Sprachspinat Language Game Demo at “Vielfaltslinguistik” in Cologne




Sprachspinat is now a registered trademark for language, play, and nature games, materials, and activities (SPRACHe-SPIel-NATur). You can already follow me on Twitter: @Sprachspinat and the German Sprachspinat-Website will be online soon (http://sprache-spiel-natur.de/). Cologne is currently hosting the Vielfaltlinguistik Conference. Today at 16:30, I will offer a demo of my old and new language games for elicitation: “Sprachspinat – Spielerische Elizitationsmaterialien für Feldforschende“. In addition to the opportunity to try out different materials and games, I will provide some materials, which can be downloaded here:

Background readings can be found in other sections of this blog. The start of the new Sprachspinat blog will be announced here and on my Twitter accounts.

Have fun playing!

Sonja Eisenbeiß




Language Games in Cologne

After some time of reorientation and game-design, I decided it is time to start events in the tradition of the Language Games Club. So I gathered components of my new toolkit, including my Sprachspinat(R)-wormcompost-lego-elicitation-box, and invited colleagues from the Collaborative Research Centre for “Prominence in Language” (http://sfb1252.uni-koeln.de) for a play&sweets-session. Here are some impressions:

I enjoyed this and I am planning to have more events like this. If you are in the Cologne area and interested in #language, #play & #nature, please get in touch!

All the best



I have moved to Germany

Dear Language Gamers

I have moved to Germany, but I will not give up on language games. On the contrary, I now have more time to focus on language games. I will continue to use language games for linguistic research, but also develop more games for families and educators and offer workshops and more downloadable materials. I am just creating a new website for this, but I will keep this resource page, which I had created while I was working with the Essex Language Games Club.

I will focus on sustainable game materials and multi-purpose games and toolkits that will involve recycled or natural materials, like the games below that involve left-over or recycled fabrics, ID-lanyards, edible flowers and leaves, etc.

I will keep you posted via this blog and my Twitter and academia.edu pages.

Have fun playing and talking!


Twitter: @SonjaEisenbeiss   und  @LanguageGames4a



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Using the Language Games Toolkit for a Charity Collaboration| LanguageGamesForAll.wordpress.com

Language Games for Young and Old – Our New Collaboration with the Friends and Neighbours Charity

The Essex Language Games Club has started a new collaboration with Friends and Neighbours (FaNs), a charity that focuses on care homes for older people and the well-being of the people who live in them. Their aim is to help to ensure that people living in Essex care homes are able to enjoy the best possible quality of life according to their individual needs and wishes. In collaboration with FaNs, we will work with local schools and care homes to bring children and care home residents together. They will be playing language games that use our Language in a Bag Toolkit. We are looking for Essex student and staff volunteers to help us create materials for games. You can support a great project, learn about language games, and learn or share craft and sewing skills. The game-creation sessions take place in a Colchester school, will start on the 13th of May and will run for 9 weeks (Fridays 1-3pm). You can join us for all of them or just some individual sessions. As we believe in sustainable development, we will be using a lot of recycled and re-purposed materials, e.g. buttons, little fabric jewellery pouches, left-over embroidery or sewing thread and fabric scraps. Thus, donations are always welcome. Just make sure that everything is washable and sturdy enough to be handled by excited primary school children. If you are interested in joining our sessions or donating materials, please contact me via seisen@essex.ac.uk.

Looking forward to a great project!


Using the Language Games Toolkit for a Charity Collaboration| LanguageGamesForAll.wordpress.com

Charity Sale for #ColchesterToyLibrary

Games_Club_Dec_2015_charity_saleOur cake/book/DVD/CD sale has raised
£110 for Colchester Toy Library.

Thanks for all your baking and
eating contributions!

And please spread the word about the
Toy Library. For a small fee of £10 a year,you can borrow toys, fancy dress costumes, visit their sensory room, etc.

They also offer a mobile creche and respite sessions for children with learning difficulties.

Many of our students have gained work experience there and they all liked it a lot!



#LanguageGames Club #Craftmas Event with #Children’s University @Uni_of_Essex

We had a lot of fun on Saturday, when we organised an activity for the Children’s University graduation ceremony at the University of Essex. So many children and their families came to create holiday cards in different language and eat sweets from different countries. Our 8 Language Games Club “elves” were really busy helping everyone to make 3D cards, origami cards, and cards with lots of trees, presents, jewels, and sparkly bits. Here are just some of the cards:


And here is our team: Eleni Galata, Sarvenaz Moradi, Maria Naka, Stefani Pavlova, Pori Saikia, Kornilia Theodorou, Stephen Walters, and Yusra Yassin – and Pebbles, our Essex Campus Cat.

If you want some inspiration for your own cards or language maps and information about Christmas wishes and customs around the world, you can find out more on some of my Pinterest boards. You will also find more information about language games, child-directed speech, child language, and multilingualism there!

Happy Holidays!


@EssexLang_Ling #LanguageGames Club Meeting: #Holiday #Cards with a #Linguistic Twist

We had a very inspiring Language Games session last week, where we brainstormed ideas for an upcoming event with Children’s University. On Saturday, the 28th of November, we will show children and their parents how to wish people Happy Holidays in different languages and help them create holiday cards. As you can see in the pictures, we did not limit ourselves to academic discussions in our session. If you would like to become involved in the event, we still have some space for volunteers (email: seisen@essex.ac.uk)!


And if you want some inspiration for (holiday) cards or know more about holiday wishes in different languages, child language development, etc. just have a look at the rest of our Language Games site, a related Pinterest page and our info site for child-directed speech.

Our next Language Games Club meeting is on Monday, 23.11.2015, 12pm, in the Social Space of the Language and Linguistics Department. I will talk about previous and ongoing research projects involving language games. Maybe you will find this useful for getting some ideas for your own projects.

In the meantime, have fun and language games!