Teaching english games
Learning is fun!

Are you new to ESL, switching age groups or looking to motivate your pupils? Make your ESL teaching easier and more fun here.

Hello. I'm Shelley Ann Vernon and I specialize in teaching English as a second or foreign language through English games, short stories, songs, plays and more. I have already helped over 15,000 teachers take the stress out of teaching and put the fun back in. Now I'd like to help you too. I am here for you. I offer you personal support to get the best out of my resources. Every email is answered.

Stories Games and Songs, the acknowledged and documented BEST resources to:

- develop children’s attention span and listening skills*

- stimulate children’s imagination and understanding of the world*  

- develop language ability and appreciation of literature

**(Dragan 2001, Rippel 2006)

Here’s how to motivate your pupils, help them learn effectively and ensure you and your pupils enjoy your lessons more.

Receive free games and stories here!

Books of ESL games
ESL Stories
Happy Clients

What teachers are saying

USA, All my best and with so much gratitude

Thank you, so very tremendously, for your stories, activities and ideas for keeping this very active age of 2-5 year olds engaged. I see the looks on the parents faces and the children are opening up more and more each class. You make me look Soo good!

Milan, Italy, Dec 2015

I’m very excited about using all the activities and transforming my lessons into less teacher-centered ones. Congratulations on the book! It is really well organized and easy to use.

Han sur Lesse, Belgium, Jan 2016

I keep being a bit afraid to 'abandon' my school book, but from time to time I use the games in your book for a change. My pupils really appreciate it and I see them change. When I use a game, they are happy and all participate.

Turkey, March 2016

I keep using the games from primary esl games book and so many things have changed for me for the better. My classes are more fun, I am gaining more confidence as a teacher. My pupils love the games and are learning very fast!!! It's all been really great!

Qatar, March 2016

The Adult games book has really reduced my preparation time. Activities such as 'Guess the Question' have really gone down well with my classes.

International School, Prague

You have no idea how much your resources have changed my work, professional business AND personal life! My job is a source of pleasure and I look forward to it every day. Once again, thank you for all your help and inspiration! You are a great contributor to our world!

France, Nov 2015

I love this book. It has saved me many times. I love getting the kids to work together, it's such an important skill to learn. It is just such refreshing relief for these French kids who have no idea about learning through games.

Dec 2015, China

After I bought your "games for kids" book and started using it my lesson planning became so much simpler and quicker. The lessons a lot more fun and rewarding for my students. I am totally happy with it.

Kiev, Ukraine, Nov 2015

The stories and songs are brilliant, my 4 1/2 year old student loves them and his mother is rapt with his improvement.

Chengdu, China (Wuhou District), Nov 2015

First of all... I love you!!!!! I teach English to 3-7 year olds in China. You speak my children's language! F-U-N !!!

Poland, May 2016

You make the best teaching materials on the planet.

New Zealand, May 2016

I am still enjoying my English teaching. After the 20 stories I am finding the children are able to respond and answer questions. Your course is fantastic. Last week I used the teddy story, it went so well. Thank you for making ESL such simple fun.

Great work, Love from Portugal, Luzia, May 2016

My little students love your stories and I love the fact that I can teach the language always doing what they like best - playing and listening to stories.

Teaching English Games Blog

Useful ESL tips to solve teaching problems

kids learning English through a vocabulary game
12 April 2018

Here is a fantastic game for beginners. It's ideal for:- new vocabulary- vocabulary revision- getting rid of inhibitions, even shy students can join in with this one. This game is so easy to do and needs no preparation. Play in small groups of 15 students. Split your class into two or three groups if you have too many students. How to play Circle set up: Ideally have children sit in a circle with one pupil in the middle. The child in the centre calls out someone’s name three times, for example, ‘Maria, Maria, Maria!’ Maria must react and say her name quickly before the child in the middle has finished saying it three times. Use the game with names the first time you play it and at the start of a new class where children do not know each other.Classroom set up: If you have a cramped classroom, play with students at their desks. Place 5 children at the front, each with a word. These 5 take turns to say their word while the class members try to interject before the three repetitions are up. This way kids can see the faces of those speaking, which is easier than having no visual clues. Bring 5 kids at a time to the front to keep the pace up. If you switch kids over one by one this game will be a drag. Once the children know the game, use it for vocabulary. Give out picture flashcards to the children. The children hold their cards so the child in the middle can see them and play as above. The child says one of the words three times and the child or children holding that picture must say the word or hold up the picture quickly before the three repetitions are up. The teacher can go in the middle if the children do not know all the words. If the same students jump in time and again:- Put them in a group together and let them work together as a "fast" group in future.- Or simply tell them that they cannot win every time and must play one turn and take one turn out.- Or make them judges and in charge of a group. This game is taken from Fun ESL Games for Preschool, available in instant download and paperback.For kids from age 6-12 this book instead: ESL Games, 176 English Language Games for Children 

