We have pretty much stolen the concept of Taboo and made it into a TEFL game. You create little cards. On each card you put one main word and, under the main word, 4, 5, 6 words (depending on the level of the group). For example:
All you need to do is split the class into teams, explain the rules, assign team names and then start. It works by picking a person from 1 team. The student comes to the front of the class and takes a card. Give him a few seconds to read and work out a plan of how to explain the main word and then give him 30 seconds to explain the word to his team, without using the words below. His team has to guess by shouting out their answers. After 30 seconds the other team has the opportunity to guess and steal the points.
Often used as a revision tool, hangman is great for focusing on how something is written. It is regularly used as a warm-up for a lesson. You can take the vocabulary taught from the lesson before, or even from the last few lessons, and the students have to shout out letters and try to guess the word before you build a picture of a hanged man. After a few goes you can then let the students take over making up the words. They can continue to use words from previous lessons, or you can allow them to choose any word they know.
For children we can use classic party games, such as musical statues. The idea is that the students move around the room, traditionally dancing, and when the music stops they must freeze and stand completely still. The last person to do so, or if anyone moves, is out. A TEFL twist is that, rather than dancing, they have to move around the room acting as an animal you shout out. For example: The teacher shouts out “elephant” and the music starts. The children move around the room pretending to be an elephant and then freeze as the music stops. The teacher decides who stopped last, they sit down, and then the teacher restarts the music calling out a different animal.