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Classroom/Group Games?

Do you have any ideas for games that would work for adult learners of Spanish?

I've found a few good ESL (both English as a Second Language and Español Segunda Lengua) blogs in the past, but I'm specifically looking for practice about these concepts:

  • por/para
  • indirect objects
  • direct objects
  • irregular verbs (present tense)
  • numbers 20-1000

Any ideas? I'm hoping for things with mechanics more interesting than "fill in the blank" or "teacher reads a verb and student conjugates it".

March 15, 2015



Some ideas from my colleagues who have taught ESL or remember their high school classes clearly:

Verb Conjugation Basketball: "The teacher made a basketball out of a wadded up piece of notebook paper wrapped in masking tape. Then he would give one team a verb to conjugate while the other team got to shoot baskets with the basketball (which was the waste basket). The longer it took you to conjugate the verb the more chances the other team to make points. It could get interesting on the irregular verbs when somebody would forget conjugate them as if they were regular and have to go back to the beginning. This might not work for you since you need a ref to rule if the conjugation was correct though."

Charades or Taboo: "One person is given a word in Spanish and then has to describe it in Spanish without saying the word or form of the word and the other person has to guess. So you’d get something like espagueti and your clue might be “comida italiana.” Something like “perrito” (puppy) becomes more challenging because you can’t say “perro joven” or “perro chiquito” because you can’t use the form of the word. So you’d have to describe it as maybe a baby animal that is a pet that is not a cat (all in Spanish). So it forces you into using circumlocution and therefore more vocabulary."

(Re Taboo: I downloaded Unspeakable, which is an iOS version of Taboo. Languages besides English cost $2.)

Another ESL teacher suggested TriBond, though Tribond para Niños would be much more our speed, and doesn't seem to exist.


My husband and I also thought of things along these lines:

Apples to Apples: match English to Spanish. If you don't have the exact translation, you're supposed to convince the judge why your word is related. Maybe not this mechanic, but some sort of English-Spanish association. There is an Manzanas con Manzanas Niños edition, but that might be above our vocab level.

Jenga: The blocks have Spanish words on the end (and English words on the wide faces). When you remove a block, you must give the translation. I don't know what the consequence would be for missing the translation--you have to add another block maybe, or you only get so many strikes?

Synonym Gin: Cards have either English or Spanish vocabulary, all with words that have multiple meanings (like "walk" with "andar" and "caminar"). You must collect words in your hand that are synonyms, translations, or antonyms. Mechanics work like Gin or Rummy.


You might want to move this into the Educator forum that recently launched. Check it out here: https://www.duolingo.com/topic/909

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