Call My Bluff

The Call My Bluff ESL game is a version of the popular definitions quiz show, great for a higher-level warmer/time-filler, or modal verbs of possibility.

Students for Call My Bluff ESL Game:6+Time for Call My Bluff ESL Game:10-30 mins
Resources for Call My Bluff ESL Game:
Internet or Prepared Words

You will need some obscure words that the students don’t know and can’t guess easily (avoiding Latin-based words is a good idea). If you have an Internet connection, simply use our Call My Bluff online game.

In class, divide the students into teams of three.

One option is to give the students 10-15 minutes to prepare definitions themselves. Give each team a few different suitable words. They prepare three definitions for each word, one of which is true and two of which they invent.

However, if you are playing this game as a quick warmer and want to save time, pre-prepared definitions are a better option. If you have an Internet connection and a projector in class, just use our Call My Bluff game in Game mode.


Note: With student-prepared definitions, the teams take turns sharing one of their words.

  1. A word is presented, along with the three possible definitions.
  2. The teams playing discuss each definition and guess which one is correct.
  3. If they choose the correct definition, they win a point.
Target Language

The Call My Bluff ESL game is a great warmer or time-filler for higher level students. Plus it expands your students’ vocabulary at the same time! Advanced students will get the most out of this game, but it works with intermediate groups too.

Particularly for intermediate groups, the team(s) debating the answer has the opportunity to use modal verbs of possibility (it might/could/must/can’t be… etc.). If that is your target language, ask them for their opinions using that grammar before they guess.

If students prepare and present their own definitions, they will enjoy trying to lie convincingly. Explain to them that the more detail they provide the more successful they are likely to be. Advanced students could even give fictional etymologies of words and invent suffixes, prefixes etc.

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