Eliminate - A Great TEFL Game For Young Learners And Adults


Today we're going to showcase a game that you can use in almost any TEFL class - Eliminate (Also known as "Guess Who").

This is a very adaptable game that can be used to review yes/no questions with your class. You can adapt it to suit the various ages and levels of your students. 

The whiteboard example above is one of an infinite number of ways to set up the game.

How To Play

1. Set up the whiteboard as shown and the teacher writes down one of the names on a piece of paper (hidden from the students).

2. Students take turns asking yes/no questions such as ‘Does he have a big nose?’, ‘Does he have small ears?’, and ‘Does he have long hair?’ The teacher answers the question simply with ‘Yes, he does.’ Or ‘No, he doesn’t’.

3. Through a process of elimination the students can work out who the person is written down on the paper.

4. When a student knows the answer, he/she can then ask the second question, ‘Is he Harry?’ If the answer is correct the winning student can be empowered to choose and write down the next name and act as the ‘little teacher’ by answering questions for the next round.

You can play this in teams or with individuals, which makes it suitable for many different class sizes. The game is great as a review activity, or part of the practice stage of a lesson. It can also make a good warmer, depending on the time you usually allocate to this stage of the lesson.

Hints and Tips

- Allow students to draw a face on their own paper as the game progresses to help them eliminate.

- After the first few rounds erase the sentence pattern to increase difficulty.

- Add more or fewer faces to lengthen or shorten each round.

- Review all adjectives and body parts before to help weaker students participate.

- More advanced students can be told to use more complicated questions, more difficult adjectives, or be given wild animals instead of people.

- Try substituting names on the whiteboard for the names of students in your class! Or even change the sentence pattern to ‘Can he/she/it ____?’ Such as ‘Can it fly?’, ‘Can it swim?’ etc.

- You can also make students ask a minimum number of questions before anyone is allowed to guess, in order to keep the practice going.

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this game? Let us know below!