Studying something new, whether it is mathematics, painting, or a new language, is always a challenge, especially in the very beginning. Those first steps are the hardest, and you should have tremendous motivation for getting till the end. But sooner or later, motivation may let you down, so it would be reasonable to use some tricks. Agree that traditional books with boring rules are so ticky. But that is not the case with movies and board games! They help you learn new words and grammar structures with pleasure, so you feel like you are having a good time relaxing, but, in fact, you are learning!
What is the Use of Board Games?
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about board games is certainly all the fun you can get while playing it with family or friends. It also reminds of those blessed times in summer camps when it was raining outside, and you were playing favorite board games with tea and cookies for the whole day. However, most of us forget about the existence of board games when the weather is great. That is a pity because apart from all the fun and thrill, they can be very helpful. Let us prove that!
First of all, board games encourage creative and strategic thinking because even though the smartest and most skilled person wins, all players try their best to outrace others. Board games can be particularly helpful even during studying classes, as that is a great way of learning new vocabulary and improving spelling skills with the help of structured activities. When you play the same game repeatedly, it reinforces already learned material in your brain.
In addition, board games motivate healthy competition between players that builds up trust and strong relationships. During the game, players also develop solid speaking skills as they communicate with each other to solve the game. Teachers find board games as a great studying tool to use in the class. Why? They reduce teacher talking time by shifting the focus on students’ interactions. They force students to work through challenges in a fun and non-harmful way. And on top of that, board games are an awesome break from the traditional lesson structure. Believe us – your students will adore this new learning method and become more active than during the regular lesson!
Top 6 Board Games for Learning English
As we have just mentioned in the previous section, board games are a fantastic way of learning new material, including vocabulary, history or science facts, geography notions, etc. They develop a lot of valuable skills, too, such as strategic thinking and work in groups. But more importantly, they do it in an easy-going and stressless way, so students want to spend as much time as they can playing board games. Whether you learn English as a second language or want to enrich your active vocabulary, consider the following board games:
Claimed to be one of the most popular games of the last century, Scrabble indeed has many benefits. This game’s main principle is to practice spelling and enlarge vocabulary by creating new words from the letters you receive at the beginning of the game. Play the game with your parents, teachers, or other people with rich vocabulary, so that they introduce complicated and unusual words, helping you learn faster.
One tip: you may use the dictionary to find new words at starters. So what do you think about this kind of learning now? Maybe it is time to search for Scrabble in the back of your garage and give it another try?
Similar to Scrabble, here you have a set of letters that you have to use for building new words on the crossword-style grid. However, the game rules slightly differ: you can put tiles on top of the already formed words to build new words in Upwords. For example, you may put the letter ‘t’ on top of the letter ‘s’ in the word ‘bash’ to form the word ‘bath.’ So, we have to admit that Upwords helps recognize patterns in English spelling and see the relationship between words.
This is a very funny yet challenging game, where players have to think of words that correspond to the categories on their cards and start with a certain letter. A 20-sided lettered die defines what it be for each player. In case you don’t have it in the original package or have lost it, you may use a mobile app to select a random letter. Scattergories is a cool game for learning to think under pressure and practicing new vocabulary.
Catch Phrase is a cool word guessing game that requires players to guess a word another player is explaining. Once the word is successfully named, the other player starts to explain the word on the disk without naming it. The game continues until the timer rings in a random moment. The person holding a disk at the time of a sound signal gets the point. But the main task of the game is to get the lowest number of points. So you have to think fast while applying all your skills and knowledge to win.
We all know and love Jenga. This is a wonderful game for relaxing after a tough week, but what if we tell you that it can be useful for your English language learning too? But you will need to modify it a little bit. First of all, print any list of icebreaking questions from the Internet and stick one question to a block. The bottom line is that every player has to answer the question before placing a block on the top of the pile. The Jenga game is perfect for practicing speaking skills.
And the last but not the least board game on our list is Balderdash. It will suit advanced learners more, as it involves vast vocabulary knowledge. The rules are quite simple: every player of the game gets a dubious word on the card and has to create a false explanation for it, hoping that no one knows the word’s real meaning. Then all definitions are read aloud, and players have to guess the correct definitions. Every person who guesses the word correctly gets the point. And as always, the player with the biggest number of points wins. Please note that it is highly recommended that a teacher or native speaker monitors the game and corrects the mistakes.