How to play ESL Jeopardy – a guide for non-Americans

ESL Jeopardy

ESL Jeopardy is a staple of the ESL classroom, but can be a mystery to those brought up outside the USA. This version is fun and easy to play and comes with a list of ready prepared jeopardy questions in the Printables section.

When to play Jeopardy

Roll it out as a reward at the end of a busy week or use it as an end of semester wind-down

How to play

Choose five categories (see examples below) and for each category write six questions ranging in difficulty from easy ($100) to difficult ($600). Alternatively use the ESL Jeopardy Questions on the Printables page.

Write the categories on the board in a grid (see picture).

Split the students into teams of three or four. Boys against girls is always fun. Write the team names in a corner of the board.

The first team starts and chooses a category and an amount. Read out the corresponding question. If the team gives the correct answer then mark up the money under the teamname and put a cross on the grid to show that amount is no longer available. If the team answers incorrectly, leave the grid square open and available to be attempted again later.

The game ends after a set amount of rounds or when there are no questions left.

Jeopardy questions

See the Printables section for a selection of ESL Jeopardy questions.

Possible Jeopardy categories

  • American English
  • British English
  • False Friends
  • Prepositions
  • Anglophone Capitals
  • Spelling
  • Languages
  • Nationalities
  • Name three
  • Trivia

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