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How To Use Games to Teach Kids Languages


Unlike adults kids can absorb languages a lot quicker than we can, so teaching them a new one is going to be pretty easy. You can even make it easier for them and more fun if you also include some games they more than likely already know in their own language. You can use the games to teach the kids the same games they know by using the equivalent words in the new language that you are trying to teach them. So the kids will be having fun while they are also learning a new language.

One game you can play would be bingo. You will need to make enough bingo cards so that all the kids you are teaching has a card. You can make the cards with either 12 or 16 squares and then put a number or a word in each square. You can teach them the basics by holding up an object for them to identify and find the word for it on the bingo card in the language that you are teaching them. You also can just make a regular bingo card with numbers and then hold up the word in the language they are learning and have them find the number on the card. Of course the first one to get a line wins the game.

You can also use word search as a way in which you can teach them the language they are studying. You first will start off by picking the words you want your students to learn and put those into the word search puzzle and then put a bunch of jumbled letters all around the words they will need to find. Then you will put the clues for the words under the letter sheet you created. Hand out the word search sheets to your students and let them try to find the words you have hidden in the word search game.

Hangman is another one that you can incorporate into language teaching. As usual you will draw the hangman's stand on either a chalk board or a dry eraser board in your classroom. Then as usual you will have your students try to guess the letters that will fill in the blanks to the word that you have in mind for them to figure out. Make sure that you tell them that they need to pronounce each letter the way it should be pronounced in the language that they are learning. This not only helps them learn the language but the proper way in which to pronounce things in this language.

A game you can play with older kids could be a Jeopardy kind of game. This would be for those students who have already learned the basics of verb conjugation and already know how to form short sentences in the language they are learning. The answers for the questions can be either in English or in the language your students are learning or you can combine the two. You can ask simple questions that require little knowledge but just knowledge of the language. For example one answer could be “This fruit grows in orchards.” and if the language is German the students would have to come up with the answer “Was ist ein Apfel?”. Just like the show on TV you can make the two different rounds and then a final round or Final Jeopardy. Try however to make the game fit the time that you have for class.





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