Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 27, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom

'Playing the Game (pt. 1)' photo (c) 2009, Robert S. Digby - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

I have many “Best” lists related to using online games with English Language Learners, and you can find them all at A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Learning Games.

I’ve also written a lot and published a number of posts and resources related to playing non-online games in the classroom, but just realized I had never brought them all together in one place.

Here they are (feel free to offer more suggestions!):

Here are two excerpts from our book on teaching ELLs:

Using Games in the ELL Classroom, Part I

Using Games in the ELL Classroom, Part II

Awhile back, I invited ESL teachers to send in their favorite games and posted them:

The Best Language Learning Games (That Are Not Online)

In Pursuit of the Excellent Game is an excellent piece from TESOL on using games with ELL’s.

Articles on TEFL games is by Alex Case.

Humanising Language Teaching is one of my favorite online journals, and they’ve just published the newest issue. There’s always a lot of good stuff in it.  I’d like to highlight a very useful article titled “Why Use Games in the Language Classroom?” by Adam Simpson (you can read his blog here). The article makes a number of good points and points to helpful research. It’s definitely worth reading.

The nine golden rules of using games in the language classroom is also by Adam Simpson.

3 fun ways of incorporating games into beginner level classes is by Adam Simpson.

A homemade revision game is by Sandy Millin.

Activate – Games for Learning American English is from the American English site of the U.S. Department of State. It’s a useful and free downloadable book.

Games in the language classroom: the When & the How is by Adam Simpson.

Check out the resources in this next embedded Facebook post, and explore the comments, too:

The Rolling Question Game is from The EFL Smart Blog.


How well do you know your friend? (Adapting the newlywed game for WL class)
is a fun idea for a speaking activity.

A low-prep, low-tech, effective game for revision is from A Hive of Activities.

Artistically Challenged Pictionary is from Carissa Peck.

Whiteboard Soccer is from David Deubelbeiss. I’m adding it to the same list.

My ELT Rambles shares a number of good classroom games.

Using 80s gameshows to teach languages is from The Guardian.

Jimmy Fallon Comes Up With Another Good Game For English Language Learners

3 great games for verb tense review is by Adam Simpson.

Most people, including ESL/ELT teachers, are familiar with the game Pictionary. It’s a great language-learning activity.

If you ever want to show other teachers or students a video modeling the activity, Jimmy Fallon has you covered:

 

Jimmy Fallon Models Yet Another Good Game For English Language Learners


Jimmy Fallon Models Another Good Game For English Language Learners


This Is Wild! Jimmy Fallon Debuts Another Great Game For English Language Learners

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September 27, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Jimmy Fallon Comes Up With A Great Game For English Language Learners

'Truth & Lies' photo (c) 2006, Ross Graham - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Earlier this year, I learned about a game developed by Ellen DeGeneres that I’m applying in my ELL classroom and, now, today, I’ve learned one from another television star — Jimmy Fallon.

He played a game with Tina Fey that he called “Box Of Lies.” Several items are put in boxes, a player chooses one of them and the other player can’t see what’s inside. Then the player who picked the box has to describe what is in the box — or not. The player can choose instead to lie and describe something else. Then the other person has to decide if it’s a truth or a lie.

Obviously, it’s a slightly different take on the old stand-by game of “Two Truths and a Lie,” but it’s a nice variation that can easily be using in classes. And certainly you can just put a few things in bags that students choose.

Here’s a video of Fallon and Fey playing it:

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September 22, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Collection Of New Learning Games

'New Game :) What does a Scrabble game you played in tell about yourself?' photo (c) 2009, garlandcannon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I’ve been accumulating links to new learning games (well, new to me, at least), and here they are:

World Geography Games has quite a few games about…world geography. I’m adding it to The Best Geography Sites For Beginning & Intermediate English Language Learners.

Inca Investigation is from The American Museum of Natural History. Students can play to learn about the…Incas.

The China Game is about…China. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About China.

Plan It Green Live
is a game from National Geographic that challenges you to build an environmentally-friendly city.

