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The tongue twister game

Average: 3.9 (137 votes)

All levels and ages enjoy tongue twisters. They work well as a warm up to get students speaking, and they help students to practise pronouncing difficult sounds in English.

Kate Joyce


  • Write some tongue twisters on the board or on pieces of paper to distribute to students. Here are some examples:  
    • She sells sea shells on the sea shore.
    • A proper copper coffee pot.
    • Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.
    • Red lorry, yellow lorry, red lorry, yellow lorry.
    • A big black bug bit a big black bear.
    • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  • Ask students to read the tongue twisters aloud. Then ask them to read them again but faster. Then ask them to read them as fast as they can three times in a row.
  • Ask the students if they know any tongue twisters in their L1 or another language they might know. Have a go at saying them yourself. This usually causes a good laugh, and makes the activity more two-way and interactive.
  • Now ask the students to have a go at creating their own tongue twisters. This activity is a variation of the well-known 'Consequences' game. Write the following questions on the board:
  1. Write your first name
  2. What did she/he do?
  3. Where?
  4. When?
  5. Why? Because …
  • Now give students the following instructions:
    • Get into teams of about five people.
    • On a piece of blank paper write your answer to question 1.
    • Pass the paper to the person on your right. Write an answer to question 2 on the paper you have just received. Your answer must begin with the first sound in the person's name (e.g. Bob – bought a bike).
    • Pass the paper on again and write an answer to question 3, again using the sound at the beginning of the name.
    • Continue until all the questions have been answered.
    • Pass the paper back to the person who started with it. Read all of the tongue twisters aloud.
  • It might help if you give the students some examples before they begin the exercise:
    • Bob bought a bike in Bali on his birthday because he was bored.
    • Susan sang a song at the seaside on the 6th of September because she saw some sunshine.
    • Laura laughed in the laundrette at lunchtime because she lost her laundry.
Language level
Language Level: 
Pre-intermediate: A2