Learning foreign languages at a young age has been shown to be beneficial to students in a number of ways. It can improve listening and concentration skills, multi-tasking, memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Providing an enjoyable learning experience is one of the key factors in keeping students engaged. While textbooks and structured learning plans are essential for reaching targets, being able to learn while playing is an excellent way for students to actually enjoy learning.
This article will run you through some of the best French and German foreign language games across KS2, KS3, and KS4/GCSE levels to ensure students develop.
You can also check out our full list here of interactive whiteboard resources.
Language Learning Games For KS2
Key Stage 2 covers students traditionally aged between 7 and 11 during years 3, 4, 5, and 6. The national curriculum states that language subjects are compulsory at this stage.
Foreign language skills learned during the KS2 stage should allow students to communicate and understand feelings and facts and share ideas through writing and speech.
No specific language is compulsory, but French and German are commonly taught. The following games will help students with their language skills at a beginner level.
Dash and Blink Forgotten French is a game that helps students improve their primary French skills, including their vocabulary, phonics, and listening skills. It can be found on the BBC Bitesize site.
BBC Bitesize is a great resource to support students through KS1, KS2, KS3, and KS4 levels. It is completely free and provides excellent support to students from 5 years of age and above across various subjects.
The game features a friendly monster called Dash and her translator robot, Blink. The plot sees Dash try to fix a broken Blink with the players’ help.
You have the ability to choose topics to answer questions on. Correctly answering a question will help to restore Blink. The fun and interactive game even features the voice of popular comic Catherine Tate.
While learning and improving your French skills, you, Dash, and Blink will travel through space and time, evading security bots while travelling across the universe!
French Games is another fantastic resource that allows students to develop in a fun environment completely free of charge.
It is quick and easy to use. Simply choose your topic from a list of over a hundred beginner topics, complete a free French lesson on your selected topic, and then choose from 12 free games to help you improve and retain your knowledge before testing yourself on what has been learned.
The lessons are made up of three activities: yes/no, either/or, and multiple-choice activities. Using repetition and writing down information in the lesson helps, and the difficulty of lessons increases as you progress.
After the lesson, you will then be able to work through the 12 free games that work on computers and tablets. The games you can play to help go over what you have just learned include:
- Duck Shoot
- Rock Fall
- Cat and Mouse
- Sow Grow
- The Frog Flies
- The Spelling Game
- Four in a Row
- The Beetle and the Bee
- Mix and Match
After completing the games, you can then take the two French tests. There is a writing test and a multiple-choice test. The help button on the writing test helps to support the student and boost confidence.
German Games work in the exact way that French Games do by allowing the student to select a topic from an extensive list, take lessons concerning the chosen topic, play a selection of free games to practice, and then take a test.
To give you a better idea of what the games are on both sites, here is a description of each:
- Four in a Row – The aim of this game is to complete a row of four correctly answered questions about the language.
- The Frog Flies – You will be able to move the frog by answering questions. The aim is to catch flies and avoid being caught by a bird.
- Duck Shoot – Use a catapult and answer questions to knock down ducks across various levels.
- Sow Grow – You will be able to gather or grow flowers by matching audio with the corresponding pictures.
- Pong – Pong is a classic from vintage computer consoles, and this version lets you break bricks and answer questions to score points.
- The Beetle and the Bee – Answer questions while avoiding the bee and directing the beetle to the strawberry in this exciting game.
- Mix and Match – Tidy up the room by dragging images into the correct box.
- Cat and Mouse – Answer questions and direct the cat to the white mice while avoiding red balloons.
- Pelmanism – Find and name matching cards in this classic card game.
- The Spelling Game – Understanding words in German is one thing, and getting the correct spelling is another. This game will help you find the right spelling for essential German words.
- Rockfall – Save the road by clicking on and stopping falling rocks while answering questions about what you have learned.
- Hangman – Guess the letters and work out the word before your character is completed and hanged.
Primary Games Arena is an excellent resource for students with games broken down into different years, including foundation stages, nursery, reception, Key Stage 1 years 1, and 2, and Key Stage 2 years 3, 4, 5, and 6. This makes it easier to find games that will challenge students at a level they are learning.
There is a broad range of subjects to choose from in the Primary games arena, including:
- Design and Technology
If you find the student benefits from the great selection of German games, you will be able to explore the other subjects.
Some of the game topics that will help students improve their German vocabulary, knowledge, and skills include:
- Phrases and Greetings
- Fruit and Veg
- Verb conjugation
- Food and Drink
This is an excellent resource that will help students improve their vocabulary. This is essential for speaking, writing, and understanding the language.
Language Learning Games For KS3
Key Stage 3 is the term used to cover the school years 7, 8, and 9, when pupils are typically between 11 and 14. The following games are suitable for KS3 French and German students.
Bonjour de France is an interactive learning experience that allows students and beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert levels.
There is an excellent selection of categories for students to choose from depending on what they are currently learning or want to improve on. These include:
As well as this great selection of topics, there are also over twenty games that can help make learning more fun and relatable to students.
Games such as crosswords, word jumbles, hangman, and anagrams are available to choose from with a wide variety of topics, including football, art, and much more.
The word search is a great way to get used to French vocabulary, especially when you make sure you understand the word’s meaning.
By playing French word searches, you subconsciously begin to understand more about the language, such as the spelling. This makes it easier to write in French.
