Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A playful way to practice German

In several classes and some language meetups, we've practiced German in a childlike way: by playing children's games. At first it seems a bit silly to play games intended for school-age children, but when one is a beginner or intermediate level learner, the games are very helpful. The learner can focus on speaking the foreign language instead of worrying about higher-level game strategies.

Absolute beginners can start with games intended for young children, such as Go Fish or memory games. Those with more experience can move on to games like Tabu (Taboo) or Querdenker ("lateral thinker" or someone who thinks outside of the box). Those who really want to ramp up their brains can play Äpfel zu Äpfeln, the German version of Apples to Apples. It presents not only a vocabulary challenge but also a cultural knowledge challenge too.

Board games can quickly become expensive when brand new so it pays (har har) to find used ones. I picked up two games for 6 euros total at the local thrift stores in Kaiserslautern, the Schatzkiste and Fairness. I'm looking forward to having some friends over so we can play!

What are your favorite games to play to help learn a foreign language?


  1. I love Tabu and Äpfel zu Äpfel - used both in my German classes in the US. And guess what? My German exchange partner is the one who translated the Äpfel zu Äpfel game into German! Her name's on the box. :-)

  2. Wow, that's so cool about the exchange partner! You know someone "famous." :)