ESL Activity: Read for Speed
Materials: Two eyes, a mouth, and a book.
Directions: Ok, this isn't actually a game, but don't tell that to the kids, because they have a lot of fun with this. To play, you simply choose a passage in their reading book or textbook. Monitoring the clock, you say "Ready . . . Go!" and you read the passage slowly and clearly (at about the pace that you would like the students to read it). Now, it's the kids' turn. They have to read in the same amount of time as you; if they can accomplish this feat, they get points, or a star, or a prize, or whatever.
If the reading level of the students varies much, you may want to write their names on the board and give each student their own personal time to beat. That way you don't end up with all the advanced students winning and all the less-advanced students losing. My students often request this ("Read fast! Read fast!") and if you do this activity weekly or bi-monthly in your class, you will quickly notice a marked improvement in their reading abilities.
I've found that this works better with younger kids and it can actually improve their reading fluency with amazing results. Some older (i.e. junior high/ high school) kids like this, but as is often the case, it just depends on the class.