Speaking and Listening with Barrier Games

posted in: ESL, Strategies, Uncategorized | 0

Why use barrier games?

Every teacher needs more tools that are authentic in nature that focus efforts on building language, both expressive and receptive.

Barrier games are usually played with two players. Two students have access to identical materials (manipulatives, Legos, magnetic scenes) and a barrier is placed between them to block the view of each other’s materials. One student would “build” and then give directions to their partner to “build” the identical scene or structure.

Below are links to classroom examples and one longer video that outlines advantages to using barrier games, variations to the game and important steps to ensure that your students are supported in using the target language.  What I like most about barrier games is that any language can be used during the activity!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHqDteKGoWI  (in primary class example 1:35 mins)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUs31237mHM (in diverse Primary Math class example 5:03 mins)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu40EXETtyk (explanation of barrier games 15 mins)