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September 11, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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U.S. Constitution Games

'We the People' photo (c) 2008, Chuck Coker - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Here are games and interactive I’m adding to The Best Sites For Learning About The Constitution Of The United States. I have to say I don’t think they’re necessarily better than the ones that are on that list now, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add them.

Constitution Games is from PBS.

Mr. Nussbaum’s Page on the Constitution.

Annenberg Classroom interactives on the Constitution.

Constitution Relay

The Constitution and Bill of Rights from iCivics.

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September 3, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The “Broken Picture Telephone” Online Game Is Back!

telephone

Broken Picture Telephone is an online “take-off” on the old game of “Telephone” (where one person whispers to another and so on — a favorite game of ESL teachers to promote speaking practice. It had been taken off-line three years ago, but just came back.

I’m just going to quote from Jay is Games to describe how the online game works:

Someone writes out a phrase (essentially an idea for a drawing), and someone else has to draw it. Then someone else looks at that drawing and describes what they think is happening in it, and someone else uses that description to draw their picture… and so on… and so on… and so on! You won’t know what the other submissions or original objective was until you’re done.

All players have to register (which is quick and easy), and then you can start a game that is “private” so only invited players can participate. Unfortunately, I’d lay odds that it’s likely to be blocked by many school Internet content filters, but maybe not…

I’m adding it to The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms.”

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August 30, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Earth-Picker Is A New Online Geography Game

geo

Earth-Picker is a new online geography games that’s somewhat similar to other ones using Google Street View that can be found on The Best Online Geography Games list.

You’re shown a location and have to identify on a map where you think it is in the world. You’re told how close you are, and how your guess compares to the ones made by other players.

I’m adding it to that games list.

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August 6, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Create Your Own “Escape The Room” Game With “Room Escape Maker”

room escape

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of having my English Language Learner students play online video games as a language development activity (see POINTING AND CLICKING FOR ESL: Using Video Games To Promote English Language Development).

Escape The Room games are one of my favorite game “genres,” where players have to…escape from a room by clicking on objects and using them in a certain way and/or order. Most of these games also have a text component.

Now, a new free tool has come online, the Room Escape Maker, that lets anybody create their own….escape the room games. It requires a little more of a learning curve than I would like, but I think it has some potential.

I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

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July 22, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Online Geography Games

Here are two new additions to The Best Online Geography Games:

GR8CTZ — Great Cities of the World challenges you to guess which cities you’re seeing in Google Street View. It has different difficulty levels.

LocateStreet is a similar game using Street View. One nice feature is that it offers clues.

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tips.

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June 20, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2013 — So Far

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Time for another mid-year “The Best…” list….

As usual, In order to make it on this list, games had to:

* be accessible to English Language Learners.

* provide exceptionally engaging content.

* not provide access to other non-educational games on their site, though there is one on this list that doesn’t quite meet this particular criteria.

* be seen by me during 2013. So they might have been around prior to this time, but I’m still counting them in this year’s list.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2012 — So Far

The Best Online Learning Games — 2011

The Best Online Learning Games — 2010

The Best Online Learning Games — 2009

The Best Online Learning Games — 2008

The Best Online Learning Games — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Online Learning Games Of 2013 — So Far:

Wonderground is a game from General Electric where you visit various cities in The United States and are given “missions” to explore them and make discoveries related to science and history.

In Pursued, you have escaped from being kidnapped and have to figure out which cities you’ve been taken. You explore the area through Google Street Views, and are given hints of what to look for. There are different levels of difficulty, and you can create your own level, too.

GeoGuessr is one of my favorite games on The Best Online Geography Games list.  It’s now gotten even better.  You can now create your own GeoGuessr game at GeoSettr (Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip).

Depression Quest is an interactive text fiction game (or choose your own adventure) where the player plays the part of someone who is suffering from depression.

The Republica Times is a neat and simple game that puts you in the position of being an editor for a state-run newspaper. You have to keep the state happy and also engage your readers. It could be a useful little activity to incorporate into a lesson on the importance of a free press.

