Games That Teach Language

Ideas based on commercial games that you can play to build language, vocabulary and thinking skills.

BORING.      Language drills are boring.

This series of posts will describe ways to use popular commercially-produced games — with or without buying them — to provide the BENEFITS OF LANGUAGE DRILLS WITHOUT THE BOREDOM.

Calendars prompt practice using "this week", "this month", etc.

Calendars prompt practice using “this week”, “this month”, etc.

DRILLS are used in language therapy because they let a learner practice new words or new language over and over and over again. This is helpful because if PRACTICE doesn’t make PERFECT, it at least gets us a measure closer to Perfect.

Click on the games described below to see how they can be used with language-learners.

To practice asking yes/no questions, challenge auditory memory and build vocabulary, get some ideas about using Twenty Questions.

Candyland board

Candyland and Chutes & Ladders are easy games to adapt to any language or material you want to practice. 


The Game of LIFECars to drive around the game board. Bridges and mountains to drive over. Pay days. An attached spinner. What’s not to love?


gUESS wHOGuess Who is another game that uses yes/no questions. It also lends itself to lots of practice with  adjective-noun and can be tweaked to practice either/both.

Preka logo


You may never have heard of the card game Pictureka, but it’s a lot of fun with kids ages 8 and older. During the game, students will use because/since/so and pronouns (he/she/it), possessive nouns & pronouns.


There are many more games that entertain while also practicing targeted language.

Here are some generic game boards you can use to practice any skill you’ve targeted.



Don’t forget the old standards Charades and Pictionary comedy tragedywhen looking for fun ways to practice language, vocabulary and content. They are especially easy to adapt to practice verb tense and gerunds.

Come back often to see what new games have been added.


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