Hangman is one of the most commonly played word games and is a very popular filler activity in lessons. However, compared to the other activities we have introduced in this series, it's of rather limited value, and its popularity is due mainly to the fact that it requires no preparation.
As in the matching games described in our previous post, most vocabulary activities aim to reinforce the association between the words - including pronunciation and spelling - and their meanings. In contrast, there is no need for students to remember the meaning of a word in order to succeed at hangman.
The main value of this game is in practising spelling, particularly with words that are a little tricky. For example, this is an effective way to get learners to notice the spelling of numbers in order to overcome common errors such as *threeteen* and *fiveteen*.
While hangman can be useful at the early stages where learners are still consolidating their knowledge of the English alphabet, we wouldn't recommend using it regularly after that.