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ESL forum > Games, activities and teaching ideas > Do students really like wordsearches?    

Do students really like wordsearches?


Do students really like wordsearches?

Don �t get me wrong, I have made some myself. What I am wondering, though, is when they are really useful and how often might be too much?

What are DOs and DON �Ts for good wordsearches?


15 Nov 2010      


I have taught several older 60+ adults who really enjoyed doing these for relaxation. If there were words they didn �t know they would check them their dictionaries. They really used to look forward to getting them for homework. I bought one Russian lady in her mid 70s a Large Print Book of them. She loved the challenge and she only started learning English when she was 70.
The best wordsearches have nice clear large print and not so many words that they become tedious. 8-)

15 Nov 2010     


I agree with Apodo . I find they love word wordsearches, when we have finished a unit on certain kind of vocabulary I usually try to give them one to use those words. If they don �t know some, they use a dictionary or I give them clues for them to discover the word.
They never say they have enough of them ! That �s why they are really useful, as it is a fun activity where they can apply what they �ve learnt. Anyway, if you give them one every week I think anyone would get bored, just like with any kind of activity ...

15 Nov 2010     

South Africa

One of the first things I was taught as an EFL teacher, was that wordsearches are not a very good EFL activity. I enjoyed them in my first language (English) as a kid, and can understand how people enjoy them, but I rarely give my students word searches. My specific requirement, as an EFL teacher, currently, is to get students talking, and word searches are too passive for that, and are useless as a speaking activity. Good for reading and letter recognition though, and can be useful when they aren �t too obvious (ie: given word list,) but rather offer clues for students to work out the words to find, or if there �s a �hidden � sentence to figure out. Some students enjoy it as a quiet activity, but others find it boring, most would much rather play an interactive classroom game. (I teach elementary mostly, but I think my adult class would find it patronising if I gave them a wordsearch.) Just my humble opinion! :)

15 Nov 2010     


I only use them with small kids. It is useful because they have to concentrate. I don �t use them my adults, I know they wouldn �t enjoy.

15 Nov 2010     

United States

I use wordsearches for my adults as "extra" work. I don �t tend to give homework per se because many of my students are very busy outside class with full-time jobs and families. (They �re also in my class 15 hours a week, the ones who come faithfully.) Many students, though, do have a lot of free time and like doing puzzles and worksheets, including wordsearches. As foreverjinxed noted, they are good for word pattern recognition.
I think the issue isn �t the age of the student, but the attitude of the teacher. If you personally don �t enjoy wordsearches or believe they are children �s activities, your students will pick up on that. If you are like me, and personally love doing wordsearches, your students won �t feel that you are being condescending by offering them. (I have a program for crossword puzzles, wordsearches, and anagrams, and I love it! Sometimes I �ll even print some out for students. Wink)

15 Nov 2010     

manonski (f)

I think they can be useful for learning how to spell a word. I sometimes give them a definition of a word instead of the word itself.
What I don �t like is a wordsearch without a solution. My students like it when they find a mystery word in the end.

15 Nov 2010     


My students love them.
They are great for spelling.
have a nice day

15 Nov 2010     

United States

All my students love them.
Not only for spelling - but for re-enforcing new vocabulary.

It �s like a treasure hunt!

15 Nov 2010     


too simple for the kind of school and age groups I teach.

15 Nov 2010     


I use them but not on a regular basis and yes, my students enjoy them. What they like best is to create their own wordsearch and then switch papers with a classmate.

15 Nov 2010     

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