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Practice a Language with Clue!

"Have you ever played a board game in another language? "

If you haven't, then you're missing out! By using the language you're studying while playing, you get to practice what you know and even learn new phrases. A great example of a game that allows you to do both is Clue, and here I'll show you how you can use it in your next group session.

Keep reading to learn how you can practice a language with Clue!

My experiences with Board Games and Language Learning

As you may know, I spent over 3 years teaching English in a South Korean middle school. During this time, I created lessons and found games that I could use for both my classes and my own Korean study sessions.

My students LOVED playing board games whenever we had free time, so I turned them into English practice resources. I created handouts, or "cheat sheets," of the important phrases they would need to communicate in English, and I challenged the students to only use English while playing. What I noticed was that the students were so into the game that they didn't even realize that they were practicing English without my help!

Since I had a lot of friends who were also studying Korean, we would sometimes meet up and add similar language challenges to our game nights. Again, I noticed that it was fun and comfortable to use Korean while we played.

Clue was one of my favorite board games to play and use in my classes because there's a good mix of ways to communicate while you play, making it awesome for learners of any level.

So what is Clue?

Clue is a classic “murder mystery” board game that requires a bit of strategy and a lot of detective thinking. All of the players are detectives, and the goal of the game is to figure out the crime (in this case, the murderer), the weapon used, and the location of the event. To do this, players take turns guessing and showing each other clues to determine the final answer. In the end, the player who guesses correctly wins!

Although this game started as a board game, you can also find it as a mobile app for IOS and Android. You could also download it via Nintendo or Steam. Both ways allow local and online play so you can connect with your language group online or in person!

"How does this game connect to language learning?"

When learners play Clue, there are a few key phrases that each player must repeat throughout the game. This is great because learners can practice new and old key expressions while playing a game almost completely in another language.

Some of the example phrases used are:

  • I think (person) did it with a (weapon) in the (place).

  • I have a card / I don't have a card

  • That's not true

  • I have the answer!

Other benefits of playing board games for language learning include figuring out what you need to study next, reviewing what you learned in previous study sessions, building confidence in the language, and connecting language with positive emotions. Having fun while using your target langauge is a great way to avoid treating language learning as a chore.

How can I start?

Here are some tips on how to prepare for your first Clue game:

  1. Buy or borrow the game. You can buy a physical board game or play online via a mobile app, Nintendo, or Steam.

  2. Find a language exchange group (or if you’re a teacher, plan out your student groups).

  3. Learn the rules before meeting/playing. This way, everyone can start playing in the target language when you meet.

  4. Create a cheat sheet of key sentences or phrases the group will need to play the game in the target language.

  5. Play the game! Depending on your group's level, you can try to play completely in your target language or mix it with your native language for support and comfort.

To sum up:

Language learning can be fun, and board games like Clue are awesome for proving it! Don't be afraid to change the way you play some of your favorite board games. That's how I came up with the language playing card idea that I hope others can enjoy as much as I do!

Game over!

That's all for this one!! Did this help? Check out our other blog posts for more language tips and conversations about the language learning process!

If you end up playing Clue in your next group study session, let me know how it goes! Also, leave a comment to share your excitement about playing this game or other games in your target language. We'd love to hear from you!


Wanna learn how to play and learn with a deck of playing cards? Check out our Spade and Diamond decks!

Ok, now it's really done! Thanks for reading this far, and as always, happy learning!

Study like a diamond Practice like a club ♣ Vibe like a heart ♡ Speak like a spade


Tiara Youngblood

The Card Master ♢♣♡♠

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