What do you do when you really want to have fun speaking other languages?
Play games of course!
Playing games in another language incorporates all of the best attributes of language instruction by utilizing the most desired qualities of communicative language lessons—language support (scaffolding), purposeful communication, motivation, the development of linguistic competence, extensive participation opportunities for all language levels, just the right amount of repetition, feedback processing, authenticity and, lest we forget, they are fun too! All of this is incorporated into the simple activity of playing a game? Wow– perhaps playing games really isn’t so simple after all.
We have done this in Spanish and French (and would love to do this in Arabic!).
Usually what we have done is to review the phrases used most during the game, create some sort of short discussion using these phrases and then jump into playing. Sometimes we review the grammar, sometimes we don’t–it depends on the group.
Some of my favorite games to play in Spanish and French are: I doubt it, and Resistance–both great games to use for practicing the subjunctive, High Society, Monopoly, Apples to Apples, Timeline (absolutely love that game) Uno, Wits and Wagers–known in French as Quitte ou Double, and an art game that I invented.:-)
The How to’s of playing these games are listed on the Teachers Pay Teachers website.
My favorite game store for French games is Le Valet d’Coeur in Montreal.