Drinking Games – A Great Learning Tool

Drinking games really can be a great teaching tool. In fact, they were a huge hit at all three summer camps at which I taught.

Students learning to play English flip-cup.

Alex, a teacher from the UK, is teaching students how to play English flip-cup.

A teacher from a nearby elementary school, with whom I worked at two summer camps, had the idea of playing flip-cup and beer-pong with the students. We substituted beer with juice and added English-speaking elements to the games. For example: during flip-cup, we wrote English words on the bottom of each cup so that the students had to make a sentence with each word before the next student could begin his or her turn. We added a bit of extra excitement by giving candy to the winners.

Our Korean co-teachers, who rarely even came to class (and never actually helped), got involved in these games. This surprising development made the games even more fun, because we had someone there to translate for us as the kids got excited and gave up on speaking English.

Teacher playing flip-cup with students.

A Korean co-teacher joining in a game of flip-cup.

In future camps, these games are definitely going to be a go-to. Do you know of any other fun adult games that can be easily transformed into educational games for kids? If you do, tell me about them in the comment section.

Until next time.


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4 thoughts on “Drinking Games – A Great Learning Tool

  1. Ashley says:

    I did some ‘drinking’ games with my students in Korea too… like the ones with numbers, such as Baskin Robbins (Korean game) or variations on that but with English numbers. You can also use ordinal numbers with older students (First, Second, Third) if they’re high level. We didn’t have any drinks though…

    • wtl0715 says:

      I finally learned to play Baskin Robbins 31this weekend! It would be a great game for camp. I think it would have been way more entertaining for you if they did have drinks.

  2. wtl333 says:

    I learned a lot playing an early 80’s drinking game call “Hi Bob”. We’d watch the Bob Newhart Show and each time someone on the show said “hi Bob”…. we drank some juice.

    Must be some way to apply the principal to esl class. Newhart was in English!

    Juice Pong?

    • wtl0715 says:

      We played juice pong, but it was hard to make it an actual English learning exercise…but I didn’t really care at the end of camp – those kids work too hard anyway. A few minutes of completely uneducational fun never hurt anybody.

      Actually, the “Hi Bob” idea isn’t bad. Make them listen for a certain phrase and do some sort of action when they hear it. Find a way to turn it into a competition.

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