Normally I would have posted this on Eurolinguiste, but since most of you follow me here as well as over there I thought I’d just share the post here.

LCR Tubes

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

My mom loves to play this game I know as “Left Right Center.” It might have a different name, but that’s what I know it as. It’s a game that involves three dice, a few chips, and a small group of people to play. This past weekend we were over at my parents’ house and after dinner, my mom pulled the game out. After the first round, we decided to play each turn in a different language (I’m not sure why), but probably because we had three different languages at the table with at least one native speaker of each and at least one person who wasn’t familiar with each language.

The game requires one to be able to count, say “left,” “right,” “center,” “your turn,” and then any assortment of exclamations. So as part of the game we counted and used a variety of basic vocabulary in German, French and English.

It added another engaging element to the game where we were able to help each other learn another language, tease one another in good spirits about pronunciation or confusing left and right (regardless of language), while enjoying the company of family.

I think that games are a wonderful way to learn a new language, and not just games that are intended specifically for language learning. Mini M speaks only French, but because he enjoys games like Super Mario and Angry Birds, he’s learned a significant amount of English vocabulary. He still pronounces Angry Birds, “Hangry Beards” but he’s learning a new language without really having to work on it by doing something he already enjoys and that’s pretty amazing (plus he’s only 8 so he has plenty of time).

What games do you enjoy playing?