Games For Learning The Russian Language
Russian is heralded as one of the most difficult languages to learn (up there with Japanese and Arabic). This is because there are many honorific traditions to know about, many societal values to consider and many historical and phonetical exceptions.
In order to help you, this hub was made with the idea in mind that it would be a games database for russian language acquisition. Games have been proven time and time again to be an excellent and enjoyable way of tricking your brain into learning passively, as opposed to the much less preferred aggressive and active way of staring and repeating words until you remember them.
Below is the list but it is not a finite one, if you are a teacher or student who know of different or better games, feel free to post a link or explanation of these games in the comments section at the end of the hub.
- Get in pairs. Each player writes down 10 numbers (out of say 1-50, or 1-100 depending on the confidence of the players).
- Each player takes it in turn to write a number in the air (infront of the other player).
- The person not writing the number must try to guess what was written in the air and say out loud the Russian for that number.
- Tally how many times it takes each player to guess the number and say it correctly in Russian.
- The winner is the person who took the least tries to guess the numbers.
Note: not all students will react well to competitiveness and this game can be played without the competition element.
This one is suitable for a classroom but also smaller groups:
- The teacher or nominated confident member of the group has the task of writing from 1-20 (or more) on a board.
- He starts from one and moves up one by one to the highest number.
- Whilst he does this, he shouts out the number he is writing.
- The other members of the group should then shout out the number that was written.
- Sometimes however, he should shout out a number different to the one he wrote down.
- The group members then must not shout out anything in this case.
- This means that if you don't realise that the number written down was different from the number shouted out, you would end up shouting a number out whilst everyone else was quiet.
Learning Objects: "I went to the shop and I bought"
This game can be played with any number of players above one.
- One person starts off the game by saying "I went to the shop today and I bought" followed by the russian word for one object, for example: krooshka (cup).
- The next person must then follow up by saying "I went to the shop today and I bought a krooshka" and then add an extra word.
- This game continues around in a cycle of everyone that plays.
- Whenever someone cannot remember a word, he is kicked out of the cycle and must then observe.
- The game continues on, adding one word each time until there is only one person left.
For added difficulty, you can change the location of where you bought the things: "I went to the magasin today" or even get them to say it all in Russian.
This is another game that requires only 2 (or more) people.
- Split into 2 groups.
- Each group is given 5 (or more depending on confidence) verbs out of the list of verbs trying to be learned.
- Each group is instructed to get up infront of the other and act out these verbs.
- The other group, acting as the audience, must shout at which verb the first group is performing before they can move on to the next verb.
- This gives a fun and visual association with the verbs being learned and can really work well for engaging the class, just make sure the verbs aren't violent!
- For an added competitive element: time each group to see which can figure out and shout out the russian words correctly the fastest.
A Game To Play By Yourself
This game is extremely useful for learning vocabulary and even grammar in any language.
Cut out 10 pieces of paper or cards.
On one side of each of the 10 cards, write down a word or grammatical point that you are trying to learn. On the other side, write down the english explanation.
Shuffle the cards or papers about and then spread them across a desk. Have a timer ready.
Start the timer: touch each card in turn and shout out their english translation. Flip the card or paper over to see if you were right and then move on to the next one.
Stop the timer when you are done: how fast did you do it in? Did you make mistakes?
This technique forces you to be competitive with the only person you should be competitive with in language acquisition: you!