All children need our coaching, affection, tender love and care… and that means they need our time. And when we spend an hour with them we relax, enjoy ourselves, feel positive, laugh and smile at their ways and quips. We also learn from them, mind you.
To help children learn a second language, let me propose some games to play with our children, the old fashioned way of interacting, of teaching them, of exercising the lost art of togetherness and spending time together.
These games are a wonderful opportunity to practice a second language.
1. 15 questions. The child or adult thinks of a person, writes the name down—to prevent possible cheating—and the questions begin. The answer can only be “yes” or “no.” The parent will correct the grammar or even teach how to ask a question. The mystery person may be a family member, a singer, a baseball or soccer player.
Mamiverse’s Bilingual Plus is an online channel devoted to bringing parents and educators the bilingual learning tools they need in the form of digital picture books, sing-alongs, and free curriculum-based family activities.
2. Memory game. On 20 index cards, write verbs, nouns, and prepositions in the second language. One player will try to retain those words. The player will close her eyes and the other player will shuffle the cards and remove one. The cards will be set on the table for display and the player must remember which word is missing. On the second round, two cards will be missing. In the third round, four, and so on. This is more fun than meets the eye. This game has many language possibilities.
3. Making up sentences. On index cards, write verbs, pronouns, negatives, and possessives. Each player will try to put them together to make as many sentences as she can.
4. Question asking. Write on index cards several verbs you wish to teach your children. Each child must take one card and ask a question using the verb written on it. The other player must answer.
5. Word guessing. Objects will be written on cards. Each player will give a definition of the object—in the second language—and the other players must guess what it is.