Here’s a brief description of ten online gaming sites that have a range of possible games to adapt for use in the EFL classroom. All these games were chosen because they are free, easily accessible, engaging and easily adaptable. With each link there is a brief description and some advice on how to adapt the game content to the language learning classroom context.
A lot of the escape games here take place in rooms within a house and so target a lot of vocabulary sets associated with furniture and household objects. You can find walkthroughs for a lot of the games here by typing in:
“the name of the game” +walkthrough
in an online search engine.
Choose a fairly simple game for your learners to play. They can also open a word document and write down the instructions on how to complete the game.
This is a blog that describes, reviews and links to free online games. There are also articles about game developers. This is a great site for finding not only fun games but also a great source for reading material. Get learners to design their own scan reading activity. Here are just three questions as an example:
What do you have to gain control of in ‘My little army’? (Myth balls)
How much does the Nintendo 3DS cost?($249 / £220)
Which Platformer game mentions a dessert? (Robot wants ice cream)
3. Jay Is Games
A nice website offering lots of different online games to play online and download. Again lots of language in each games review for learners to read and extract gaming vocabulary, adjectives or just language they find interesting. Use the navigation bar at the top to find your way around – don’t forget to bookmark the games you really like.
A website dedicated to all manner of dress up games. It’s also a great springboard to other sites if you can get round to checking out some of the links running down the left hand side. Play one yourself and write the description for your learners to read and reproduce in the game. Alternatively learners make their own, write a physical description, daily routines or a short story.
If you would like to use games that aim to educate as well as entertain then this site is as good as any as a place to start looking. We’ve posted a few of the games you’ll find here on the Digital Play blog (such as Third World Farmer) and no doubt continue to do so. Using games with a real world message behind them are great for extracting vocabulary and then using as a discussion platform.
The BBC are aiming games at schools here and many of them cover subjects such as English, maths and science. The nice thing about this ks3 Bitesize is that you can be sure that both the site and the game content is young learner friendly. Check them out and you may be in for a pleasant surprise.
One of the earliest gaming websites I started using to find games to use in the classroom. There’s certainly a lot of choice here and the games have been conveniently organised into genres such as room escape, point and click, adventure and over a dozen more. There’s even a star rating for each so you can see before hand which are the most popular and the most fun.
8. Free Online GamesI’ve just looked up ‘online games’ on a search engine and this came up as the first link. On first appearances it looks like there are a lot of games just calling for quick reflexes and not a lot of language but if you look a little further you’ll find a lot more games using the tags running down the right hand side of the page. Interestingly enough I had this page up on an IWB and got quite a lot of language production from learners talking about what they could see, predicting the game content, discussing what kind of games they liked and so on.
Unless you speak spanish or Italian then I wouldn’t go here as this site doesn’t have an English language option. Why is it here then? Well, you have to remember that for all the online searching you do you are probably forgetting your most valuable online tool – your learners. If they play any online games then find out what they like (speaking practice) and maybe write a description down of what they’d like to see in class (writing). You can tell them yourself what games you prefer to use (listening) and maybe even write a description down for them to take away with (reading) and find. Get them to adapt a walkthrough to a game they like and bring it in to use in a future class.
A no frills website specialising in online text adventures. There might be very little in the way of graphics but what is lacking in visuals in the selection here is more than made up for. In text adventures the gamer reads the story and interacts with the narrative by typing in text commands. There’s even a text to speech converter you can download so that the written text gets converted into spoken text. Reading or listening practice – it’s your choice!