What games would you use to teach little kids English?

#1
I guess the title is self-explanatory. I'm looking for something fun and at the same time educational. I thought of something like Civilization, because it would teach them a lot about different cultures, there isn't much violence, and it doesn't need fast reactions which would be off-putting for some, but then I thought it might be too heavy for them. Too many things to keep an eye on, etc. Can you think of something more fun? Thanks in advance.
 
#4
What age range are we talking about ("little" can mean a lot of different things), and how proficient with english are they to begin with?

I few months back I started playing AA5 with my seven year old brother. I would read most of the game but prompt him to read certain lines and let him answer questions and present evidence (giving him hints as necessary). We got through the first case and he loved it.
 
#8
Old pokemom games. They don't have a lot of dialogues, are easy to play and they can teach A LOT of vocabulary just with the attacks. I still remember with nostalgia some words I learned playing pokemon Red/Blue. Embers, Blizzard, Razor (leaf), (double) Edge, bite, leer...very helpful.
 
#10
Just took a look at my Steam library and the most kid-friendly games I can find are Scribblenauts Unlimited, Plants vz Zombies and Stardew Valley.
I think Scribblenauts sounds like something you might be interested in, but I'm not sure if it already requires too much knowledge of vocabulary.
 
#15
What age? There's a lot of games for little kids that attempt to reinforce language skills in native speakers that may be good. My nephew played the Teddy Floppy Ear games and they seemed pretty good in that they kept things simple and at the same time were "games". If you're looking for less edutainment and more actual gaming then Civ seems doable. Though there are a lot of concepts in there that might be difficult to introduce at a young age, not just the language.

Other games that come to mind are adventure games. The new Broken Age seemed pretty kid friendly theme wise, and if you played through together with the speech audio muted and captions on, I'd imagine it'd be pretty engaging for everyone.

Edit: Yeah, Pokemon is a no brainer too.
 
#16
Animal Crossing depending on how old we're talking

Littlebigplanet games have slow, clearly spoken, dialogue with the ability to toggle subtitles (i think)

I grew up with games like putt putt/Freddy fish/ pajama Sam too
 
#17
Thanks for the replies guys. These are pre-teen kids. Ace Attorney seems perfect. Maybe Professor Layton, too? I have no idea about the Pokemon games, because I haven't played them myself. Will look into those as well. PC and PS4 are the preferred platforms, though.
 
#21
The original LittleBigPlanet is fun, features components from various cultures. You can only play this on a PS3 though.

LittleBigPlanet in general (3 is available on PS4), has been used to engage people into thinking about logic sequences, critical thinking and physics as well as just generally being creative!

Here's an some info on how LBP3 could be used for education.

http://educade.org/teaching_tools/little-big-planet-3

Obviously, it has dialogue and whatnot too. Mostly used simple language but there's some jargon.
 
#23
I serious answer?...perhaps Horizon zero dawn... with subtitled on.
a snarky answer ( meaning inappropriate )... Bulletstorm: full clip edition.

Use flash cards with the picture of the item in english. the grammer part of english is the tough part.
 
#27
If you want to teach small children English, there are better tools than video games.
Better tools? yes, but video games can be a fantastic tool as well thanks to their interactive nature and the ability to keep them engaged while having fun, many Gaffers have learned English thanks to video games.
 
#28
Pokémon, Zelda games or any Nintendo game basically.
Once they are older introduce them to jRPG.

Also, if you have a tablet/phone they're gonna use, set the language to English.
 
#29
There are tons of educational-games on iPad/Android if you have a tablet for them to use. Mine are freaking iPad experts at Age 2 - they know how to use an iPad better than their grandma.
 
#30
I probably wouldn't, there's better tools that would be more productive in teaching kids English.

When I was young and played A Link to the Past, I didn't read the text, I just memorised what happened when I spoke to different people. (Speak to the dude in the town for a bottle, speak to the dude in the mountain for the mirror).

I had no understanding of what they were actually saying.
 
#32
Pokémon games are great for this since they have a low-level vocabulary and translated material is likely available in the language the kids already know so they can get a meaning for something if they don't recognize a term.
 
#48
I learned English by playing games when I was young and as I learn other languages I use games as a way of practicing and acquiring vocabulary. I've also worked on some Language Learning Programs for kids using Software to help them learn.

I've found that the most important thing about using a game to help them learn is that the game must be fun and engaging to them even if they don't understand what is happening.

For example, in a "simple" game like Pokemon, once they understand the game basics they will go through the game barely following the story but catching Pokemon and battling because it's as easy as "Pick an attack and see how much it damages the opponent". While they play, they will pick up vocabulary here and there and may even search for words they don't understand because they want to learn what do to, what else can they do and what's going on in their language so they can tell others about it.

But if they are not interested, they'll get bored and will not be willing to continue, especially if they don't understand what's going on in the game.

I mentioned Pokemon because it's a great option for kids in the 7-12 age group. Most kids like Pokemon, catching them, discovering new Pokemon and making them battle. Newer Pokemon games like X/Y or ORAS are especially good because of the range of activities and locales in them and their graphics and simplicity are appealing to most kids.

Something else I found is that the game should be slow. Kids should be able to pause and see the words clearly, and be able to have a chance to ask and/or search for their meaning, especially if they can explain the context in which the word appears. Once again, Pokemon is great for this, as the game doesn't continue unless you press a button and most words will be repeated through the game.