A game is a fun and effective way to learn anything, including languages!

Any game in which players need to say something helps with language development. We often use games in our lessons. Here are some that you can play with your child, in your language.

Role-playing games

Any role-playing games except those where nobody says anything are good for language development. There are games with routine, repetitive dialogue, sich as playing restaurant, doctor, or shopping. These are good for young players or for kids who are not fluent. There are also more open-ended games, such as family, spaceship, the land of wizards, or wherever your and your child’s imaginations take you. These are especially great for more fluent children.

Board games and card games

Any game in which you have to say something in your turn works - or you can change the rules so that every player has to say something. For example, in Memory Game, players have to name the pictures; in Monopoly, players have to announce what they are buying, and so on.

Games with picture cards (good for vocabulary learning)

Name the picture

The simplest game: if the answer is correct, the child takes the card. In the end, the number of cards is counted.

Is it right?

The parent names the picture, and the child has to say if the parent named it correctly.

Car race

A game for two or more children. Determine the start and the finish (at least 10 child’s steps apart). The chilren stand up and pretend to be driving a race car. The adult shows a picture. The child who was the first to name it takes one step forward. The child who makes it to the finish line first wins.

Guess that picture

One player (child or adult) hides one picture from a set. The other player(s) have to ask questions to guess which picture it is.

Language games

Name five

The adult asks the child to name, for example, five colours, five vegetables, five animals, etc.

The hat

Typically, minimum two teams of two players each are needed. Write several words (nouns only) on small pieces of paper and put into a hat. A timer is set for 1, 2, or more minutes. One member of the first team takes a word out of the hat and explains it (without naming the word) to the other member. The other member has to guess the word. Once the word is guessed, the first player takes the next word, and so on until the time runs out. Then it’s the next team’s turn. The team that guessed the most words win.


In this game, the players make a long list of things until they cannot remember it. The first player starts with something like “We are going on a trip and take jackets”. The next player has to add an item. For example: “We are going on a trip and take jackets and hats”. The next player: “We are going on a trip and take jackets, hats, and an umbrella.”, and so on. The first person who fails to name all the items loses. The beginning can vary: “We are going to a beach/to a ski resort/to Mars/to Fairy Land/etc.”

Writing games

  • Hangman
  • Scrabble
  • Mad Libs

Party games

  • Sharades
  • Mafia