12 games and puzzles to level up language learning

Pearson Languages
A group of friends sat around a table playing games

Enhancing your English skills doesn't have to be limited to studying textbooks and doing grammar exercises. One of the most enjoyable and effective ways to improve your proficiency in the language is by playing games and solving puzzles.

These interactive activities not only stimulate your mind but also provide a fun way to challenge your cognitive abilities and immerse yourself in the English language.

In this language learning blog post, we've put together a list of puzzles and games that can help you boost your vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, and communication skills while having a great time.

Games and puzzles to help your language learning

1. Boggle

Shake up the letters and find as many words as you can within a set time limit. Boggle sharpens your vocabulary, speed, and pattern recognition skills. If you don't have the physical game, you can play it online here.

2. Hangman

This classic game involves guessing a word letter by letter. It's a fun way to learn new vocabulary and practice spelling while uncovering the hidden word. You can play it just with a pen and paper or online here

3. Taboo

In Taboo, you describe a word without using certain words or phrases. This game hones your ability to explain concepts and reinforces your vocabulary. If you don't have the game you can play it here

4. 20 Questions

Play the 20 Questions game where one person thinks of an object, and others ask yes-or-no questions to guess what it is. It's an excellent exercise in constructing questions and practicing conversational English. This is super easy to play with friends and family; you can also play it against a computer

5. Pictionary

In this drawing and guessing game, you must illustrate words and phrases without using letters. Pictionary improves your descriptive skills and helps you understand context. This is easy to play with friends with little equipment needed; you can also play online with your friends.

6. Story Cubes

Roll dice with images on them and use the pictures to create a story in English. This game enhances your storytelling abilities and encourages you to think on your feet. You can buy or make your own story cubes with card and pens. There are also various online versions.

7. Language Learning Apps

Perhaps an obvious one, but many language-learning applications use gamification, such as Mondly. These types of applications provide a range of interactive exercises, quizzes, and challenges to assist you in learning English in an engaging and interactive way.

8. Text-based Role-Playing Games (RPGs)

Engage in text-based RPGs where you interact with characters and make decisions in English. This immersive experience enhances your reading, comprehension, and decision-making skills. There are online ones like WrittenRealms and BBC's 'The Game'. If you're feeling ambitious, you can also give writing your own a go. 

9. Tabletop RPGs (TTRPGs)

As well as text-based ones online, if you have a group of friends interested you can also look at getting into tabletop RPGs. You can find ones for every world or scenario you can think of. Ones like Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder and Mouse Guard. There's lots of online tools to help you play, like Roll20. You can host games online or in person, so it's very flexible. TTRPGs are great for learning new vocabulary and improving your story writing. 

10. Trivia Quizzes

Participate in English language trivia quizzes to test your general knowledge and language proficiency. Trivia quizzes expose you to diverse topics and help you learn new words and concepts. For example, Sporcle hosts a range of fun quizzes that can test your English skills, like this one where you have to translate Shakespeare quotes into plain English.

Learning English doesn't have to be boring. Including puzzles and games in your language learning routine can make it more fun, engaging, and productive. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced learner, puzzles and games can help you improve your English language skills while having a good time.

11. Wordle

Wordle is a popular daily word puzzle game that challenges players to guess a five-letter word within six attempts. Each guess is met with feedback, indicating which letters are correct and in the right position, helping players deduce the hidden word. It helps with engaging with diverse word combinations and deciphering clues that helps develop language comprehension. Play here

12. Waffle

Waffle is somewhat similar to Wordle, but you have to shuffle around letters (within 15 moves) on the grid to complete the whole 'waffle'. Which can help with your spelling and word knowledge. It can be played here.

Learning English doesn't have to be boring. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced learner, using puzzles and games can help you improve your English language skills while having a good time. Remember to bookmark these sites for when you fancy mixing up your English studies. 

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