Playing to learn a language?

I recently went through Maria Andersen presentation Playing to learn?:

My eldest son, Louis who is now seven years old and is in first grade is absolutely eager to learn about anything and I know that his classmates are as eager too. However this situation turns out to differ completely whith upper school students. They are often bored, cannot be bothered and don’t seem to enjoy to learn. Well… in my opinion, they don’t like “formal learning” and it’s fairly hard to get them hooked on a topic. Maria Andersen who teaches maths tells us in her presentation that some of her students “can’t seem to learn algebra but CAN seem to learn complex video games that require logic, memorization, and teamwork, and strategy“!

Playing games is fun and learning should be fun, especially learning a language. Students should feel relaxed when acquiring another language.

According to Wikipediakey components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both.

I do think that language teachers try to incorporate many speaking and memorizing games in their lessons, but why not playing board games in the target language? In that aim, I have created a new board on my Pinterest account entitled Games/Jeux /Juegos where I intend to pin any kind of games students could play. Not only will they improve their fluency, they will also be engaged into the learning process. Besides, this suits the flipped classroom concept perfectly: students watch lectures and explanations at home. They could even watch or read and grasp the rules on how to play a certain game at home. They then play and interact in class under the teacher’s guidance.


As an example, one game I would try in French would be le jeu du loup garou which is a cards game with different characters. Students could read the rules at home on Wikipedia and then play it in class.

What about you? What kind of games do you play in class?

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