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ESL Teens and Adult Game: The Ring of Fire

Tons of people like the occasional drinking games in pubs and bars, they can really make a good evening out great. If you’re one of these people, then you may have played ‘Ring of Fire’ before. It’s a pub drinking game played with a deck of cards. Actually though, one of the best adult ESL games you can play in class is Ring of Fire; you just have to change the rules a little bit! ESL adult speaking games don’t come much better than this!

Materials you will need:

A pack of playing cards, a bowl from home, 30 or so bits of blank paper, whiteboard and board marker

How to Play ‘Ring of Fire’

  1. Give each student three bits of blank paper. Each student needs to write down three questions, fold them up and put them in the bowl.

  2. Shuffle up the playing cards well and spread them around the bowl in a circle. Make sure all the cards are face down, so no one can see what the cards are.

  3. Your students will be taking cards and each card has a different meaning. Before you begin the game, write down each card’s meaning on the board.

King: Ask two students to play paper, scissors, stone. The loser must answer one question from the bowl.

Queen: Ask any question to a girl.

Jack: Ask any question to a guy.

10: Thumb Master! Whoever picks this card keeps it. At any point, they must quietly place and keep their thumb on the table. As other students notice this, they also quietly place their thumb on the table. The last student who hasn’t put their thumb on the table must answer a question.

9: The teacher must answer a question!

8: Whoever picks the eight must take a selfie!

7. Topic! The person who picked the card gives a topic and each student must say a word associated with that topic. Any student who delays too long or repeats a word must answer a question.

6. Choose again

5. Ask a question to the student who walked into class first.

4. Ask a question to the student who walked into class last.

3. Ask three questions to three different students.

2. Ask two questions to the same person!

Ace: Unlucky card! Students answers three questions from three different students!

4. Students now take it in turns to pick a card from the Ring of Fire. Whatever card they pick, they must show the other students and then do whatever action that card is. For example, if a student picks a 2 of Diamonds, then they must ask any one student two questions from the bowl. If a student picks an 8 of Clubs, then they must hold up their phone and take a selfie!

This is an hilarious ESL game for adults and your students will enjoy this a lot! Encourage your teen and adult students to think up of creative questions. Maybe give them some examples first such as ‘What was your first memory?’ or ‘If you won the lottery, what would you do?’