Playing computer games in French can provide an interactive way to practice language acquisition skills. From memorizing vocabulary to understanding parts of speech, online games come in an amazing variety of themes, topics and styles. While many of the games listed must be played while online, some can also be downloaded and printed, making them useful handouts for teachers to use in the classroom.
Crossword puzzles, hangman and other types of word games are the perfect vocabulary-enhancing tool for learning a foreign language. Not only do you have to be able to read the clue, you also have to recall the French word for the clue, which can help increase your vocabulary.
Mots croisés is the French word for crossword puzzles and Motscroisés.org is the official site for the Crossword Puzzle Festival in Is-sur-Tille. The site is not the easiest to navigate, especially for a new language learner. However, if you visit the Les mots croisés à l'école section, you will find a variety of crossword puzzles geared towards school children and beginning French learners. The puzzles here to be played online, or they can be printed.
Other Types of French Language Games
The following games are all geared towards the French-language learner, but are not just word games. While word games are great for enhancing vocabulary, these games work on other skills such as grammar, colloquialisms, and common phrases and sentences.
Digital Dialects is a well-done site geared towards teaching the basics. It would be a great companion site for the first year of French class. It is set up so that you take a short lesson or review a key concept and then move on to playing a game to help reinforce that concept. The site works on basic vocabulary such as clothing and food, common phrases like telling time or greetings, and verb conjugation.
Astérix is a well-loved French comic character. The Astérix website is his virtual village online. Students can join the site, keep up with the adventures of their favorite Galois, and play games. Be forewarned that the site is geared for French speakers, so only advanced students are likely to follow along well. The games here are not geared towards language learning specifically, but rather are geared towards fans of Astérix. With that said, advanced students are likely to get quite a bit out of following the games and trying to read the comic.
Games in the French Course
While a student definitely wants to spend a certain amount of time studying grammar and learning correct sentence syntax, there should be a prominent place for games in the study of French. While workbook exercises and dialogs that are common place in the traditional French classroom have the benefit of advancing vocabulary and teaching correct grammar, games allow a student to interact naturally with French, which in the ends, augments fluency.