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ESL forum > Ask for help > Telephone games    

Telephone games

United Kingdom

Telephone games
Hi People!
In a moment of weakness, I promised my mother-in-law 30-minute telephone classes three times a week. Her level is quite low but I have been using question games which she really enjoys. So far I have done guess famous people (living and dead) to practice short-form responses. I have also done "guess my job" which she absolutely loves. However, I am running out of ideas for question games and guessing games over the phone. I tried "description games" over the phone with her but she found it way too difficult. 
Does anybody have any suggestions?
Oh, and another thing, if any of you downloaded my Phrasal verbs for the Environment worksheet, I made a mistake on the first page. the definition for H should be "to demand something publicly." I have just updated it. My student pointed out the mistake yesterday, it was all terribly embarrassing. 

11 Sep 2020      



11 Sep 2020     


Cartoon characters & Disney movies

11 Sep 2020     


Hi spinney
How about:
  • animals (wild, domestic, pets, for consumption, movies)
  • kitchen utensils
  • household appliances
  • clothes
  • movies and songs from her era that she would be familiar with
  • inventions from her era that she would be familiar with
  • if she has a garden: plants in her garden, pests, gardening tools
  • does she sew? If so, fabrics, notions, sewing equipment
  • recipes that she has cooked

11 Sep 2020     


Hi Dale !
I love the "moment of weakness" thing :) 
What about a major event to guess (the death of Diana or Elvis...) ?
By the way ,we all make mistakes I was mortified the other day discovering that I had written a beginner´s mistake ....
Even if it was prior to issue the ws my pride took a blow....
Have a great week end and much fun entertaining your mother in law.

12 Sep 2020     


Here are some ideas: 
  • Guess the celebrity (celebrity heads, basically)
  • Guess who? You could use people she knows; family, friends, etc.
  • Guess the mystery sound. or song?
  • Guess what I bought? Is this the sort of description game you tried? Maybe you can find a way to make it easier. Give her a list of possible items at the start, and then describe them one at a time?
  • Guessing rhymes (I´m thinking of an insect; it rhymes with ´see´)
My guess () is that a lot of these types of games have found their way onto apps/sites like Kahoot! now so it might be worth having a look at those, to see what you can modify to use over the ´phone.
It´s good to get feedback, I think, though it does depend how someone tells you that you made a mistake!
It also shows students are paying attention and using the materials carefully, if they are picking up mistakes.

    12 Sep 2020     


    I wouldn´t know where to start. On the phone? 30 minutes? I´m already nervous about it.
    I addition to what has been suggested, I´d ask her to choose a photograph, (choose 3 items/actions/places! Don´t tell me) and you ask questions and guess. Then ask her to summarize 1) what you´ve guessed 2) what you haven´t guessed, etc. etc. The typical 20 questions can become a 30 questions! This way you could think of dealing with some of the points in you plan for her.
    Does your mother in law use the internet for anything in particular? Does she use whatsapp? or email?
    Good luck!

    12 Sep 2020     

    United Kingdom

    Oh, my word! Thank you very much, people! There is some useful stuff here to be getting on with. Some of it I have already done. The trouble with my mother-in-law is that she is too clever and cultured by far. The other week we were doing famous dead people and I had to guess Jorge Luis Borges. I only knew because I had some of his short stories (explicated form) when I first started learning Spanish. Oh, and I started googling Argentinian writers. I got her back by getting her to guess who Yoko Ono was. 
    I was thinking of getting her to guess where I am and then thinking of a famous monument when I teach her tomorrow. Knowing her, she will think of something like the Tewahedo Church in Ethiopia or an unusual rock face in Galicia.  
    Meanwhile, I´m writing a list of your suggestions. Please keep them coming!  

    13 Sep 2020     


    Could you also try some story-telling games? So she starts the story, and then every so often you add in a line that she has to react to. (Something like "But then an enormous storm came and blew away the house.") 
    I also like the "alien" game. You are an alien (who speaks perfect English but has no knowledge of our world) and she has to guide you in finding out how everyday things work. Imagine she´s going to teach you how to cook a roast chicken - she might say, "First get a big pot." Then you ask, "What is a pot? what is it made of? What does it look like?" etc. 

    13 Sep 2020     

    United States

    Geography works too "Where is Spinney?" --you can use locations (real or fantasy), or landmarks, or general areas (kitchen, supermarket, etc.).
    Who am I can also be done with fictional characters from books or movies--especially using secondary characters.
    What a good son-in-law you are.  LOL,

    14 Sep 2020