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Great games to practice a language through video chat

A table filled with Dutch party games.

Because of the pandemic we moved our games night online. Because of this, we discovered that it is actually quite fun to practice speaking a language through video chat! Sticking with our philosophy, we made it fun by implementing lots of games. Here is a list of the games we enjoyed while practicing the Dutch language online through video chat!

Conversation starters
– Wat is je favoriete eten/sport/film/boek/dier/land?
– Met welke beroemdheid zou je een dag willen ruilen?
– Naar welke periode zou je gaan als je zou kunnen tijdreizen?
– Wat is jouw superheldenkracht?
– Wat zou je meenemen naar een onbewoond eiland/de zombie apocalypse?

Beginner games

Collective drawing
Open the shared whiteboard. The first person draws something and tells what it is. Then the next person adds something to the drawing and tells what they just drew. Try to make a nice story together!

Best sentence contest
One person chooses a word. Everybody else makes a sentence with that word. Then the person who chose the word chooses the best/most funny one. That person gets a point. Then the next person chooses a word.

Online memory game
Go to: https://screentop.gg/@DutchLangCafe. Click memory, click play, click join, then copy the URL of the site and share it with the rest of your group. The objective is to find matching pairs. Say the words out loud if you turn cards over. Alternatively (for more sets, try: https://pairs.one/en/) Scroll to the bottom and start a 2, 3 or 4 player game.

Op vakantie
One person starts by saying ‘ik ga op vakantie en ik neem mee’ (I’m going on a holiday and I’m bringing), and then adds an object. The next person says ‘Ik ga op vakantie en ik neem mee’ and than says all previous objects plus a new object. If you make a mistake you are out.

Intermediate games

Bananagrams
Go to https://screentop.gg/@DutchLangCafe. Click ‘bananagrams’. Click play. Copy the URL and share it with your group to invite others. When playing, take tiles from the banana, flip them over (press the spacebar), and make words. The rules of banana are here, but you can also just collectively make a big crossword puzzle, or do what you want :).

Hints
One person acts out a word. The first person to guess the word gets a point. Then the next person acts out a word.

Drawing & guess
Open the shared whiteboard. One person draws an object, the rest guesses what it is. First to guess right gets a point.

Guess the sound
One person makes a sound off-screen (example: close a book). The others guess what it is.

Say something about an object
One person picks an object in their room, shows it on camera and tells something interesting about it (what it is, how you got it, whether you like it, and so on). Then the next person chooses an object.

Waar of niet waar.
One person thinks of a subject for the next person. That person then says something about themselves related to that subject. The other people guess whether this is true or false. Everybody who is right gets a point. Then the next person thinks of a subject.

Guess the object.
One person picks an object in his/her room. The others ask yes/no questions to guess what the object is.

Guess the word
One person chooses a word and describes it without saying it. The first person who guesses the object gets a point.

What am I?
Choose a category (like animals, persons, things etc). One person closes their eyes and mutes the chat. The others decide what that person is. Do that for everyone. Then everyone asks yes/no questions in turn to figure out what they are!

Word snake.
One person says a word, the next person says another word that starts with the last letter of the previous word.

Advanced games

Collective storytelling in different tenses.
Someone says a sentence to start a story (example: een man loopt op straat). The next person continues the story with a sentence and so on. Try to be creative! To make it more challenging: do it in the past tense, future tense, and so on.

Improvised presentations
One person picks a topic for the next person (example: dogs). That person then speaks for 1 minute about themselves, related to that topic (eg. I like dogs, I had a dog, etc). When finished, the others each ask 1 question related to that topic. Then the speaker picks a topic for the next person.

One-up competition
One person starts by saying something very unimpressive they can do or have (e.g. I can eat an apple). The next person then brags about being able to do or have a little bit more (e.g. That’s nothing! I can eat a melon). This goes on until absurdity (e.g. I can eat the universe!). When someone feels they can’t top the previous person, they start over with something else.

Word spelling
Somebody says a word. Then the next person says the first letter of the word, the person after the second letter of the word, and so on. If someone makes a mistake, they pick the next word.

What’s more important debate
Pick two similar things (like apples and bananas). Choose two people. Both of them pick a side. They then debate for one minute about which of these two is the most important. Then the rest is the jury and decides who won the debate.

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