I took a workshop by David Perez on using Improv Games to build confidence in speaking and presenting. I had so much fun and as I was playing the games I realized that so many of the games would be perfect for second language learning. Improv is when you create something on stage from a suggestion. The games require that you respond on the spot to a situation, a word or an action. In his book 101 improv games for children, Bob Bedore explains how Improv develops confidence, the ability to adapt, and that sense that it is ok to fail. When you are learning a new language, these skills are essential. The website Improv Encyclopedia is a great free resource. Here is one that I just pulled off the website that would be an excellent phonics game for young learners, and for any age to practice pronunciation of a new language. As a matter of fact, I think I will try it while I am here in Thailand to help me with my Thai.
Great warm-up that also helps a new group to learn each other's names.
Everyone in a circle. First person says his name, making a gesture (an action) for every syllable. Mary has 2 syllables, so she does something like "Ma-" (wave right hand) "-ry" (claps in hands). Everyone repeats this. Then the second person calls his name, again with a gesture per syllable. Group repeats, and then repeats all previous names and syllables.