ESL Games: Parts of Speech Lingo

The Game: This classroom game gets your students actively focusing on identifying parts of speech while competing in a fun, interactive environment.

Research Says: Parts of Speech Lingo fits many of the advantages of using games in the ESL classroom:  It is “motivating and challenging; it helps sustain effort of learning; it provides language practice in speaking, listening, and reading; and it encourages students to interact and communicate” (Forum Vol. 33, No. 1, Jan.-Mar. 1995, Lee Su Kim).


  1. 1 Lingo card for each student (with 2 rows of 4 squares) printed on typing paper or cardstock
  2. About 72 (9 for each part of speech) different sentence strips gathered from classroom work, the daily newspaper, and various text with one part of speech highlighted—glued on index cards and laminated (a list of the sentences can be typed and xeroxed for the students to copy, or there can be several sets of the actual sentence strips xeroxed and glued on cards and then passed out at random to students)
  3. 3 sets of 8 index cards with various parts of speech written on them and laminated
  4. Chips


How to Play

  1. Students are given a blank Lingo card.
  2. A list of sentences is either passed out to each student or a group of students to copy sentences from on their respective cards, or the actual sentence strips glued on index cards are passed out.  It is okay for different students to have the same sentences on their cards. Students are not to copy more than three sentence examples of the same parts of speech on their Lingo card.
  3. After a review of parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, conjunctions, prepositions, interjections, adjectives, and adverbs), the teacher shuffles the 24 (3 sets of 8) index cards with various parts of speech written on them, and turns them face down.
  4. Chips are passed out for student use.
  5. The teacher/caller reads one card at a time and if the student(s) have a sentence with a highlighted word as that specific part of speech, they place a chip on their Lingo card, in the box with that sentence. Students can only place one chip on their card for each part of speech drawn, even though they might have more than one sentence with a highlighted word of that specific part of speech.
  6. For each part of speech that is read, the student answers can be checked in many ways. The class can determine if the example is correct, one student can be called on, or the teacher/caller can acknowledge if the parts of speech are correct or not.
  7. The person who fills his or her card first wins and shouts out “Parts of Speech Lingo!”

How to Make It

  1. The students and teacher select 72 sentences (9 for each part of speech) and highlight the part of speech. These can be cut out of various text, printed on the computer, or hand copied. Sentences can also come from student work.
  2. These can either be combined on a list for students to select from or the actual strips glued on index cards and laminated prior to being passed out to the students.
  3. The 8 names of the parts of speech are written on individual cards for the teacher/caller to read. Three sets need to be made.


  1. The game can be played to get a row of 4 to win, all four corners, or to fill the complete card of 8 squares.
  2. The teacher could write the sentences on the Lingo cards.
  3. The students could find their own sentences and highlight parts of speech.
  4. The game can be played in teams.
  5. The game can be adapted to use a few parts of speech rather than all 8 parts of speech.
  6. The parts of speech cards could be distinguished further: for example, subject pronouns, object pronouns, and possessive pronouns; nouns and proper nouns, or nouns that are names, nouns that are places, nouns that are things; adverbs that describe how, adverbs that describe why, adverbs that describe when, and adverbs that describe where, etc. Therefore, the 8 parts of speech cards would need to be changed to reflect how many parts of speech are used and how these parts of speech are distinguished.

About Marc Anderson

Marc Anderson
Marc Anderson is the CEO of online English training company that teaches English online to students around the world. During his free time he likes to read, travel and enjoy life.
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