The fun game lets you find as many words as you can, but there is a button you can press to reveal any you might have missed. Taking a note of how many words you got and then trying to beat it is a great way to improve.
Digital Dialects is an excellent free resource that offers students a great selection of games to help with learning German. You will be able to choose from a range of languages and a huge selection of games and topics, including:
- Fruit and Veg
- General Vocabulary
The games are aimed at beginner level German students, and as well as having a great selection of games to help with learning, there are also German flashcards and a German dictionary to help.
Learn German Online provides an excellent, free resource for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students.
This site acts as a database with links to hundreds of free learning resources and provides its own support and information. This is ideal for anyone looking to learn a new language or current language learners.
Some of the materials and resource topics available at Learn German Online include:
- Beginner Courses
- Intermediate Courses
- Advanced Courses
- Kids German Lessons
- German Resources and Courses for Travellers
- German Resources and Courses for Business
- Mobile Apps
- YouTube Channels
There are resources here for people of all levels and a wide variety of materials that will suit any preferred learning technique.
Language Learning Games For KS4/GCSE
Key Stage 4 covers the school years 10 and 11 and would usually be for students aged from 14 to 16. This would typically be the time students are studying for their GCSEs.
The following games should help young learners improve their speaking skills and learn new words for their target language. Many of the games can be played on a tablet or are user friendly, making them much more accessible for children of all ages that are learning a language in class.
Pimsleur offers students a unique way to learn other languages. Set up by Dr. Pimsleur based on research and scientifically proven, the courses work in a number of ways.
The system works by reminding students of new words at gradual intervals. This starts to increase, moving the words into the long-term memory.
It makes use of the principle of anticipation, where the brain expects a certain response. It helps to build a core vocabulary and is taught in a natural, conversational way to make it easier to relate to.
FluentU is an excellent resource that is perfect for German students to understand the language better. The blog looks at German culture and language, offering more fun and relatable content to study.
German language learners will be able to browse the tips for beginners, resources, and vocabulary and grammar posts to find the best resources and games.
MFL Resources is a site that collates links donated by teachers that see them as an excellent way to learn languages.
You will be able to browse through a great selection of French and German worksheets, PowerPoint, and games.
Students can browse the extensive selection of card games, vocabulary games, random word generators, matching games and more to find the ones that will aid their education. Checking back regularly can also help French, and German language learners discover recent additions.
French in a Click offers a great choice of French GCSE standard games. Enjoy everything from hangman to word searches, memory games, and crosswords.
The games are split into different categories allowing you to play crosswords and word searches for conjunctions, comparisons, and connectives.
Studying can be repetitive and boring. Allowing students to take a break from their textbooks to play games like this can help give them a fresh attitude toward the language and improve their vocabulary.
The games are completely free and fun for students to engage with. Choosing a memory language game will let the student flip cards in an attempt to match the picture with the word. The audio by native speakers that play also helps with pronunciation and inflexions.
As well as pairing games, word searches and crosswords, the hangman games are a great way to improve spelling and encourage thinking. You will be able to select words in a specific tense, opposite adjectives, positive adjectives, months of the year and much more.
The Benefits Of Interactive Games In The Classroom
Playing the games mentioned in a classroom setting offers students a more enjoyable way to learn a new language. Language learning can be difficult, and relying solely on textbooks can be demoralising. Finding a fun way to learn increases engagement and productivity.
Interactive games on tablets, computers, mobile devices, board games, and card games can benefit the student in many ways.
Research on this way of learning shows it can improve the students’ attitude, encourage emotional and social learning, and even allow students to take risks without the fear of making mistakes.
Keeping students’ attention can be difficult, especially if they are trying to learn a second language, as it can be difficult for some to grasp. Interactive displays and games are a great way to engage students and let them learn in a fun environment.
How To Get The Most Out Of Interactive Language Games
Introducing interactive games when learning a new language can be a great way to improve vocabulary and go over certain things that have been learnt. However, it is important that the student ensures they maximise this resource to its full potential.
Understanding and speaking a new language is a great skill to have, but it is also important to know how to write it as well. Spelling skills can be improved with interactive games like hangman, word searches, and crosswords.
It can be difficult at first, especially when different accents, letters, or umlauts are incorporated into the word being used. Interactive games are a great way to learn through repetition without it getting boring.
Limiting a student’s vocabulary might sound prohibitive, but it can be beneficial. In a perfect world, a student would be able to remember every new word they learn over the course of a day. Research shows that this can be overwhelming, and limiting this to around 15 to 20 new words a day can make it easier to learn.
Many of the games mentioned use audio. Hearing the word from a native speaker will help the student’s pronunciation and understanding of how the language works when viewing and hearing the word simultaneously.
After listening to the native speaker say the word, repeating it a few times and replaying the audio can help the student immeasurably.
Allowing the student to record and compare their voice against the original audio will make it easier to spot any differences and allow them to work on them.
Regularly playing the games will help keep the words and language fresh in the student’s mind. The games can become a good habit, and spending a bit of time every day will improve the students’ grasp of the language.
Improve Outcomes With A Promethean Interactive Display
Using high-quality hardware, software and accessories will enhance the students’ experience and allow the teacher to have better control. Interactive whiteboards and tablets can be a real asset and improve the learning environment.
Our displays are the ideal way to teach students in a modern classroom. Be sure to check out our range of interactive classroom products to enhance your students’ learning today. You can even book a free live demo of the Promethean ActivPanel!