Playing games with a dictionary

Dictionary skills are a very important part of language learning, and one of the best ways of working on this is by integrating them into our classroom routines. Juan José Varela Tembra suggests some games and activities to make dictionaries fun.

Author: Juan José Varela Tembra

Daft definitions

Choose an unfamiliar word from the learners’ dictionary and write either the definition or a sentence exemplifying its meaning and use. Then write two false (but plausible) definitions for the same word. Read all your definitions and sentences to the class, for the others to decide which one is correct. Once a decision has been reached, or the learners agree to differ, tell them to consult their dictionaries and check for themselves.

Word dip

RTEmagicC_dictionary.jpgAsk students to form groups of 2–4 players. Make sure each group has a dictionary. Player A opens the dictionary at random and chooses an unknown word defined on these pages and tells the other players what is it, by pronouncing the word and spelling it out. The other players then question player A on the meaning of the word. Player A may answer only yes or no, and scores a point if no one guesses the meaning within twenty questions. Otherwise, the first person to guess the meaning gets the point.

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Using bilingual dictionaries in the classroom

Using bilingual dictionaries in the classroom

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