How to learn Spanish with games: Dobble

In this post you’ll discover different ways in which you can use Dobble for your Spanish learning. You’ll also find a Dobble game to download and print, and a digital version to use online.

It’s not a secret that I love using games in my Spanish classes. 

Did you realize that while you’re having fun, you’re more motivated, you’re paying more attention and so the learning is more effective? Yes, it is!

Dobble is one of my favorite games for language learning, because… 

  • It’s visual, so you can use it for any language you’re learning
  • It’s a real game, so it’s easy to get (you might have it already!)
  • It’s fast and fun

There are so many ways in which you can use Dobble to learn Spanish (or any other language). In this post you’ll discover how to: 

  • Play Dobble (the original game)
  • Learn Spanish with Dobble in a group
  • Learn Spanish with Dobble alone
  • Adapt Dobble to language learning
  • Play Dobble online 
  • Practice speaking and writing with Dobble
  • Practice grammar with Dobble

Ready to discover everything that Dobble has to offer? 

How to play Dobble

The concept of Dobble is easy: it consists of a deck of cards with several images on each card. The beauty of the game is that there is always one, and only one, common image between any two random cards. 

Rules to play: 

  • Give one card to each player
  • Place the remaining cards in the center, one card facing up
  • Each player has to look for the common image between their card and the card in the center
  • The fastest player to find the image and name it takes the card from the center, displaying a new card in the center
  • The game ends when there are no more cards on the deck
  • The player who has most cards is the winner 

Learn Spanish with Dobble: in group

If you have family or friends who are also learning Spanish you can play together. 

In this case the rules are the same as for the original game, except that when you name the common image, you must say the word in Spanish

If you want to make the game more challenging, you can make a full sentence instead of just saying the word. 

Learn Spanish with Dobble: alone

What to do if you don’t know anyone who is learning Spanish? How can you be the fastest to find the common image… if there is no one else? Is there no way to use Dobble?

Yes, there is… you can still use Dobble! 

  • Take the full deck in front of you, with the cards facing up, in a way that you only see the first card
  • Place the first card next to the deck, now you should see two cards facing up
  • Look for the common image, name it, and put the second card on top of the first, showing the next card
  • Go on 

If you’re playing alone you can introduce a different kind of challenge: playing against time. For example: 

  • How many cards can you do in 2 minutes? 
  • How long does it take you to play the full deck of cards? 

Write down your results, and the next time, try to be faster. 

Adapting Dobble for language learning

Another advantage of Dobble is that there are several versions of the game. If you look at the Dobble website you will see that, in addition to the classic version, there are versions with numbers and shapes, animals, and more.

But what if you want to practice vocabulary that’s not on the cards? 

Solution 1: you can create your own decks, for example, in this website. It’s not the most intuitive page though, and it’s in French, but it’s the only one I know. 

Solution 2: search in internet if someone has created and shared Dobble cards with the topic you want. 

For example, I have created food Dobble cards, and you can download them here. You only need to print them, cut them, and start playing.

By the way, which other topics would you like to have? I’m planning to create a set of Dobble games but I’d need to know which topics you’re most interested in. Please let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail. 

Playing Dobble online

What to do if you want to play Dobble with someone who is far away? Is it even possible to play this cards game online? 

Yes, it’s possible! I’m an online Spanish teacher and I use it with my students. One way is to show the cards in front of the camera, but it’s hard to see them if you’re holding the cards.

A better solution: use digital versions of Dobble and share the screen. 

I’m not sure how many digital Dobbles are out there, but here you have my version of the food Dobble. Just click on both circles and the images will randomly change. Find the common image, name it or make a sentence, and click again for new images. You can actually use a digital Dobble in group or alone. 

Learn Spanish with Dobble: speaking and writing

So now you know how to use Dobble to review vocabulary. 

Is there anything else we can do with it? 

Here are some other ideas: 

  • Speaking and writing: write down all the common words you have found in a round, and tell or write a short story using all the words. 
  • Word sneak: start telling a story. Take two Dobble cards and find the common image. Insert that word into the story. Take two more cards, find a new word, continue the story.

Learn Spanish with Dobble: grammar

Yes, you’re reading that right… you can even practice grammar with Dobble! Depending on what you want to practice, you could: 

  • Make a sentence in present, part or future
  • Describe the object you’ve found using as many adjectives as possible (attention to the masculine/ feminine and singular/ plural forms of the adjectives)
  • Use a Double deck with verbs and conjugate the common verb 

So there you have it, different ideas to learn Spanish (or any other languages) with Dobble. And I’m sure there are even more games and challenges you can do with it.

Do you have any other ideas? You can share them in the comments, I’d love to hear about them.

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