Not always learning a new language is synonymous with study and sacrifice. There are a number of extra-curricular activities that are just as good for making progress, expanding vocabulary or just practicing. Among these are board games, a fun alternative that can help students learn in a calm and relaxed situation.
With board games you can meet up one afternoon after lessons, have fun, socialize and above all use your free time in a productive and intelligent way. There are no books, no tests to pass, no final grades. There's only free time, a game and the desire to test your skills to challenge your friends. They are a great resource for socializing and breaking the ice, especially if in new situations, such as a new course of study or during an English stay.
The game implies a competition, therefore the desire to use one's own resources to achieve a goal. It's the same process that happens when you practice or pass exams. Whether it's to win or to get a vote, what matters is that you put resources in motion to hone your skills.
Plus, board games can be played anywhere. If it's raining and cold, they're an excellent opportunity to spend time together at home. If it's sunny, you can go to the park, relax in the shade and play games between a few chats and laughter.
They're also a great activity to do as a family and to take on trips. It could be a good way to socialize with the host family if you are going on an English stay.
Their greatest benefit is the creation of a relaxed environment in which to learn. If you are comfortable, without anxiety, in a good mood and carefree, the mind is better prepared to memorize new information. But what are the board games with which you can learn English? Below we have listed some of the most popular ones, which you can use to learn any language.
Scrabble is a classic board game and a favorite of English teachers, who play it both at school and during summer English courses.
The game is very simple: each player must use the letters available to form words and arrange them on the board, also using the letters already used by the opponents. Each letter and special tile occupied on the board corresponds to points. It's a great game for both those who want to practice and those who want to expand their vocabulary. In fact, it may happen that you wonder if the word you are forming makes sense. In this case you can consult the dictionary and understand if you can use it or not. The result is that without realizing it, you will have learned a new word.
In Taboo, each card displays a keyword, under which a number of synonyms are listed. The keyword is the one that must be guessed, while the others are the ones that cannot be used. It begins when a player, without seeing it, draws a card and starts the countdown timer. Before time runs out, the teammates have to help him guess the keyword without using the forbidden terms.
It's a game that stimulates creativity and the ability to express oneself without using the most obvious words. There's always a laugh when Taboo is played, so it's a great way to socialize with new classmates or host family during an English holiday.
Apples to Apples is a card game where you have to match nouns and adjectives, resulting in often hilarious results. The cards are divided into two types: the red ones contain nouns, while the green ones contain adjectives. At each turn, a judge is appointed who deals five or more red cards to each player and then turns over a green card with an adjective. The other players choose a red card from their hand with the name that they think best matches the adjective. At this point, the judge reads aloud the used cards and chooses the one he thinks is the best or the funniest. The player who presented the chosen card wins the round and keeps it as a point.
Apples to Apples is a very fun game that stimulates creativity in the use of vocabulary. In addition, the cards provide descriptions of words, helping players learn the correct meaning and context in which to use English terms.
Scattergories is a game that promotes creative thinking and vocabulary building, great for breaking up the routine of lessons, and for this often proposed in both school courses and summer English courses. Players choose categories such as proper nouns, things, animals and more, for which they have to find a word that starts with a certain letter. The game is timed and the letter is determined by lot by rolling a die. When time runs out, all chosen words are reviewed and points are awarded for each word not used by other players. Scattergories is a great game for learners of English, both for socializing and learning new vocabulary from others.
Balderdash is a fun and educational game that challenges players to create false definitions for little-known words, and is suitable for those with intermediate to advanced knowledge of English. Each round must be moderated by a supervisor, who must intervene to correct false definitions, write the correct term on a piece of paper and write down the definitions of the other players. Participants must then vote on the term they think is most accurate, but only after reading them all. Both the players who have come closest to the description and those who have obtained the votes of the other players earn points.
The game encourages students to explore new words, practice descriptive writing and improve their speaking skills.
Catch Phrase is a timed guessing game in which players take turns passing a disc that generates random words on a display. The goal is to get your team to guess the word through hints, descriptions or synonyms. Once guessed, the puck passes into the hands of another player and the game repeats. The aim is to guess the word as quickly as possible, because when time runs out, the player holding the puck gets a point, and the team with the fewest points wins. It's a challenging game that tests your speed and fluency in communication.