1. Is it worth learning a foreign language with games?
Playing games is a unique way to master language skills effectively and in the spirit of healthy competition. Learning any foreign language by playing a game, be it a board, computer or logical game, has a number of undoubted advantages.
These include, among others:
Regardless of whether we play board or computer games, we have a decisive influence on what happens in the game – that is, on the course of the action – unlike while listening to music or podcasts. Thanks to this active involvement, we are able to focus more on the learning material and acquire it much better.
A variety of solutions
A multiple-choice option is one of the most important features of a game. Various scenarios and endings give players the opportunity to replay and try alternative solutions. Thus, we can learn new vocabulary and at the same time revise things we learned previously.
By repeating a certain level or quest in a game, a player comes across the same new words or phrases, and in this way strengthens the newly-acquired language. While playing singly, you can discover the meaning of words and, at the same time, automatically repeat the phrases and words you have heard earlier.
Independent search for solutions
Games help you practice language flexibility that you can use later, in your daily life. Without anyone’s help, you are able to quickly remember the words, phrases and grammar that appear in games and learn how to use them from sentences. You can also practice listening comprehension and improve your communication skills.
Individual learning pace
Games allow us to learn the meaning of words and learn at our own pace. It is you who chooses how many minutes or hours per day you want to spend on the game. Moreover, it is you who decides when you feel like playing. Nobody imposes anything on you.
The non-stressful alternative
Language-learning games relieve the tension and anxiety that frequently accompany our attempts to construct the first independent statements in a foreign language. The fear of making mistakes will be much smaller in the situational context of a game than in the case of standard language exercises, e.g. during private lessons or in conversation with a teacher.
Comprehensive development of language skills
By playing games that support learning a foreign language, first of all we hear the correct pronunciation and accent, learn practical phrases and discover their meaning on our own. Thanks to that we have ongoing contact with a foreign language and its natural use. Remember that in order to learn a language effectively, you need to immerse yourself in it, as we repeatedly mention in the articles on our SuperMemo blog.
Below you will find a list of selected games that will definitely support you in earning a foreign language, aside from the SuperMemo courses. Remember that you can upload more interesting words or phrases as MemoCards in our application and learn them permanently thanks to the intelligent repetition method.
Warning! Some of the proposals below are intended for adults, because of the violence and language they contain. Remember not to show them to your children.
1. Games for learning Spanish
- “Bis” – for learning vocabulary (a classic memo game in which you match a picture with the appropriate name).
- “Super Bis” – extended version of the game “Bis”, creating simple sentences, questions and answers.
- “¡Sigue la pista!” – Spanish vocabulary – landmarks, culture, cuisine, lifestyle
- “Bingo ilustrado” – vocabulary learning
- “Adjetivos y contrarios” – for learning adjectives and their antonyms,
- “Bingo de los verbos” – for learning verbs, constructing sentences.
- “¡Haz la maleta!” – for learning vocabulary related to clothes
- “El reino de los animales” – for learning the vocabulary related to animals and their characteristic features
- “La Isla de las preposiciones” – for learning pronouns, creating sentences and using them
- “¡Vamos al mercado!” – for learning vocabulary and expressions related to food products
- “¿Quién es?” – for describing characters, learning vocabulary; adjectives
- “Por la ciudad” – vocabulary related to city life, transport and infrastructure
- “¡Todos de fiesta!” – for learning vocabulary and expressions. and creating statements using different tenses
- “El Gran Juego de los Verbos” – conjugation of verbs, in different tenses and modes
- “¡Encontremos las palabras!” – for learning vocabulary from a range of fields, including: food, clothes, means of transport, household appliances
- Kloo Race to Madrid – perfect for learning vocabulary and sentence construction, both for beginners and intermediate Spanish language learners
- “¡Dígame!” and “Lotería Mexicana” – board games for learning basic vocabulary
2. Games for learning German
- “Lasst uns einkaufen!” – for learning vocabulary related to food products
- “Bis” – for learning new words and phrases
- “Super – Bis” – a phrasebook about everyday life
- “Verben Bingo” – for learning verbs and sentence construction
- “Wer ist das” – for better listening comprehension
- “Das ist meine Arbeit” – for learning work-related vocabulary
- “Unterwegs in der Stadt” – vocabulary related to infrastructure and city life
- “Bau den Satz!” – for learning verbs and their conjugations through different modes and tenses, as well as constructing sentences.
