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:
Hide and Seek – Have your child close their eyes. While they are not looking hide the vocabulary flashcards you are using around the room. Remember to hide the cards in places that, while posing a challenge for your child, will still be possible to find. Always avoid making a game too hard to avoid discouraging them. The objective is always for them to have fun while they’re playing any game. After you’ve hidden the cards, ask your child to bring you each card one at a time by using the name of the vocabulary featured on the card. You can make this more exciting by counting down from 5 or 10 to add a little suspense to the process of trying to find the card. When your child find’s the card, they will bring it back to you. If you are playing with more than one child, you can ask the other participant to confirm if it’s the correct card, followed by asking your child to tell you what is featured on the card. Repeat the process until all of the cards have been found. Try to reward your child for success as much as possible. Positive reinforcement is an incredibly powerful motivator for kids.
This game is simple, fun ways for kids to continue practicing English at home. It help 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![:]