Entertaining ESL activities include the games Battle Ships and Word Chain. The games don't require any supplies to play and are able to accommodate a large group of players. Each game tests players' vocabulary skills.
To play Battle Ships, students divide into at least four teams. Each team has one captain and one shooter. The rest of the team are crew members. Each team chooses a name for its ship and announces that name to the room. Each team then lines up with the captain first in line, followed by all the crew members and the shooter at the end.
The teacher announces a word category, such as "animals." After giving the students a couple minutes to think of words in that category, the teacher says a team name. The captain and every crew member take turns saying a word that belongs to the category. When the line reaches the shooter, he says another team's name. That team must then go through the same process.
If a captain or any team member fails to respond after a couple seconds, that ship is sunk, and the team must join another team. If a shooter can't think of a valid team name, that also sinks his ship.
To play Word Chain, the teacher says a word. The student must say a word that begins with the last letter of the teacher's word, and play proceeds with each student following this pattern. Words can't be repeated. If a player doesn't say a valid word, he is out of the game. Play continues until there is only one winning player left.