By Amira Anuar (*)
With the right games and activities, learning can turn into a lot of unexpected fun! A successful way of teaching English to foreign students is to teach them through games, allowing them to learn and reinforce lessons of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. There are many different kinds, ranging from simple to complicated, active to quiet, individual-based and group-based. Here are some of the most engaging games and activities for students of various ages and levels.
• AgameAday: Agameaday.com has thousands of games and puzzles for use both online and in print, with two different learning levels. They entertain and encourage learning, problem solving, and creative thinking.
• Easy Vocabulary Quizzes with Pictures: Located here are interactive vocabulary quizzes that ask learners to match the pictures with the corresponding noun, verb, or adjective.
• English4Kids: Here are a number of fun and interactive games that can be used in the classroom. There are printable board and card games, as well as interactive games similar to Wheel of Fortune, Billionaire, Show Down, and Quiz shows.
• English Educational Games for Kids: Here you’ll find two fun games for children. There are two versions of hangman, one with colors and one with fruits and vegetables. There are two versions of the game called Memory Squares that asks you to match a word with each corresponding picture.
• English Ladder: Take a few minutes to register (for free) and then take English quizzes that can be for ESL learners of all levels. The website will remember your score and allow users to see their progress as they take harder quizzes.
• ESL Kids World: As the site states, these interactive games and quizzes will help kids do a lot of self-education. With over 40 games, there’s no end to the fun!
• ESL Online Learning Games: For the beginner, located here are number of online games that teach the basics, such as the alphabet, learning simple vocabulary, and matching words to their appropriate picture.
• Flash Quizzes: Here you can take interactive online quizzes nonstop, on topics including grammar, vocabulary, culture, and even random trivia.
• I'm Reading!: This website has many colorful and interesting stories that students can read on the screen. Stories include myths, comics, folk tales, and Chinese fables. For those who cannot read all the words, you can click on individual words in the stories and a voice will read them out to you.
• Interactive ESL Crossword Puzzles: These fun and interactive online crosswords are sure to reinforce your vocabulary skills. There are three different levels, as well as links to even more fun grammar games and interactive exercises.
• iT's for Teachers: On this page are classroom activities from the quarterly magazine, iT’s for Teachers, a resource for teachers and learners of the English language. Here you can find a variety of fun games on topics ranging from Robin Hood to Toy Story 3.
• LearnEnglish Kids: This colorful and attractive website is geared towards kids and teaching them to learn English. Young ESL students can take advantage of these games too!
• Printable ESL Crossword Puzzle Worksheets: Here are a large amount of fun and attractive crosswords, for your printing pleasure!
• Skillswise: On this website are a number of word games that teach grammar rules, spelling, reading, and writing. For example, a fun reading game is called “Can you find out who killed Angela Spelling?” which tests reading speed and accuracy.
• SpellBinder: This cool game lets kids practice their spelling and writing skills by first selecting a topic to write on, selecting the words to practice writing with, attempt to spell them, and then use them in a story.
• TeachingEnglish - Activities: Here you will find a wide variety of classroom activities in many areas. The activities are detailed, simple to understand, and easily duplicated. There are sections on reading, vocabulary, writing, revision, and many others.
(*) Amira Anuar is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online schools for Guide to Online Schools.