Breakaway is an online game where players are virtual members of a previously-all boys soccer team react to a girl joining it. The United Nations Population Fund helped create it.

Quandary is a neat online game/choose your own adventure story that is can work well as a tool for English language development (see Digital Play for an ELL lesson plan) and/or as a way to deal with ethical questions (the site itself has lot of teaching ideas). You can play as a guest or register.

Review Game Zone lets teachers, and anyone, input academic questions and have them turned into a games that students can use for review. It’s free, and teachers can also monitor student use of at least some types of the games.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 1100 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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June 17, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Wonderground Is A Neat Geography & Science Game

Wonderground is a game from General Electric where you visit various cities in The United States and are given “missions” to explore them and make discoveries related to science and history.

It would be accessible to high Intermediate English Language Learners and others, and it’s very engaging.

It will certainly be on “The Best” list for online learning games this year.

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June 1, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“Pursued” Is A Fun Geography Game

In Pursued, you have escaped from being kidnapped and have to figure out which cities you’ve been taken. You explore the area through Google Street Views, and are given hints of what to look for. There are different levels of difficulty, and you can create your own level, too.

I’m adding it to The Best Online Geography Games.

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May 28, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Create Your Own Geography Game With “GeoSettr”

GeoGuessr is one of my favorite games on The Best Online Geography Games list.

It’s now gotten even better.

You can now create your own GeoGuessr game at GeoSettr (Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip).

By the way, I’ve made a couple of other additions to that games list:

You can create a Mission Map Quest game here, and a Google Maps scavenger hunt at Terra Clues.

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May 27, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

The Best Online Geography Games

'Globe' photo (c) 2006, Steve Cadman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As regular readers know, in addition to teaching mainstream English classes and to Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learners, I also teach a Geography class to ELLs (as well as an IB Theory of Knowledge class).

I thought it might be useful to create a “The Best” list just focused on Geography games as a supplement to these other lists:

The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography

The Best Geography Sites For Beginning & Intermediate English Language Learners

Here are my choices for The Best Online Geography Games:

I was prompted to make this list today after I learned about a particularly good new game called Map Race. It shows you views from the air of different cities, and you have to pick which city it is. You can put it in multiple choice mode or harder ones. It’s a good game that can be played with the whole class. Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip.

Scribble States is fun. Players have to “connect the dots” with a virtual pencil, and then have to answer a multiple-choice question about which state (in the United States) they just drew. And the whole thing is timed, to boot!

The Traveler IQ Challenge is probably going to be just about the most difficult map game you’ll ever play. But it’s a lot of fun, and there are “Challenges” from all parts of the world.

Placespotting is number four. Students are shown a spot on the map, and given a series of riddles to help them determine what it is. All these geographic riddles are user-generated, and students can create their own, too.

Map Battle  is a very easy-to-use tool to create geography games online.

GeoGuessr shows you an image from Google Street View, along with a map of the world. You click on the map indicating where you think the photo might be from, and then you’re shown the actual location. You’re given points based on how close your guess was to the original location.

The concept is similar to a number of other games, but GeoGuessr seems particularly well-designed. If played by a whole class with a computer projector, it could be particularly useful pressing students to identify clues in the image. And when you’re shown the actual location on the map, the names of many countries are shown, so it can be a good reinforcement activity.

You can now create your own GeoGuessr game at GeoSettr

You can play and/or create geography games at Purpose Games.

I Know That
and Sheppard Software are my favorite places to send students when we’re beginning to learn about a new part of the world. They have multiple games that students seem to enjoy.

You can create a Mission Map Quest game here, and a Google Maps scavenger hunt at Terra Clues.

In Pursued, you have escaped from being kidnapped and have to figure out which cities you’ve been taken. You explore the area through Google Street Views, and are given hints of what to look for. There are different levels of difficulty, and you can create your own level, too.

GR8CTZ — Great Cities of the World challenges you to guess which cities you’re seeing in Google Street View. It has different difficulty levels.

LocateStreet is a similar game using Street View. One nice feature is that it offers clues.