- “Wie geht’s?” – for learning vocabulary related to health, medicine and anatomy.
- “Kettenfragen” – creating questions and answers
- “Fragen und Antworten” – creating questions, conducting short dialogues
- “Das Tagesablauf-Domino” – building sentences, describing everyday activities.
- “Die Rundreise” – for learning vocabulary, vocabulary related to the culture and geography of German-speaking countries
- “Lasst uns feiern!” – for learning vocabulary and grammar
- “Fragenmeister” – composing questions, learning verbs.
3. Games for learning Italian
- “Tombola illustrata” – for vocabulary learning
- “Tombola dei verbi” – learning verbs, constructing sentences
- “Aggettivi e contrari” – learning adjectives
- “Segui l’indizio” – learning vocabulary related to Italian culture
- “Domande e risposte” – creating questions and answers, conducting short dialogues
- “Il domino della giornata” – learning vocabulary related to everyday life
- “Festeggiamo!” – learning vocabulary and tenses
- “Il grande gioco dei verbi” – learning verbs and using them for constructing utterances
- “Le parole in azione” – constructing statements using different parts of speech
- “Gioca il tuo ruolo!” – learning basic vocabulary and constructing utterances independently
- “Come stai?” – for learning vocabulary related to medicine and health
- “L’inventafrase” – for learning verbs and their practical use in sentences
- “Il pianeta in gioco” – for learning vocabulary related to the natural environment
- “Domande a catena” – creating questions and conducting dialogues
4. Games for learning French
- “Joue ton rôle!” – role-playing, practicing dialogues
- “Lingua Ludica – Apprendre le français par le jeu” – practicing complex statements, developing communication skills
- “EliKit Français – Prépositions / Adverbes” – for learning adjectives
- “EliKit Français – Les verbes” – for learning vocabulary
- “Générateur de questions” – the formation of questions using interrogative pronouns
- “Championnat de français” – for learning comprehensive vocabulary from the following fields:
- culture, art, music, cinema, literature
- history, traditions, school, education, road safety
- healthy lifestyle and healthy eating, spare time, sports
- life sciences, animals, technology, astronomy.
- “Les dominos de la journée” – for learning vocabulary
- “Inventons des phrases!” – for learning verbs
- “Le Jeu des Métiers” – for learning vocabulary, associating words with sentences and pictures
- “Faisons les courses!” – for learning vocabulary and its use in sentences
- “L’île aux prépositions” – using pronouns in sentences
- “Voyage en France” – vocabulary related to France – monuments, culture
- “Le Grand jeu des verbes” – for learning verbs and their conjugations through tenses
- “Bescherelle Le Jeu” – for learning conjugation
We also recommend other games in which you can choose the language path you are most interested in. You can start with the most popular ones, often related to fantasy. These are extremely interesting proposals, available in many different language versions, and include, among others:
- Jurassic World
- Marvel Super Heroes
- The Hobbit
- Lord of the Rings
- Harry Potter
- Lego Star Wars.
5. Games for learning English
If you want to improve your English language skills with games, you have a really wide range of possibilities to choose from. Here are some suggestions that caught our attention in particular:
- “Taboo” – for improving communication skills
- “Apples to apples”, “Scattegories”, “Dabble” – for learning vocabulary
- “Professor Garfield: Reading Ring” – for better reading comprehension
- “Clifford: make a word” – for learning vocabulary
- “Bubbles” – for building sentences and better reading comprehension
- “21 days” – for better reading comprehension and learning vocabulary
- “Fable” – for immersion in the language
- Civilization”– for improving listening skills and reading comprehension
- “Deponia”– for improving reading skills, listening comprehension and expanding vocabulary
- “Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You” – for better reading comprehension
- “Final Fantasy VII” – for advanced users – extensive dialogues, reading comprehension
- “FireWatch” – for advanced users – listening comprehension, expanding vocabulary
- “Tropico 4” – for advanced users – reading and listening comprehension, expanding vocabulary
- “Cards Against Humanity” – for expanding vocabulary, learning new phrases, structures and building sentences. Note: controversial, but very fun!
We also recommend learning games for children from Memo the Dragon series
Before choosing a specific game, it is worth watching the trailer and deciding whether the form in which the foreign language is used fully suits you. It is also worth choosing games that are appropriate for your language levell and will not discourage you.