The Internet offers scores of free language games – all with the express aim of improving users’ language skills. But how are students to know which are most effective and worth the effort of finding?
This post is the inaugural first of a 3-part blog series focusing on online resources to share with students. Be sure to join us on every stop along the way – next up, the top 5 grammar sites! And then get your writer’s cap on for our final stop, the top 5 writing sites!
With Emended you can easily guide your students to the right games – games that target their individual mistakes and turn weak areas into strong ones. Simply utilise links in your own feedback commentary to steer them directly to outlets and activities that may as well have been designed just for them. Feedback doesn’t get more actionable than that!
To spare you searching all the wrong sites for just the right games, here are our top 5 English-language game sites, with thousands of free games amongst them to share with students:
ESL Games World shines in its categorisation of games and then allowing for the learning-level of users to be a point of orientation. By clicking around the colourful toolbar atop the site, you can navigate the site like a pro even if it’s your first time visiting. The spelling and grammar games they have on offer are well-conceived, uniquely fun, and recurringly inspired by pop culture so for students, there will be an inbuilt familiarity right from the get-go.
Housed under Word Games & Quizzes, the American powerhouse of Merriam-Webster offers a one-stop literacy shop for all the classics. The content provided is more suited for the adult ESL learner but is sure to bring out the kid in any user with ventures into cryptogram cracking, logic puzzles, and even hidden-word reveals. The games are top-notch in make and probably the fastest as far as loading times go of our top 5. Enjoy!
Another masterfully organised site, British Council’s LearnEnglish Kids has a welcoming toolbar and wins our top 5’s most beautiful design and feel. The games are well made and deal with more or less conventional areas of speaking, spelling, and grammar. A pleasant spin throughout the British Council’s répertoire of games, jokes, and interactive tongue twisters is their infusion of positive messages and tones, with bullying prevention and a healthy self-image on the docket, to name a couple.
Vkidz’ Vocabulary.co.il has a lot on offer for English-language learners and its variety makes it a standout in the educational e-games field. The site’s platter ranges from wordplays and the quizzable idiomatic to more general word-building and, of course, the adventuresome story-based. If you’re looking for a particular game type or topic, the site hosts its own search engine with which to find it and also has an easy-to-see layout of what games are related to the one currently being played, which is fun if you’ve got students who like to jump around a bit.
The power of JeopardyLabs lies in its flexibly open-ended approach to educational gaming. The idea is simple – offer language-instrumental quizzes in the style of Jeopardy!, the wildly popular knowledge-checking game show. The site does an outstanding job at emulating the game show’s platform (down to even the authentic yellow-on-blue board!) and true to our own top-5 criteria here is the site’s personal motto of no fees, no registration. While you can indeed devise Jeopardy games for students in support of what’s being taught in your own classes, there are actually hundreds of already-made JeopardyLabs games ready to go. With this site in your toolbox, the ability constructively to challenge students of all ages and levels (and on any topic!) is quite simply, yours.