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English Games?

Hi Everyone! I am going to teach English (as a second language) to young students (Grade 4). I'm thinking of playing some games in the class sometimes. Does anyone have any suggestions on educational word games?


Hi Sonali!
So glad to see your face. Are you back in the USA? I have used Lego bricks to help children learn the names of things in a second language. The children are asked (in their native language) to build things they see on their way to school (or in their home) out of Lego bricks. Then after each child has built something, the teacher says and writes the name of that thing in the second language. If the children are more capable, an entire phrase can be wirrten. (On my way to school I see a TREE....On my way to school I see a DOG). The children say the word/phrase aloud several times. The objects (and signs) stay in the classroom for a few days. Then a new construction assignment is given (build animals...a member of your family... etc). The new words/phrases are said aloud and written down to remain in the classroom for a few days...etc.. Best! Deborah

[ report as inappropriate ] May 21, 2007, 12:00 am


Hi Ilanos :)

A fellow teacher once shared with me a great way of teaching vocabulary. I used it with my 4th graders and they loved it. These 4th graders weren't ESL students, but I imagine this would be even better for teaching ESL. You draw or find a picture that represents the word on a sheet of 8x11 paper. Each picture represents one word, and you can use these pictures in many ways. You start off with pasting them on the board and getting students to say the word the picture represents as you point to the pictures. When you introduce the pictures initially, you can talk about the word and have the kids try to use the word. Use your judgment in deciding how many words to present in one day. Continue to use old pictures to review as students learn the words associated with the pictures.

The game students like most, after they have learned to associate the words and pictures, is to put desks in a circle and lay a picture on the top of each desk. You can have one person in the middle of the desks trying to touch the appropriate pictures as quickly as they can as a word is called out. The teacher can call out the words or you can take turns letting students call out words. To make it a competition, you can have two or three students in the middle of the desks at one time trying to find the pictures as you call out words.

After the students know the pictures very well (and not before), you start associating the pictures with the written word. I find this to be a great way to teach any new vocabulary (Science words, for instance). The picture doesn't have to be a detailed representation of the word. Instead, it should just be simple and unique so the students can easily think of the word when they think of the picture.

I hope this works for you. Good luck!


[ report as inappropriate ] May 22, 2007, 12:00 am

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