0 items$0.00

No products in the cart.

Game-based ESL Resources feat. Hal and Steve English- 48

Episode Overview

In this episode of Board Gaming with Education, Dustin sits down and talks with Hal and Steve from Hal and Steve English. Hal and Steve English is a teacher owned company that provides resources for English language teachers and students. Their site has a lot of great resources, including game-based resources for English language learners. Hal and Steve also own and operate a school in Korea. Listen in to hear more about their site and to hear them talk about some amazing resources!

Email: steve@halandsteveenglish.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/halandsteveenglish/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/steveeslguys 


Read more about the episode and take a look at the games they talk about in this episode below.

Our new Facebook Group for Educators: Games-based Learning, Gamification, and Games in Education

Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their song “8-bit Heaven” for our sponsorship segment. This song can be found in full on this music archive.

Support us by listening to us on RadioPublic! Every listen helps contribute resources to keep our podcast going:

You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts (or any other platform you get your podcasts):



Episode Topics

Amped Up Learning with Gregg Williams- 3:18

Amped Up Learning, a teacher owned company, that strives to make
learning fun, engaging and competitive with their unique games and
teacher-created lessons.

Check out their game FRECK!- A new tabletop card game AND classroom resource aimed at teaching your students key social studies vocabulary in an engaging, competitive & creative way. Easy-to-learn game steps, quick-hitting clues & dynamic gameplay make FRECK! a must-have for every history classroom.

Hal and Steve English- 4:30

Dustin talks with Hal and Steve from Hal and Steve English. Be sure to listen in for the full interview, or read a concise version of the interview below.

What is Hal and Steve English? Hal and Steve English is Steve Lemlek and Hal Thomason-Wiley, two English teachers in South Korea. Be sure to also check out their Facebook group!

Steve bio: Steve Lemlek (steve@halandsteveenglish.com) is an American born teacher, writer, and curriculum designer.  When he’s not making English Conversation lessons for his website, HalAndSteveEnglish.com, you can find him at the local food tent chowing-down on odeng and gopchang.

Hal bio: Hal Thomason-Wiley (halwiley85@gmail.com) has been an ESL teacher since 2011.  He found his way to Korea from Ardmore, Tennessee, and currently spends most of his time crafting ESL games forHalAndSteveEnglish.com

Hal and Steve’s experience with games in school: Hal and Steve share drastically different experiences when it comes to learning from games in school. Hal talks about the lack of playful learning during his time in school. Then Steve shares the opposite, where most all of his classes included a game-based project. Steve’s reading teacher asked students to make a fantasy board game. Now, they create online resources for their site and are sure to include games!

Using games in South Korea: Hal echos a lot of what we have talked about on the podcast. For English language learning, games can be a great confidence booster for students.

How do they decide what games to choose? Steve explains his disappointment with ESL/EFL resources online. Their site strives to update resources and cater them to what their community and real teachers are looking for. Be sure to check out their Facebook group where they design community-based resources.

Creating unique board games for English learners: Hal talks about the design for his “Fairytale Land” charades board game. Hal used the well-known game of charades and put a unique spin on it by retheming it as “Fairytale Land” and by adding a couple of additional gaming mechanics.

Why not just play charades?:Hal loves to add unique takes and designs on games to make them more engaging for his students..

Hal and Steve’s best resources: Steve dives into and designs the level of the resources for their site to meet certain CEFR frameworks (language levels).

CEFR Flashcards: Steve talks about the flashcard game they have designed specifically to match different language abilities. Be sure to check out their flashcard resources section on their site.

Gamification at their school: Hal designed an awesome incentivization system with Pokémon money. He added a trading element to the system to help develop a sense of culture in their academy as well.

Adding ESL/EFL elements to board games: Hal designs games based on board games like Apples to Apples and Scrabble to meet language learning outcomes. He created a card deck game called bananas. Check it out on their site!

Steve goes on to talk about the name game. Students choose a person and place it on their head. They have to guess who the person is without looking at the name of the person. He talks about doing this with different words, topics, and themes and applying different language learning objectives to it. Once teachers start using games in their classes, a world of opportunity opens up to them, and they can start to repurpose game mechanics, designs, and ideas.

Card deck games: Hal discusses some card decks he has designed for the site as well. These are great resources that teachers can use to teach various learning objectives. Be sure to check out their games section on their site!

Games from the Episode

Throughout the episode, several games are mentioned. If any of these games sound like something you might enjoy playing yourself or in your class, you can help support our podcast by purchasing these games through our Amazon affiliate links. We will earn a small commission at no expense to you. Check out the games below:

Hal and Steve’s Desert Island Questionnaire

Steve’s Games

Risk Star Wars Clone Wars

Risk Lord of the Rings


Hal’s Games




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *