Using Games to Learn English


Games to Learn EnglishYou may be going to an English class or trying to learn from books or a computer, but have you thought about using games to learn English?

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Any games you play with English speakers will help you improve your speaking and listening skills, but let's take a look at some of the games that will also help with specific skills.

There are two kinds of games we'll look at here.

We will start with traditional games, and then look at computer games and online games.


Traditional Games – Word Games

One of the most popular board games in the world is Scrabble.

New Game :) What does a Scrabble game yo by garlandcannon, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  garlandcannon 

In this game, each person has 7 "tiles" with letters on, which they place on a special board to make words. Each letter has a points value and the person who scores the most points with their words wins the game.

If you are not a native English speaker, then you may want to play this game with a dictionary. It can help with spelling and vocabulary.

If you play a computer or online version it will automatically check if your words are correct.

Other word games are:

Boggle

Boggle by smudie, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  smudie 


Upwords


Upwords with Roxana by akeg, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  akeg 


Pictionary, where players draw a description of a word for others to guess. These can all help increase vocabulary.

Pictionary by steakpinball, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  steakpinball 

Quiz Games

One of the most popular quiz games is Trivial Pursuit.

Trivial Pursuit by KellyK, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  KellyK 

But there are now so many quiz games it is impossible to list them all . . .


Games based on TV shows such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" are also available as board games.

These games will test your comprehension and vocabulary.

Of course, it is fine to use a dictionary in case there are any words you don't understand. (Actually, you should!)

Many of these games are also available as electronic versions, but playing a board game with English speaking people will also help your conversation skills in ways that electronic versions probably wouldn't.

Online Games – Games to Practice English Skills

If you search on the internet for "games to practice English" you will find there are a lot of quizzes and animated games.

These usually help you with grammar, spelling or vocabulary. They are designed specifically for students.

Other Computer Games

If you enjoy role playing games or strategy games, there are many to choose from that could help you learn English, especially if they are interactive and you play with other people.

World of Warcraft is very popular, and there are lots of opportunities to talk with other players to organize your strategies. There are many other similar games online.

Wolf’s Desk - Those boxes are World of W by gamerscoreblog, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  gamerscoreblog 


Games consoles such as the xbox, PlayStation or Wii are becoming more popular and although most games on these are action games, there are an increasing number of puzzle games, word games and educational games.

xbox by rdenubila, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  rdenubila 


Hand-held devices
such as the PSP (PlayStation Portable) and the Nintendo DS also have games and activities that can help with vocabulary, spelling, and they even have recipe programs that can help with comprehension of recipes.

NINTENDO DS BROWSER by shrk, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  shrk 


Lastly, smart phones and tablets or pads have apps (applications) that can help you learn English.

iPad Case by Yutaka Tsutano, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Yutaka Tsutano 

Whether they are specially designed for that purpose (such as vocabulary tests), or games such as Words With Friends (available on iPhones and Android phones) which is similar to Scrabble, they are games to learn English in an enjoyable way.

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