ESL Countdown

ESL Countdown esl Kids games interactive whiteboard TEFL

ESL Countdown is a very popular show in the UK and Ireland. It is a simple game that is great as a warmer or cooler for the ESL classroom. It’s useful with nearly every level and a great way to get your students writing and practicing spelling. Everyone from young learners to adults can enjoy this simple and fun ESL activity.

Activity Time: 5 mins +
Materials required: whiteboard and optionally a projector to use the digital version below.
Skills practiced: Writing, brainstorming, vocabulary and fluency.
Level: All levels Young learners – adults
Note: The clock is set for 30 seconds. Allow extra time for younger or lower level students.


1. Ask students to take out a pen and notebook. Put students into pairs or on their own depending on age and level.

2. Explain to the students that they must pick vowels or consonants and then they have 30 seconds to write any words they can make with the letters on the board. The team who creates the longest correct words gets one point for each correct word.

3.You can use the digital version below by clicking on the different options, click on more rules for instructions etc.


  1. LOVE this. Get’s my adult classes totes emoash.

  2. Can you make the instructions clearer? I’m not sure how this goes.

  3. Hello ms

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