simple to set up and play, catering especially to kids. The game accommodates 3 to 6 players ideally, though with multiple decks, larger classes can participate with multiple games running simultaneously. It's best suited for ages 6 to 10, but beginner adult classes can benefit as well.

The game is straightforward, with the aim being to make pairs of matching cards. By the end, each card should have found its pair, and the student with the most pairs wins. The gameplay encourages the use of phrases like “Do you have a number, color fish?” and responses “Yes, I do” or “No, I don’t”, promoting language use and comprehension.

To start, ensure each card has a match in the deck, shuffle, and deal them evenly among players. Players then sift through their cards to find and lay down any pairs they already have, saying phrases like “I have two, yellow fish”. The interactive part begins as players take turns asking others for specific cards to make pairs, using phrases like “John, do you have 5, green fish?”. Responses and the passing of cards (if a match is found) follow, all while practising the target language.

This Go Fish adaptation fosters the learning and practice of phrases “I have _____?” and “Do you have _________?”, along with their respective responses. It can be simplified or complexities to match the learners' levels. For instance, simpler versions can focus solely on counting with phrases like “Number fish, please”, while more advanced versions can incorporate polite requests, e.g., “(person’s name), may I have number, colour fish please?” or “(person’s name), could you please pass me number, colour fish?”.

Overall, Go Fish is an exemplary game for ESL classes, fostering a lively and interactive environment for English language practice.

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