Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Online Learning Games — 2007

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Now that I’ve finished two of “The Best…” lists, I’m ready for a third one.  This post will share my picks for the best twelve online learning games of the year.

All the games on this  list should be accessible, challenging, and fun for English Language Learners and native-English speakers alike (of all ages), except for two or three that are obviously for Beginning English Language Learners.  I’ve particularly tried to include sites where students can create great games, too.

Number eleven is Class Tools.  Teachers and students can create lots of learning activities using formats from popular 1980′s arcade games.

Philologus is the tenth site on my list.  It’s very similar to Class Tools.  However, it uses more recent television games shows as templates for teacher and student created exercises.

The Senses Challenge is ranked number nine.  It’s a series of timed puzzles from the BBC, and they’re a lot harder than you think.

Bite Size Literacy and Math is the eighth site on the list.  It’s a new BBC portal filled with fun activities for Beginning English Language Learners and native-English speakers to develop literacy and math skills.

Number seven is the famous Free Rice game.  It’s great that they donate rice to the United Nations food program for every correct answer, but that’s not why it made my list.  It’s here because it’s a neat vocabulary-building exercise for anyone.  It stands-out becauses it only increases its difficulty level based on how well you’re doing in the game.

The Twenty Questions Game is number six. You think of something, and the computer asks you questions in an attempt to guess what you’re thinking of.  You  might want to read my post to learn about how I’ve used it in class.

Qtoro is number five.  It’s a fun game covering countless subjects.  Students can also create their own games and compete against each other.  Here again it’s probably worth reading two separate posts I wrote about it.

The fourth site on my list is Launchball from the British Science Musuem.  Students can create a sort of video game (and learn scientific concepts in the process), title it, and post the url.

Number three is another site primarily for Beginning English Language Learners.  It’s the new English Learning site from Yahoo Korea, and has a gazillion fun activities.  Even though all the titles of the activities are in Korean, once you click on them all the words and audio will be in English.

Number two on my list really consists of two music games by the same creator — Luke Whittaker.  One is called Sound Factory  and the other is A Break In The Road. I’m not going to even going to try to describe these wonderful games here.  You can read my post and try them yourself.

And, finally, the number one online learning game for 2007 is… Wordmaster, another site from the BBC. In it, you’re shown a sentence with a word missing (indicated by a blank).  Then you have to click on an on-screen keyboard to type the correct word “hangman” style.  You can ask for clues, and you’re competing against the clock.  You can also choose various levels of difficulty, and the game has thousands of words.  And after you’ve either guessed the correct word or the timer is up, you can have the sentence read to you.

Again, as in my other lists, I’m looking forward to feedback.

Links to all these games, along to thousands of others, can also be found on my website.  You can also find all the other Websites of the Year here.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

11 Comments

  1. Larry,

    A great list as always and a few that are nice “Christmas presents” to me. I think what a list like this really speaks towards, is the power of flash for learning and the future of language learning globally.

    We will see, little by little, technology being used to facilitate language instruction and especially for individual learning which will predominate in the future.

    I still haven’t found the “perfect” game, maybe next year?

    David

  2. Thank you for sharing! I’ve saved it to delicious to explore them all. Have you tried http://www.purposegames.com for creating your own games?

  3. Vera,

    I have tried Purpose Games, and have had it listed on my Teacher’s Page for quite awhile. I just thought you could more creative and fun games at the other two sites I listed.

    Larry

  4. David,

    Let me know when you find your “perfect” game, and give me the secret, too!

    Larry

  5. I was delighted to discover the link to your blog on the serious games email list. I look forward to trying these out with students when we return to school in January.
    Thanks for a great Christmas gift!

  6. Pingback: Educational Technology and Life » Blog Archive » links for 2008-01-12

  7. Larry
    I am often drawn to your site from a link outside. Where I run into frustration is in finding ESL friendly sites for my kindergarten class. They cannot read or write. They only learn to count to 20 during the first part of the year – that level of skill.
    Is there a site you can recommend that will give me online tools for the 5-6 year old student? I enjoy your list but as I laboriously test each one out, I find it won’t work for the younger kids.

  8. Larry,
    Great list of games mentioned above. I especially appreciate your list including an English game since I am soon to be an English teacher at the high school level. Also, in my Audio-visual education class my group and I came across a website chalk full of free educational online games ranging from Us History, World history, English grammar and vocabulary builders to many others. The website is http://www.sheppardsoftware.com

    Do check it out as I hope you will be entertained as well as you could possibly include it on your future list.

    Thanks and keep on doing what you do.

    Audrey–University of Guam

  9. Hi Larry,
    I thought your list was not only interesting but very entertaining to take a look at many different online educational games. I had a wonderful time reading your descriptions and posts about your 12 online education games of the year and gaining greater knowledge about online educational games. I never really learned about online educational games until I enrolled into ED-451, which is an audio visual class at the University of Guam. I found it great that the FREE RICE game donates rice to every answer each student answered correctly. It was very helpful to look at the different games on your list and compare them and get ideas on how great educational games are suppose to look like. I am grateful for the list and descriptions you have shared with all of us and will definitely use it as a tool in my classroom.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Cruz from the University of Guam

  10. Hello Larry,
    I read the descriptions of your top games. I actually tried playing the Free Rice game. Not only is it a great way to donate rice to end hunger, but I thought it was a good learning tool that can be incorporated in the classroom. Students can work on exercises ranging from English to Chemistry. I also really liked how the questions answered incorrectly were repeated so students may be able to review and learn from their mistakes.

    Mara Andrada, University of Guam (Audiovisual)

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