English for Life: Learn English with Video Games

mario 1Most of the time when people think about learning a new language they immediately think about boring grammar lessons, repetitive writing and listening exercises, and reading uninteresting books given to them by their teacher.

If that is how you are learning English at the moment, I’m sure that your experience with English always leaves you with a feeling of resent and a dislike of the language.

Studying like this is not healthy for you!

There is a better way

Here at RealLife we are focused on helping you exapnd your perspective on English and life. We believe that if you really want to learn something, you have to be creative and attach it to something you like.

You need to find a way to connect your passions to your learning.

One very common way I notice a lot of my students do this, unconsciously in most cases, is with video games. On several occasions I have started teaching people with an intermediate level of English, and when I ask them how they learnt they often say mainly with video games.

Could it be true? My mum would always tell me that all those video games I used to play where bad for me, that it was frying my brain. Could It be that she was she wrong?

What do you think? Are video games actually not as bad as my mum once thought?

Today I would like to share with you some online ESL video games that can help you take your English to the next level. Let’s take a look and see what you guys think.

Basic Online ESL Games

Games Zone  

This website is filled with many free games that are directed specifically for English learners of all levels. Here you will find games that test your grammar knowledge, teach you a lot of new vocabulary, and can help you a lot with spelling.

English Club ESL Games 

English club is a great resource for all your English needs, but did you know they also have a huge range of learning games?

Here you will find a large list of games for vocabulary, grammar, and even pronunciation. Some of these games include word jumble games, hangman, and much more. Take a look around and I’m sure you will be surprised with the large variety of simple, yet fun and educational games.

Games to learn English 

Similar to the first two websites, here you will also find a large variety of word games and spelling quizzes to test your knowledge. Although it’s more directed for beginner to intermediate learners, it is still good to play them every now and then even if you are more advanced just to keep your vocabulary up to scratch [of good quality].

Advanced Online ESL Games


This is not just a game, this is an online learning experience. Tripppin is an online platform, similar to facebook, that teaches you English through the experience of travelling around the world.

Join Trip and his nerdy twin brother Pin on this adventurous global journey, while learning and living the English language. Throughout this crazy adventure you will be required to use your English to complete missions, and you will be exposed not only to the language in a very real way, you will also be learning all about cultural aspects too.

To find out more about Tripp, Pin, and the awesome English learning adventure they have to offer, take a look at the website and make sure you check out this cool video.

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUkjCmM-Dc4″ width=”500″ height=”300″]


DuoLingo  is focused on teaching the world all different kinds of languages, for free. This site also offers and app for your phone which will teach you English, and many other languages, through a game-like platform in which you have to pass different levels and gain lives.

The games offers a vast range of activities which include listening and repeating exercises, fun grammar tests, and a lot of vocabulary quizzes.

To find out more about Duo Lingo and how to use it, check out this article.

Lyrics Training 

If you are a music lover and enjoy singing then you are really going to appreciate this site.

Lyrics training is a “fill in the blanks” game for all your favorite songs. All you have to do is go to the website, choose a song that you like and the game will begin. The song will start playing in the video box (generally a youtube video) and underneath will appear the lyrics. You will see a blank space in the lyrics and the video will stop, you have to put in the missing word for the song to continue.

This is a great way to practice your listening comprehension and also expose yourself to a lot of new vocabulary.

Using Video Games to Learn English

So what about real video games? Counter Strike, Grand Theft Auto, The Sims?

gta 5All of the games I mentioned above where designed specifically to help people with their English, but even games that aren’t designed for English learning can improve your English a lot.

When playing these kinds of adventure games, it is like you are watching a movie, but you are controlling the main character. This is excellent for your English because your character is going to interact with other characters in the game, and you have to understand to be able to pass all the missions.

If that’s not a good enough way to practice your English, technology has made the game playing experience even better with online games. Some online games like Counter Strike or Warcraft can be played in teams with people from all around the world.

With this technology, people are communicating with other teammates from different countries, strategizing their attacks, working together to complete the game, and practicing a lot of English at the same time.

So there you have it, something that my mum once thought was ruining her youngest child could actually have been teaching him another language, if I was playing a game that wasn’t in English.

What games have you played that really helped you learn English?

Help the rest of the RealLife Community by sharing with us some of your favorite games for learning English. Just leave a comment below telling us about the game and why you think it was so helpful.

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  • dahman says:

    i want learn english

  • I loved the lyrics training, tnk for the tip!

  • radamel says:

    very useful and very interested.

  • Nelson says:

    Definitely “Heavy Rain” for Ps3, the game is similar a movie and your decisions has impacts in the end of story.

  • Mary says:

    A really fun game that help me a lot learn english was harvest moon and roll Games because there is a lot of text and phrases that you need to understand if you want to finish The game

  • yasmine says:

    yo chad what is your full name. im gonna use this article for my literature review

    • Justin says:

      It’s Chad Fishwick. Please link back to this article if you publish it on the web!