ESL students need to learn numbers. And that can be a real challenge for the teacher.
Apart from drilling, what can you do? Why not try some of these games. They can help students practice numbers while having fun.
Students sit in a circle and count in turn one number at a time.
Multiples of 5 are replaced by the word PING
Multiples of 11 are replaced by the word PONG
The idea is to try and go quickly. Each student must avoid making a mistake and being eliminated. It looks like this:
1, 2, 3, 4, PING, 6, 7, 8, 9, PING, PONG, 12, 13, etc…
The goal is to get to 55: Ping Pong.
Students lower their heads and must collectively count from 1 up to a specific number. The number is the amount of students in the class. Anyone can say the next number, but if two students say the same number at the same time, the class must start again at number 1. After failing for a few times, allow the students to develop strategies. For example, count by rows, alphabetically, etc.
This game works well in partners. Students count up by 1 or 2 numbers at a time from 1 to 21. They alternate turns and the winner is the person who says 21. The students will begin to see the strategy of when to count up 1 or 2.
Students form pairs and play this game like paper, rock, scissors. Students hold 0-10 fingers up behind their back. On the count of three they show the fingers to their partner. The first person to correctly say the sum of both people’s fingers is the winner.