EL Game Theories (01): Games for English Learners


[Welcome to the EL game series. These posts are all short introductions to games you can play in the EL. Because learning to play games in English can take a long time, some posts will explain how to play simple versions of games. Other posts tell you why you should use games to practice English. You can also use the tags to find other posts you might be interested in.] 


When you play a board game or card game in your native language, your first goal is to have fun. Maybe you want a challenging puzzle. Maybe you want to be able to have a good competition with your friends. Maybe you want to learn more about your friends or even make new friends. These are all good reasons for playing games. 

However, when you are using games for learning English, you have to think of additional problems. Is this a game designed for English learners? Is it supposed to be difficult to native English speakers? How long will it take to learn the rules, which are written in English? Will I have to know a lot of difficult vocabulary words or pop culture from other countries? These can all make playing games in English difficult. 

I still think that you should try using games to learn and practice English, as I will discuss further in this blog. The most important point is to have the right attitude. Don’t worry about rules too much as long as you are using English and having fun. Also, the more games you play, especially with the same group, the easier it will be to learn new games. To help you get started, I will introduce some game types for English learners in the next post.