Top games to help you speed up your English language learning

Studying English the same way every day can become tiresome. By varying the methods you use as part of your English practice you’ll:

  • Learn English more quickly

  • Feel more inspired and motivated

  • Enjoy your studies more

There are lots of entertaining games that can help you improve your English language learning.

Even native English speakers like to keep improving their English language skills. All of the games here are enjoyed by people in English-speaking countries all over the world. Some can be played alone and some with a group of friends. They’re not just fun, they also help to improve a whole range of English language skills, from vocabulary to comprehension.


2 or more players

This game is a real test of vocabulary, and spelling too. Scrabble is a game where players score points by placing tiles with single letters of the alphabet on them onto a gameboard in order to make words.

Each player has seven letter tiles to play with at a time. Letters that are less commonly used in English, such as x, z, and k, are worth more points than commonly used letters – like e, a, and i.

You can create new words by adding letters to existing words on the board – which makes it a great way to learn about prefixes and suffixes, such as -ing and un-,  that lengthen words.

Scrabble is a hugely popular game around the world and is available in lots of languages besides English. You can join Scrabble clubs, and the Scrabble World Championships have been taking place every two years since 1991.

As well as the traditional board game version, you’ll also find digital versions to play online, via social media sites like Facebook, and as an app to play on your phone.

Scrabble is now a game you can play anywhere, so you can have a fun way to improve your English vocabulary wherever you go.


Suitable for single players

You’ll find a crossword in every daily newspaper in English-speaking countries. You can also find whole crossword puzzle books, online crosswords, crossword apps, and crosswords that you can download or print off from the internet.

A crossword looks like a grid containing white and shaded squares. It’s a puzzle where your goal is to fill in the white squares with letters that make up words or phrases, either from left to right, or from top to bottom.

You’re given a numbered clue for each word or phrase in the grid, some going ‘across’ and some going ‘down.’ You’re also told how many letters there are in the word or phrase.

Crosswords are a fantastic way to improve your English vocabulary, giving you new ways to express words you already know, as well as teaching you new words.


2 or more players

This traditional English game is a fun way to improve your comprehension and communication skills. Each player takes a card that tells them the name of a book, film, TV show, song, word, phrase or action to act out – or players can think of their own.

The player then has to act this out without speaking. It’s a game that forces you to think about language and meaning. You can split words up into syllables and act out each syllable, and you can act out words that sound like the words and phrases contained in the clue you’re trying to act out.


Suitable for playing alone

Try out some of EF English Live’s fast and fun English quizzes. From English basics to holiday English you can test your existing knowledge while improving your English skills. Try the same quiz again and again to monitor how much your English has improved.