I use:

  • dobble, good for learning something like 57 words involved in the game, plus some words and expressions used while playing
  • Werewolves, a good and fun game that pushes students to use some very common phrases. The point of the game is to unmask a werewolve who while everyone has eyes closed eats some of the players. This game needs a game master or commentator and after several rounds the best students will be able to take up that role
  • Settlers of Catan. Excellent because players need to negotiate about trading deals. Highly recommended. I also have the two player version.
  • Age of Empires III, meaning the boardgame, not the pc game, it’s not the hardest game, but not the easiest either. If students can understand your explanation of the rules, then that’s already a great lesson in itself.
  • With advanced students I sometimes use Civilization. Lots of difficult words, but the gameplay is so cumbersome that the game takes too long to play within the span of a standard lesson
  • Machiavelli, 7 players can play, there are 8 different characters and several actions you can do, so students learn quite a few words.
  • With an advanced group, that also happens to be interested in the second world war, I can play Axis and Allies. The trouble is that it takes too long, just as Civilization
  • Of fortresses and palaces, a game I’ve invented myself. 20 different characters with different abilities. I’ve played this with large groups, many times. Because the characters’ abilities are quite tricky, players read a lot to figure out what their options are. An advantage is that you let 4 groups battle each other and group members can debate strategy.
  • Stratego. Not that useful, but players can learn military ranks and some basic verbs.
  • A house divided. Only for students who really like strategy and American history. Takes far too long to finish though…