Seven Speaking and Listening Games for Learning Languages
by Shawn Halwas
Number of Pages: 182pages
Korean PDF Word List
Go Fish is not just a card game. It is a collection of 86 pairs of brightly colored vocabulary cards showing pictures of things you would find in a home, from knife, fork, and spoon to wastebasket, desk, and computer. The playing cards come bound into a teacher's book, two to a page, to be cut out and used in many different ways.
Of course, you can have your students play Go Fish. (They ask each other for a card in order to make a pair. If they get it, they get a point. If they don't, they "go fish.") But with the same cards, you can also play the memory game Match It, and Bingo, and a variety of flash card games.
The cards do not have the words on them, so they can be used to play in any language, in English or Spanish, Japanese or Mongolian, Czech or Arabic, Portuguese or German, or...
Word lists (126 words for things around the house) will soon be available in many languages on this site.
The point is not simply learning and using 86 words, useful though they are. The basic value of these games is that students engage each other in discourse as they ask for cards, search for a match, chatter about a bingo game, or compete to identify, pronounce, and spell a word on a flash card. The book contains lots of suggestions on how to maximize the use of the cards.
- inside front coverHow to Play Go Fish
- vVocabulary list of items found around the house
- viThe Game Cards
- viPlaying the Seven Games: Go Fish
- viiiMatch It
- ixFlashcard Games
- ixQuiz Game
- ixSpelling Bee
- ixPattern Practice
- ixPantomime/20 Questions
- ixA Suggested Sequence of Games
- xBingo Card and game markers (photocopyable)
- 1-172The Cards
- 173Additional Vocabulary
- 1775-Day, 30-Minute Lessons Plans
The Game Cards All the vocabulary used in these games are names of items found around the house. The cards in this book illustrate 86 different words, each on two cards (172 cards). To add interest, the two illustrations of each word are different. The entire list of 86 lexical items is subdivided into 9 sub-sets. (See page v.) These cards can be used for a variety of activities and games, and they can be used for play in virtually any language because the lexical items are pictured without written words on the cards. Of course, if an illustrated item is not known or recognized in the target culture and language, it need not be used. To supplement the 86 words, 40 additional vocabulary items are pictured (pages 173 and 175). To make pairs of cards, photocopy and cut the pictures out, and paste them on blank cards.
Playing the Seven Games:
This version of Go Fish can be enjoyed by learners of all ages. Although it is most suitable for learners at a low proficiency level, even intermediate and advanced learners can enjoy the game while developing their language skills, especially in the give-and-take of discourse.
To play Go Fish, you need one set of 52 cards (26 pairs of cards/26 words). In this book there are three complete sets of 26 pairs (78 different words). The words in these complete sets can be found on page v, indicated by color. The first set is red, the second blue, the third green. However, you are not limited to these sets. The cards can be mixed and matched to produce a variety of different sets. For example, you can make a set including all the bedroom and bathroom vocabulary. There is also a fourth, short set of 8 nouns (16 cards), listed in black. These can be used as "wild cards" to force the players to distinguish between count and noncount nouns in English (Do you have a chair? vs Do you have any fruit?)
Having three complete sets of cards, allows the class to play Go Fish at least three different times using entirely different cards/words. Or you can have three different groups playing with three different sets at the same time.
Because the game is best played with groups of four players, the three full sets of cards allow at least 12 players to be playing Go Fish at the same time. In classes where there may be more than twelve students, have the students play as teams of two. The pairs, acting as a team, can consult on who and what to ask for.
Go Fish can be played mainly as a vocabulary activity, helping learners practice seeing and saying a few words. However, the game also offers learners an opportunity to practice speaking and listening as they play the game. In fact, this "peripheral" aspect of the game may be more important than the activity of identifying a limited number of lexical items. You can also require the players to use particular grammatical structures while playing the game. For example, a basic exchange in English could be:
Please give me a ___________. (imperative)
Please take this. or Go fish!
These are simple structures, but there are many common variations that could be used. For example:
Would you please give me a _______________?
I would like to have a ___________.
Do you have a ______________?
I need a ____________.
I want a _____________. Do you have one?
I think you are holding a ___________. Am I right?
May I have a _____________.
Would you mind giving me your _______________?
Don't you have any ______________s?
I'm fishing for a _______________.
Responses can be:
You are lucky, I have a __________.
Is this what you want?
OK, you can have my _______________.
OK, but show me your ___________ first.
Congratulations! You caught a _____________.
I just happen to have a _________________.
Sorry, I don't have one/a ___________.
No, I have no _______________s.
Sorry, there aren't any in my hand.
You've asked the wrong person.
You should ask somebody else.
Sorry! Take a fish from the pool.
The students should also be encouraged to ad lib (in the target language, of course) as they play.
About Shawn Halwas:
Shawn Halwas is Canadian, living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He created Go Fish while living in Seoul, South Korea. He recently achieved a Diploma of Technology with Honors from British Columbia Institute of Technology and is currently an IT Project Support Specialist. Here is a link to a biographical page on the Brandon University site and another to a children's book he published with Trafford Publishing:
Review by Shannon Murphy of Young Christian Magazine:
Cast Away For A Rainy Day
Review by Shannon Murphy of Young Christian Magazine
April 14, 2007
During Teachers Appreciation Week, there is frequently a need for suggestions as to what to give to educators. It is another time of the year for gifts to be given as a sign of appreciation throughout the year. Among the book suggestions that I suggest is the book Go Fish written by Shawn Halwas.
TITLE: Go Fish
AUTHOR: Shawn Halwas
PUBLISHER: Pro Lingua Associates
Brightly colored cards fill the pages of this book designed as a game. Although the pages of cards can be copied from the book, it is advisable to make a single copy for your classroom. Based on a house and the objects within it, an international perspective is contrasted through the illustrated cards. There are a South American blanket, silverware and tableware with a foreign flavor and a South American coat and hat hanging in a closet.
Author Shawn Halwas has written five thirty minute lesson plans. These correspond with the cards in the book. Plans for the game can be practiced with the large illustrated cards. For added vocabulary, there are forty eight smaller cards.
Intermediate elementary and junior high classrooms can benefit from this book. This is because the lesson plans are structured at this level of learning. Illustrations within the book are objects that the students at these levels can relate with. The plans can be easily modified for beginning English classes.
This is a book that would be good for any teacher to have as part of their reference library. Simple lesson plans give the beginning teacher a solid framework and variety for their classes. These plans can be modified for individual classrooms. Aside from the game plans, participation is encouraged by the class through reading and other activities.
Word lists for the pictures in this book would make it more useful for students and teachers. This is because many of the words could be foreign to non-native speakers of English. Spelling and pronunctiation would be made easier with word lists. This could easily be the next chapter for Shawn Halwas to write or an assignment for the reader.
This is a good rainy day book for any ESL classroom to have.