Taking advantage of games and activities to help young learners acquire a new language is one of the best ways to help them make great progress while also enjoying the experience of learning.
Instead of fighting a child’s natural desire to play, it’s much more effective to channel that motivation into games or activities they enjoy playing that will also help them improve their English listening and speaking skills in addition to their confidence. Here are three games you can play using vocabulary flashcards with your young learner to help them practice English at home:
Crash Landing – Put 4-6 vocabulary cards on the ground in front of a chair. Have your child stand on the chair. When they are ready, say the vocabulary featured on the card you want them to show you and have them jump from the chair onto the correct card.
When they land on a card, pick it up and ask them and anyone else who is playing to confirm if it is the correct card by asking, “Is it the (cat, dog, cow, mouse, etc.)?”
If it’s the correct card, ask your child to tell you what they see on the card to see if they can produce the vocabulary. If it is not the correct card, ask your child and anyone else who is playing what is on the card. If they have trouble correctly identifying the vocabulary, assist them by clearly stating the correct vocabulary word and have them repeat the word while looking at the card.
This game is a simple, fun way for kids to continue practicing English at home. It helps them continue to practice in the context of having fun, which will make them excited about communicating in English as they continue to practice. It also normalizes using English at home, which can be disconcerting for some students if they are not accustomed to speaking English with family members when they are not at school. Creating environments where children who are learning to speak English feel safe and secure practicing is one of the most important steps toward helping them continue to improve their confidence and conversational abilities. Remember, learning and practicing English should be fun! Give these games a try at home and don’t be afraid to come adapt games you play with your kids to help them practice their English![:]