Alphabet Race

In the Alphabet Race ESL game, students race to write a word beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

Students for Alphabet Race ESL Game:2+Time for Alphabet Race ESL Game:5-15 mins
Resources for Alphabet Race ESL Game:

Divide the class in small teams of two or three students. Or if you only have a few students, playing individually will work as well.

Each team will need a piece of paper. The teams write the letters of the alphabet in a column, leaving a space after each letter.

  1. Choose a vocabulary category (e.g. objects, food, jobs), or allow the students to write any word. The students race to write one word from the vocabulary category for each letter. When a team finishes, they shout “Stop!”.
  2. With most vocabulary categories, you may want to limit the number of words the students have to write to fifteen or twenty. Otherwise, the game will be impossible or just take too long.
  3. The team that finished first reads their words for the class to check. If they are all correct, they receive a point. However, if there is a mistake, they cannot win, and the same opportunity goes to the team with the most words. This process is repeated until all a team’s words are correct.
  4. Change the vocabulary category and repeat the game as many times as desired. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Target Language

The Alphabet Race ESL game is a quick and easy warmer and vocabulary recall technique that can be adapted for any level. With a beginner or low intermediate class, you could allow them to write any word (and practise the alphabet), or choose food, animals, places in the city or jobs (limiting the number to fifteen).

With a higher intermediate or advanced class, try using the same categories with a target of twenty, or even twenty-five. You could also choose more difficult categories like verbs and adjectives.

For a similar activity in which students have to find objects around them that begin with each letter (good for younger students), try Find The Alphabet.

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