french girl speaking english with an accent
11 April 2018

*First a calm listening game for any class size:Pronunciation Hands Up How to play This listening game works with phonemes or pronunciation. The teacher repeats a word several times and then unexpectedly changes to another word using a different phoneme. Pick words that students have difficulty with. The teacher says ‘lorry, lorry, lorry, lorry, lolly, lolly, lolly, lolly, lorry, lorry, lorry’. When the students hear the change, they raise their hands. When the change reverts to lorry, students lower their hands. With a small group do this in pairs and award points to the first student to put his or her hand up. Deduct points for hands going up before the change! With a bigger class, split students into teams. Count the number of times you say ‘lolly’ before all students on that team have their hands up. Repeat with team 2 and award the point to the team that was fastest. • A big challenge is to let the students take over from you with the speaking. This certainly encourages them to focus on how they pronounce words. • Try ship and sheep with Spanish students, pass and path with French pupils and lorry or lolly with Japanese learners.Examples of words to compare and contrast in this game Ship and sheepSink and think (th)Eat and heat (h)Earth and hers (th and s)Right and light (r and l)Cat and cartHour and areTail and tellBill and pill (b and p) Now for a calm speaking game for any class size Pronunciation Pictures How to play Put a selection of words or pictures on the board in contrasting pairs or groups that you know your class have trouble with. Then, in pairs, let one child tell the other what to draw from those on the board. The children will understand how important accurate pronunciation is if their partner draws something different to what they thought they said! For example, a Japanese student may have difficulty saying lorry and lolly, so these would be two words or pictures to put up on the board. If you write a selection of totally unrelated sounds, this activity will not be so effective. The idea is to put up very similar-sounding words so that children have to concentrate on saying them correctly so that their partner draws the correct item. This can be a one-off activity or an ongoing one. The pictures could go on the walls, and the children add to them any time they think of another matching word. Other blog posts on pronunciation:Teaching-English: Will I ever improve my pronunciation? 

Shelley ann vernon's skits performed in Taiwan
10 April 2018

Watch this two-minute video of extracts from Shelley Ann Vernon's fun role-plays and skits and see for yourself:1. Kids love it2. They know all the lines by heart3. All kids are involved4. You can be sure they'll remember this vocabulary and grammar in the future. Buy 30 fun plays and skits here, for simple, repetitive English, to help your pupils learn!

kids performing in skit for multi-level English class
2 April 2018

How do you keep your best students from getting bored without leaving the others behind? Have you got some super bright students who are ahead of the others? Or perhaps you have a student who speaks English at home? While you can't pitch your English class to these students, you shouldn't just ignore them, because they already know the lesson. Here is a perfect tool in a multi-level class. It improves speaking fluency and confidence, and bonds pupils in all classrooms. This is a gift of a simple play skit. Use it with 2 to 15 children. If you have more than 15 kids in your class, please divide them into smaller groups and head each group one of your best students as the team leader. Download your free play skit here Dana Perez, Jilin, China says: "It was a favorite of the school, especially when new students entered the class. It was inclusive, non-competitive and the students who knew the lines modeled them before the new students had their turns. And they all vied for a chance to be the driver." Here you may download a free play script for beginners. This script is very simple and repetitive. Give the best student the role of the bus driver. Add extra lines for all the students who can cope with more, and keep the basic script for the bulk of the class. Adapt it to the level you need! If you need help with that, please see the comments just below this blog. Ask me any questions there, or email me! I'll be glad to help. I hope you enjoy the free play! I'm here to help if you need me. All the bestShelley Ann Vernon

If you prefer paperbacks and Kindle books by Shelley Ann Vernon, you will find them here:

shelley ann vernon photoSuccessful author and ESL teacher Shelley Ann Vernon has a passion for helping teachers make their job easier and more fun. Having been a dedicated teacher herself, Shelley knows exactly what it's like to spend hours preparing for a lesson, trying to make it fun and interesting for the students. She has shared her extensive experience as a fun, effective ESL teacher. She has two highly rated books on Amazon, plus other outstanding resources for teaching children. She always responds to fan mail and questions. Shelley speaks at conferences such as IATEFL Cardiff 2009, YALS Belgrade 2011, UCN, Hjorring, Denmark 2014 and Barcelona in 2015. See her upcoming events on author-central for the next opportunity to meet her.

Shelley Ann Vernon, BA, BAMus

Books by Shelley Ann Vernon: