By Kevin Fabris

September 3, 2016

10 - 20 Minutes, Adult, Easy ESL Games,, EFL, Fun, Game, Games, Guessing Game, High School, Materials Required, Practice It, Question, Resource, Small Class, Some Materials Required, Speaking, Use It

Classroom games are often based games we all played as kids and then adapted to ESL / EFL learning by adding a language target.

This technique almost always works because you know the game is fun before testing it with a room or students. As an added bonus most of the time students will instinctively know the rules as well because they've grown up playing the same game or something similar to it.

The Details About Battleship:

  • The only materials you'll need is one copy of the attached PDF for each of your students and a pencil for each of them as well.  
  • Battleship works best with intermediate level students.  
  • Students must know how to read to play this game.  
  • A Game can last between 5 and 15 minutes.

  • The Set Up is Easy:

    1. Give each student a copy of the Battleship PDF located below.
    2. Have each student draw a Battleship on their papers. Make sure the location is secret.
    3. A Battleship should be between 3-5 squares in size and must be linear.
    4. The Battleships can be drawn horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
    5. Break your class into pairs.

    Here's How To Play Battleship:

    1. Students take turns asking "Do you like _______?".
    2. If the answer is "No" write an "X" in the corresponding square to indicate a miss.  Sometimes it's a little confusing for kids if they have to answer "No" about something they really like.  Make sure to clarify that "Yes" and "No" are only related to the Battleship's location.
    3. If the answer is "Yes" draw a check mark in the corresponding square to indicate a hit.
    4. Students simply take turns asking "do you like _____?" until one student successfully hits each square that the other student's Battleship is hiding on.

    Want to make Battleship more difficult?

    After your class has played Battleship a few times you can make it more difficult by getting the students to draw multiple ships on the board.  This ensures the game lasts much longer and the students get a lot more practice.

    Another method you could use to make it more difficult is simply adding a follow question after “Do you like _______?”

    Q – “Do you like broccoli?
    A – “No, I don’t”
    Q – “Why?”
    A – “I don’t like vegetables.”

    Here’s the PDF.


    • It requires almost zero teacher talking time.
    • It's a great game for intermediate students.
    • It requires some strategy.  

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