Wednesday, 25 November 2009

English Learning Tools 5:Board Games

Another way to make learning English more fun is to practice your English by playing board- games. A board-game, as Wikipedia notes, is "a game in which counters or pieces that are placed on, removed from, or moved across a 'board' (a premarked surface usually specific to that game)" .While good old fashioned commercially available board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk and Cluedo [a murder mystery game] are fine for practising English you can also find on the market board games specifically designed to help students improve their English [the most well know of these being 'Word Up' [see picture to the left].

While games such as Monopoly, Cluedo and Word Up will end up costing anywhere between 60-100 Riyals, you can also download a whole range of board games from the internet for free from the various ESL [English as a Second Language] sites. The Board Games on these sites are often ideal for improving ones communicative English grammar, structure and vocabulary. They often include high quality printable game boards and rules and are aimed at 'beginner', 'pre-intermediate' and 'intermediate' level students. To play most of these games, you will need dice and chips [made of plastic ..not potatoes].

Finally, it is worth noting that one can find on the market a number of games with medical themes. Perhaps the most famous two of these are Pandemic and Medical Monopoly. While in the former [Pandemic],
players are supposed to help each other control outbreaks of diseases around the world and search for cures against them, in the later [Medical Monopoly] you play a doctor running a hospital attempting to get more patients by being skilled at diagnostics and spending your funds wisely on acquiring the right kinds of drugs, equipment and organs for transplants, etc...

Find below links to some of the free online board games at the Lantern Fish and ESL Galaxy websites; a link to a site where you can download some board-games designed to accompany the Let's-Talk series of ESL textbooks; and a zipped file of four sample 'free' games.

1. Lantern Fish ESL Board Games
2. ESL Communicative ESL Board Games
3. 'Let's-Talk'-Board-Games,
4. 'Conditionals', 'Past-Tense-Talk', 'Cutting-Edge-Revision' & Let's-Talk-12

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