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spanish games for studentsIntroduce communicative games into your Spanish classroom!

Communicative games are outstanding options for language classes, and the five games below might just become your students’ new favorites.

What Makes Spanish Games Communicative, Anyway?

When it comes down to it, all language skills can be broken down into just two big categories: receptive language and productive language. Receptive language covers the skills that students have in listening and reading as they make sense of the words of a language to make meaning. Productive language, on the other hand, encompasses the skills that students use to express themselves and communicate with others. These skills include speaking and writing.

Both receptive and productive language skills are important, but receptive skills are much easier to learn. Your students understand much more than they can express, so it’s the productive language skills that often need more work.

But getting students to speak in the target language during game play can be challenging. A communicative game is designed to make students use the target language as an integral component of winning the game.2 Here are some factors to look for when choosing a truly communicative game:

  • Hidden information: Students must use Spanish to find out something they don’t know to solve a puzzle or complete a challenge.
  • Asking questions: Students must ask questions in Spanish to get the information they need. These can be highly structured and consist of just or no answers, but the act of inquiry makes the game communicative.
  • Answering questions: Great communicative games give students a chance to be on both sides of a conversation in Spanish.
  • Real-time feedback: Communicative games let students know when they’ve misunderstood the target language with immediate feedback—such as an inability to solve a puzzle or a wrong turn on the game board. Earning points and winning (or losing!) is quick, engaging feedback about their language skills.


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