#interactive games for students
25 Online Games for English Language Learners
Dozens of simple, straightforward games about grammar, spelling, and vocabulary reach out to English language learners at all levels. Keep in mind, however, that this site is based in the U.K. and follows a different set of linguistic rules than American English. This series of vocabulary and games runs the gamut from elementary to high school levels of proficiency. Each is recommended for both native speakers as well as students learning English as a second or third (or more) language. PBS’ WordGirl and her simian sidekick Captain Huggy Face do battle against Fair City’s most sinister citizens, but it’s up to players to determine the course of the action. Picking the wrong words means letting the villains follow through with their sneaky plots. The British Council presents a suite of super cool games covering different elements of the English language. Best of all, they encourage collaborative play between friends and siblings, particularly hoping older kids will guide younger ones in their studies.
Funbrain Words’ games and activities are meant to be enjoyed between children and their parents or teachers rather than alone. Here, they practice their spelling, grammar, and vocabulary skills and can even learn the alphabet in American Sign Language. Adult ESL and EFL learners sharpen their skills through the usual (but effective!) word scrambles, hangman, and other challenges frequently wielded in the classroom. Teachers especially need to point their older students here for a great supplement to formal lessons. Appropriate for all ages and skill levels, this site also provides printable games for classroom use, as well as ways to develop acumen in other academic subjects. With so many engaging activities regarding spelling, vocabulary, and grammar to choose from, any learners are likely to find something viable here. Beloved children’s television icon Dora the Explorer introduces preschool-age children to the very basics of the English alphabet. Both ESL/EFL and native speakers benefit from leading her through a tropical setting and picking up information about all the letters they’ll need to know. EnglishClub’s massive suite of ESL games work on honing pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary through familiar activities, like hangman and word jumbles. Older students and adults in particular will find these incredible useful supplements to their classroom lessons.
Get younger kids learning proper spelling as well as how vocabulary words fit together with one another through exciting arcade-style games. Featuring aliens, fast cars, and animals, students probably won’t complain too much about these engaging animated activities!
Ideal for the advanced ESL/EFL student already applying his or her English abilities to its literary canon, this game comes courtesy of the Nobel Prize and promotes its Literature award. Players relive the scenarios outlined in William Golding’s scorching allegorical novel and pick up on its myriad nuances. Whether an ESL/EFL adult wanting some help in classes or a native speaker just looking to build on what’s already there, this set of eclectic word games might prove invigorating. Most of them involve spelling and vocabulary, though the site does boast some great exercises in speed reading and speed typing. Scholastic’s series of three pre-K through kindergarten activities cover different skills necessary to succeed in literacy and reading comprehension. Gentle animal pals guide ESL and native speakers of the appropriate age through naming, rhyming, and letter-matching games. As kids level up, they learn more and more parts of speech in order to save a threatened dojo. Throwing a star at the wrong word and everything explodes, which is actually pretty fun, even for adults.
Classics like Scrabble, jumbles, word searches, and crossword puzzles are absolutely perfect for adult ESL/EFL learners or native speakers wanting to build their vocabularies. But Merriam-Webster also hosts a slew of other interactive games meant to nurture literacy at the high school and college levels. The Mr. Nussbaum suite of educational games provide spelling, vocabulary, storytelling, and other necessary language arts skills for a wide range of age and skill levels. Right now, the featured game, Spellerz, teaches vocabulary words (and how to spell them!) to first through seventh graders in an alien-fighting challenge. Another great stop for high school and adult learners, packed with new twists on familiar names like Boggle and Scrabble as well as more obscure selections. Some even involve multiplayer mode for competing against friends and users from around the world. This speech pathologist has developed more than 50 games involving speech and sequencing, with plenty to engage many different types of learners. Some activities even pull inspiration from popular favorites like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? . Harcourt offers a great selection of grammar grades for third through fifth graders, appropriate for students learning English as a first, second, or tertiary language. Lessons mainly focus on parts of speech and sentence structures, with a few other relevant subjects thrown into the mix.
Literacy at BBC Schools:
Choose an age range — 4 to 7 or 7 to 11 — and play appropriate games based on grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and other necessary reading skills. As with most of the kid-friendly games listed here, these work great for students from both ESL/EFL and native speaking backgrounds. Part of the Professor Garfield initiative, this boxing-themed game scrambles comic panels that need to be swapped back in order. For young students needing to learn about sequence in storytelling, it proves a fun little pastime with some familiar faces. Younger learners who already know the alphabet can hop aboard this train and exercise their ability to put the letters in their correct order. It’s a simple and straightforward lesson in alphabetical order that can really lay the foundation for strong literacy and organization skills later in life. Whether looking for kid-friendly games about vocabulary, spelling, storytelling, or similar language arts subjects, iKnowthat.com has parents, teachers, and students covered. The site even provides printable worksheets for offline learning opportunities and supplements. Suitable for kindergartners through fifth graders, Houghton-Mifflin’s Power Proofreading challenges them to apply their knowledge of spelling and grammar to a basic editing situation. Not only does this assist in furthering their core language abilities, it bolsters reading comprehension as well.
Fisher-Price presents a simple game blending ABCs and animals for tiny little language learners needing to learn the basic building blocks of English. As with many games aimed at the youngest audience listed here, this works just fine for toddlers picking up English as a primary or foreign tongue.