Spelling can be tricky for learners to grasp because English spelling is not straightforward and actually quite complex: for every rule there are bound to be many exceptions. This is why it is important to incorporate games and fun activities into lessons which will help learners practise their spelling.
Here are a few popular games which can be utilised for this purpose:
Complete the picture
This game is especially appropriate for younger learners. The teacher chooses a word and the learners must guess what the word is by guessing a letter at a time. If the letter is correct the teacher fills in wherever that letter appears in the word. If the letter is incorrect i.e. it doesn’t feature in the word, the teacher draws one line of a drawing, for example, the nose of a bear. The learners continue guessing letters trying to guess the word before the entire picture has been drawn.
Based on the boardgame, this is easy to utilise in the classroom. All you need are a set of cards or tiles, each with one letter on. Divide the learners into groups. In each group each learner is given 7 letters. One learner is nominated to go first. He or she must use their letters to create a word and lay it on the table. The next learner must use that word to create a word with their 7 letters. Whenever a word is put down, the learner must pick up more letters so they always have 7 letters in hand. If a learner cannot make a word, they must pick up an extra letter and the next learner can go.
Of course, while there are loads of simple games that can be played in the classroom with very few resources, thanks to the internet there are now a whole range of interactive online games for our learners too. Encouraging our learners to play online games may seem counterintuitive but these games are guaranteed to maintain interest. These games can be played individually or as teams, which means that they can be played in the classroom and, if our learners enjoy them, they can be played at home. This effectively makes our learners spend time studying when in fact they feel like they are just having fun.
Learning spelling can be tough in a foreign language but it is a very necessary part of the process. One way we can help our learners study spelling is by incorporating games and tests into their everyday lessons. Just remember: the more fun, the better.