Amazing Games with your FlashSticks
I absolutely love studying language. It’s definitely one of my favorite activities, however, not everyone finds study as enjoyable as I do. Learning a language is often viewed as “work,” and that often deters potential learners from spending time with a new language.
But studying a language doesn’t have to be something forced – it can be fun too. One of the most fun ways to learn a language is gameplay. It’s engaging and a fantastic way of leveling up your abilities in another language. Interacting with the language you’re learning through games is a great way to guarantee improvement and you don’t even realize that you’re studying!
When Flashsticks sent me some of their cards a few weeks back, I brainstormed a few ways to use them and get the most of out this new language learning tool. One of the ideas that I had was for a game that we could play so that my French-speaking family could practice their English and so that I could practice my French. It quickly became a fun way for us to learn together. We enjoy playing the games below with our Flashsticks so much so that I wanted to share them with you. But fear not – these, game can be played by speakers of the same language!
Game #1 | Countdown
Players: 2-4 Players
Setting Up the Game
Setup a “board” that is six Flashsticks across and four or five tall. The more cards there are on the “board”, the more challenging the game is. Be sure to create a nice mix of words (verbs, nouns, adverbs and adjectives). A timer is required to play this game (or you can count aloud if you play fairly).
Playing the Game
The youngest player goes first.
They choose a word from the cards laid out on the board, reading the foreign language word, doing their best to pronounce it well. In a bilingual environment, I select the English word for the French-player and they select the French word for me.
The person who selected the card counts to five, giving the other player(s) time to find the correct card. If you choose to use a timer,
start the timer so that it counts down five seconds. The other player(s) have until the time runs out to find the card. If there are multiple players, whoever finds the card first gains a point. They collect the card, reading both the French and English versions of the word aloud, and then they hold onto the card until the end of the game.
The person who found the card, selects a new Flashstick card to replace the one that was removed from the board. You can play with all 100 cards, or you can count out 50 of the cards in advance to use depending on how long you want the game to last. If no one finds the card before the time is up, all the cards remain on the board and it is the next player’s turn to choose a word.
The player to the right of the first player now selects the card, reading the appropriate version of the word for the other players to find. Once all of the cards are in the players’ hands, points are totalled. One card equals one point. The player with the most cards wins.
Game #2 | Guess What
Players: 2-8 Players (Two Teams)
Tools needed: basic vocabulary to explain the word, a timer. Players are divided into two teams. If there are two players, the game needs to be more cooperative than competitive. Players should give one another every chance to guess the word even though they are playing against the other player.
The cards are shuffled, and placed upside down in a pile. The first player selects the card from the top and they need to explain the word without using the word itself or something too similar. A timer is set for 60 seconds and the other players on that particular team have until the 60 seconds are up to try and guess the word.
For example: en forme. The player responsible for describing the word could say “Moi, je fais souvent du sport. Je ne suis pas gros.” Hand motions and facial expressions are also allowed as part of the game.If the word is not guessed within the time limit, the card is set aside and no points are earned by either side. If the word is guessed correctly,
the team playing (or guessing if there are only two players) earns one point. The team (or points) with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Game #3 | Speed Test
Players: 2+ Players
The Flashsticks are placed in the center of the table facedown (however many you decide to use).
Basic Level: The foreign language versions of the words are read aloud and the native language word is guessed.
Advanced Level: The native language word is read and the foreign language word is guessed.
The goal of the game is to move through the pile of cards as quickly as possible.
The youngest player takes the first card from the top of the deck and reads the appropriate word. The other players guess the language from the language that was not read aloud. The first player to guess the word correctly takes the card and keeps it until the end of the game. If neither of the players guess the word correctly, it goes back to the bottom of the pile.
Once the word is guessed, the player to the right of the person who pulled a card from the deck first goes next, pulling another card from the top of the deck and reading the appropriate word.
Once the cards run out, the players count their points. The one with the most cards wins.
So there you have it – three more ways to use your Flashsticks! Have you come up with any creative or fun ways to use your Flashsticks? I’d love to hear about them. I’ve come up with 9 other ways to use them here
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