Earth-Picker is a new online geography games that’s somewhat similar to other ones using Google Street View that can be found on this list. You’re shown a location and have to identify on a map where you think it is in the world. You’re told how close you are, and how your guess compares to the ones made by other players.

At Quiz Geo, you can easily create your own geography game as well as play ones created by others. It didn’t seem to work for me on Firefox, though, and I could only play it on the Google Chrome Browser.

Class Tools lets you easily create a Map “treasure hunt” with no registration necessary.

Spacehopper is a new online game that isn’t easy but, after showing you a Google Street View image of a location, provides clues that make it less difficult. You’re shown a map with various dots on it, as well as the map outline of the country. After three guesses, you’re given the answer along with information on the location.

Smarty Pins is a new online geography game from Google. It’s similar to some of the better ones on this list — you’re asked a question, provided a hint, and then have to put a “pin” on your guess for the answer. One of the nice things I found — at least, in the questions that I answered — is that you’re only shown the region of the world where the answer can be found.

Let me know if you think I’ve missed any particularly good geography game sites.

If you’ve found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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May 26, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Depression Quest”

Depression Quest is an interactive text fiction game (or choose your own adventure) where the player plays the part of someone who is suffering from depression. I learned about it at Richard Byrne’s blog.

I’m adding it to:

The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes

The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories

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May 14, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“GeoGuessr” Is A Nice Little Geography Game

GeoGuessr shows you an image from Google Street View, along with a map of the world. You click on the map indicating where you think the photo might be from, and then you’re shown the actual location. You’re given points based on how close your guess was to the original location.

The concept is similar to a number of other games, but GeoGuessr seems particularly well-designed. If played by a whole class with a computer projector, it could be particularly useful pressing students to identify clues in the image. And when you’re shown the actual location on the map, the names of many countries are shown, so it can be a good reinforcement activity.

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May 13, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Trying Being A Propaganda Editor With “The Republica Times” Game

The Republica Times is a neat and simple game that puts you in the position of being an editor for a state-run newspaper. You have to keep the state happy and also engage your readers.

It could be a useful little activity to incorporate into a lesson on the importance of a free press.

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May 2, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

Ellen DeGeneres’ New iPhone/iPad Game Is Great For ELLs & You Can Use The Idea & Play Without Tech, Too

Ellen DeGeneres has just unveiled a great new iPhone/iPad games called Heads Up! that is perfect for English Language Learners. However, according to TechCrunch, it’s just a high-tech version of an old party game called “Who Am I?” where people had names of celebrities written on index cards put on their foreheads and other people had to give them hints until the card-holder guessed who it was.

Maybe I just haven’t hung-out in the same crowd, but I had never heard of that game. And, of course, it can be adapted to include lots of other words (as Ellen’s game uses, like animals, etc.).

Here’s a video of her playing the game on her show:

I can see my students playing this in pairs or in threes, with two people coming up with the word and each having to take turns giving clues. What a wonderful activity for vocabulary practice and conversation!

I’m assuming there are other ESL/ELL teachers who aren’t as ignorant as me and who have tried a game like this in your class. How is it received?

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April 22, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Great Learning Games For English Language Learners

I’ve written extensively about how I use online video games for language-learning activities with ELLS.

Here are a few new ones that, with luck, aren’t blocked by your school’s content filters (be sure to click the “English” language option for all of them):

Neighbor — here’s its walkthrough

Station — here’s its walkthrough

Escape From The Entrance Hall — here’s its walkthrough

Escape From The Dining Room — Here’s its walkthrough

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March 24, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Experience Being An Autistic Child In This Simulation

Auti-Sim describes itself like this:

The player navigates through a playground as an autistic child with auditory hypersensitivity. Proximity to loud children causes sensory overload for the player, impacting cognitive functions. This impact is represented as visual noise and blur, as well as audio distortion. Participants described the experience as visceral, insightful and compelling.

Here’s an ABC news video clip sharing a portion of the game:

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Walking In Someone Else’s Shoes.

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