What Can I Say? ESL Speaking Games

What Can I Say ESL games are a simple yet effective way to practice speaking in English, on any topic, for student of all ages and levels. All you need is a list of 25 things, which you can even ask your students to come up with as a class, and an interactive board, which you can find here!

Select your What Can I Say board game.

1.) All players role a die. The player with the highest number goes first, then turns pass around clockwise. (If you are playing online, turns pass around in the order that players logged into the class.)

2.) The first player selects a game piece, roles the die, and begins on the square corresponding to the number. S/he tries to talk about the topic on the square for up to a full three minutes.
-If a player speaks for under a minute, s/he remains on the same square and can try again on the next turn. S/he can repeat ideas from previous attempts.

3.) Players move forward the same number of squares as minutes they are able to speak on the topic.

There are lots of ways that players can approach each topic. Feel free to say whatever you want about the topic, but here are some ideas you can use:
– history and development
– general facts and comparisons
– cultural implications
– opinions and advice
– tell a personal story or invent a story in the 3rd person
– talk about a book, news article, series or movie related to the topic
– make predictions

Rules of the game

1.) Try your best, but don’t worry about making mistakes. Try to speak at a slow, reasonable speed.

2.) Players can only speak in English.

3.) Don’t pause for more than 5 seconds.

4.) Don’t repeat yourself within the same attempt. Don’t repeat other player, unless you are offering a counter-point.

For example, you could say “Daniel suggested that drones weren’t an important innovation, but I strongly disagree because…”
5.) Players can list up to 5 items. If they try to list a 6th item, their time stops.

For example, if the topic were ‘famous battles’, a player could say, “Some of the most famous battles in history are the battles of Yorktown, Gettysburg, Hastings, Stalingrad, and Waterloo.”

6.) Stay generally on topic. You can stray a bit, but other players can call you out if you use more that 2 full sentences that aren’t related to the topic at all.

If a rule is broken, the time stops.

Mystery Edition