6 Striking Benefits of Games in the ESL Class
Games are one of the most important components in the classroom. They include activities that have goals and rules at the same fun time. There are lots of benefits to playing games in the classroom. Students can practice important skills by playing an educational game in a small group or with a partner. Whole class games are great means to review skills for a test or at the end of the unit. When students need a brain break or during an inside recess, action games work perfectly. Games can be given for homework to provide fun, engaging and differentiated practice. Games can be played in all subjects and at all grade levels. Games are fun as well as beneficial. Here are important benefits that we should use games in the classroom:
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Dang N. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Games are motivating and engaging for students
Playing games in the classroom increase overall motivation. By playing games, students become more motivated to learn, pay attention and participate in set tasks. Games help students to become a part of a team as well as take responsibility for their learning. playing games creates a positive attitude toward learning. Classroom behavior is much improved when students are happy and engaged. They get excited when they get to play games, and even forget that they are learning.
Thus, games can also be a great classroom management tool, helping to motivate a class. Games are often significantly more effective in promoting student involvement in the lesson. Participants in games have an intrinsic motivation to win. This drive keeps them tuned in to the lesson and learning throughout the activity. Games also allow students to interact with the material in a hands-on fashion, instead of simply being presented with the information and asked to retain it.
Here are a few examples of games where students have to get creative and elicit a reaction from each other to win:
- Caption competition: Students compete by writing witty and funny captions for an image to make each other laugh.
- Is it true? Students try to fool each other by telling a story and inviting others to guess whether it is true or made up. These games will give your students the chance to use humor and ingenuity in their answers, giving them a more memorable connection to the language.
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2. Games increase Learning
Students learn so much more by playing a game than by doing a worksheet. Not only do students learn content, but they develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Students need to use mental cognition as they apply a range of strategies in a game. Favorite games will be played over and over again providing students with important skill practice while they are having fun. Through games, students can learn a variety of important skills. There are countless skills that students can develop through game playing such as critical thinking skills, creativity, teamwork, and good sportsmanship.
Besides, playing games in the classroom is always great fun. When playing a game, endorphins are produced that stimulate the brain and gives students a feeling of euphoria. This feeling of euphoria creates a great sense of happiness and excitement for students in the classroom, developing a positive learning environment
3. Through games, students can learn a variety of important skills
There are countless skills that students can develop through game playing such as critical thinking skills, creativity, teamwork, and good sportsmanship. For example, with my students, word guessing is a very important skill. By playing word guessing games, I have seen my students’ ability to use vocabulary improve dramatically. I love to watch my students’ creativity during game sessions (we have used Play-doh, drawing, acting and many other activities in our games).
4. Games make students less stress
Having to answer questions on a worksheet, or produce a page of text can be quite daunting and stressful for some students. It can also create a negative perception of a students’ learning environment. As an alternative to worksheets, games can be used as a less stressful way for students to demonstrate their knowledge, skill, and understanding of a topic. Being less stressed will help students to have a more positive perception of their learning environment and give a true indication of their learning.
5. Games are a good way to review the lesson that teachers have already covered
Well-known games such as ‘Back to the board’ (in which a student sits with his or her back to the board and has to guess the word written on it from their teammates' clues), the charades-inspired guessing game Pictionary, and ‘board race’ (where students race each other across the classroom to write the answer to your question on the board) can be effective ways to revisit a previous topic. They allow teachers to remind their students what was covered in the previous lesson and offer those who were absent a chance to catch up.
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6. Games help teachers are more inventive
Adapting and creating games for the classroom is a good way for teachers to come up with new strategies and add more variety to their typical lesson plans. Making games has helped teachers develop as thoughtful and reflective people. When teachers stuck reusing the game activities again and again. They must move outside their comfort zone to find or create some new imaginative games for their classrooms.
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In conclusion, games are very important methods in teaching a foreign language in classrooms in terms of providing a relaxing atmosphere for both learners and teachers. Games are very useful if they have an educational purpose rather than being fun.
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