8 games for French classes

Do you use games for French classes? Learning French as a foreign language is easier through games. By having fun, children and adults express themselves without constraint and the barriers that can sometimes prevent them from improving, disappear. There are many board games to improve French speaking skills.

Board Games are one of my favourite tools in my FLE classroom. Here, I give you 8 ideas for games to spend some fun moments with your students and make them practise French. 

Games to improve your French vocabulary skills

Memory (Le Mémory)

Memory is one of the games for French classes that allows everyone to have a good time. It consists of picture cards placed facing down on a table. A player turns over two cards & if they are identical, the player wins the round and plays again. If they are different, then the player has to put the turned over cards back on the table. The aim of the game is to remember the placement of cards and find as many pairs as possible.

Why is Memory interesting for practising French? It is useful for acquiring new vocabulary and stimulating the mind. Ask your FLE learners to describe the cards they have in their possession. This way, they can develop their French lexicon with you. 

My special tip for the FLE teacher: vary the Memory cards! There are many themes for this game, so don’t hesitate to vary the content of your Memory games. 

The image lottery (Le loto des images)

One of the games for French classes ideal for developing vocabulary is the image lottery. It is made up of picture cards and boards representing the elements of the picture cards.

The rule is simple: a learner draws a card at random, names it and shows it to the others. If another player recognises the picture on his or her board, he or she picks it up and puts it in the right place. If no one recognises the picture, the card is put back in the deck. The aim is to complete your board. 

How is Picture Lotto an ideal game to improve your French skills? The learner who picks the card must name it. Thus, depending on the theme of the lotto, they develop their vocabulary on animals, jobs, food, etc. 

My special tip for the FLE teacher: adapt your lotto! Why not make cards with words to replace the picture cards? In this way, the FLE learner practices reading and spelling. 

Story dices (Les dés à histoires)

Story dices is one of the games for French classes ideal for stimulating the imagination and improving vocabulary skills. Indeed, story dices allow FLE learners to invent stories from the pictures on the dice.

The learner can roll several dice and imagine stories in French based on the images that appear on each side of the dice. This game can be played alone or with a group. 

My special tip for the FLE teacher: this activity helps to develop syntax, sentence structures and grammatical correction of FLE learners from level A1. For more advanced learners, introduce temporal or logical connectors to make the production richer. 

Scrabble (Le Scrabble)

Scrabble is one of the best known board games for French classes.

There are versions for children (aged 5-7) where the words are already written on the board. In this case, the aim is to cover them with the right letters. In a junior version (7 to 9 years old), the words must cross each other on the board to win points. Finally, there is also the adult version.

The traditional Scrabble rule is to form words on the board using a limited number of letters. 

This game allows you to improve your French vocabulary skills while having fun! 

My special tip for the FLE teacher: you have to count the points. you also work on your French maths with addition and multiplication this way!

The seven families game (Le jeu des sept familles)

This is a popular card game in France with very simple rules. 

The aim of this game, which consists of 42 cards belonging to seven families, is to bring together as many family members together as possible. Each participant starts with seven cards representing family members. The first player asks the person of his choice if they have the card he wants. If they do, they have to give the first player their card. If not, then the player who asked for the card must draw a new card. The game ends when there are no more cards to draw. The winner is the player who has collected the most cards within a family. 

Why is this game ideal for improving your French skills? Your students will have to express themselves in French to ask their opponent for the cards, they will learn the structure of the questions and the interrogative words. 

My special tip for the FLE teacher: the seven families games are based on different themes, it’s great to vary these themes to enrich the vocabulary of the learners! 

Who is it? (Qui est-ce ?)

The game Qui est-ce? is a deduction game that allows you to ask questions in French and to develop your vocabulary. The rule of the game is simple: draw a card corresponding to your character and find your opponent’s character by asking questions. The opponent can only answer with a yes or no. The first to guess his opponent’s character is the winner. To help, a board is placed in front of each player with the faces of several characters. 

The learner thus improves his French vocabulary skills, but also the way of asking questions. They also work on their sense of deduction. A complete game! 

My special tip for the FLE teacher: Yes, it’s not easy to describe in order to have the right words. Thanks to this game, learners acquire a more varied, pictorial and descriptive lexicon. 

An image showing story dice that can be used to improve French vocabulary & speaking skills.
My Story Dices that I use with my students

Improve your french number game!

Bingo (Le bingo)

The aim of the game is to be the first player to complete a bingo grid. The rule is simple: each player has one or more bingo grids made up of 15 different numbers. One person draws numbers at random and calls them out loud. Players with the number on their grid cover it with a chip. As soon as all the numbers on a grid are covered by chips, it’s a win!

Why is this game interesting for improving one’s French skills? The learner makes an effort to understand the French numbers that are announced in order to win.

My special tip for the FLE teacher: transform the tokens into addition or subtraction, it makes the challenge even more fun and complex! 

A game to improve your general knowledge

Trivial Pursuit (Le Trivial Poursuit)

Trivial Poursuit is one of the most popular board games in France. The aim of the game is to get as many shares as possible in your pie chart by answering the questions correctly. The questions are on cards that each participant draws and poses to their opponent. 

It is a board game based on general knowledge. There are versions dedicated to children, such as Trivial Pursuit Junior, which is aimed at children aged 8 to 12. The questions are easier than those in the adult version. 

This game pushes the FLE learner to make an effort to understand the questions in French, to answer them and to develop his general knowledge. 

My special tip for the FLE teacher: if the learner is not at ease with the French Trivial Pursuit, buy the one in their mother tongue BUT translate the questions into French while playing. 

This article on board games for FLE learners gives ideas for developing lessons & to address the concerns of FLE teachers. French language students can also learn how to improve their French skills.

You can read this article in French: 8 jeux en classe de FLE

If you have any questions or would like more information on this topic, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.

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