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Language games (I)

Just a simple idea: games are fun and can be educative. 
Not because our students are playing games are necessarily learning. There are some controversial opinions out there about this educational approach.
I, personally, prefer "real" games, like "old" games as word-games, or some sort of game that involves hands-on, logic... because we can work through more angles and bring different skills to our class.

Also, timing is crucial for implementing games in our classes. The person that knows better your class is you. So, make some time to think about when this activity fits better within your class time. 
A few tips to take into consideration:
- games are great to be used as "transitions" if they are quick and students understand clearly the directions [you might want to spend some time practicing with your students before letting them rule the game]
- games work just beautiful at the end of class
- a good idea can be to give your students a grade [extra-points can be considered for this] for the game. This always motivates some students.

Today I want to share with you this simple but very effective language game. 


El padre de Ana tiene cinco hijas, que son: Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. 

¿Cómo se llama la quinta hija? 

Through this simple sentence we are lighting up our students imagination, their capacity to develop critical thinking, logical thinking, curiosity...
We are encouraging them to think about the language itself (metacognition) and taking ownership of their discoveries. In the end, they have fun doing these easy brainteasers. To develop their prediction capacity, their guessing ability will help them a lot in their future real life situations.

Another classic language game is make students say or write a word starting for the same letter than the previous one ends. 
You organize your students in a circle, the first student says a word in the target language and the next has to come up with a word beginning with the last letter of the previous word.
Example: estudiar-risa-árbol-leer-ratón-nadar-...

Want more games? Check this fabulous website with 47 language games for learning a foreign language.

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.
George Washington Carver
Sources:


  • Squire, K.D. (2002). Rethinking the role of games in Education. Game Studies, 2(1)
  • Squire, K. (2003). Video games in education. International Journal of Intelligent Simulations and Gaming (2) 1.
  • Do Your Players Know Their Role? - What Games Are, August, 2011
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