Are Games Important for Students’ Understanding in The Classroom?
Playing games is not only for fun, but we can use it to make students more understand about the topic of the lesson. Games also can build rapport between student-student and teacher-class. How a game is important to make students understand the topic of the lesson?
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Umi H. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Approach 1: Using games as an additional activity in the classroom is common for English class
For some students, playing a game is a fun thing. It also can kill boredom and increase the attention of students. Games also can make students more understand the lesson in class. For children who always want to play even in class, they have a short span of attention, playing games are quite helpful. A class of 10 years old students learning vocabulary about the name of sea animals. If you only force them to memorize, it will be difficult and take more time. We also can play games like a flashcard. It helps them to memorize the name of sea animals easier and in a fun way.
Also Read: 7 Effective Ways to Teach New Vocabulary
Approach 2: Using games for easing the material
Teaching English as a second language has its difficulties. A beginner student has a varied range of ages, from young learners to adult learners. In a non-native English speaking country, adults also want to learn English even though their English ability is still at a true beginner level. Are they too late to learn English? Of course, NOT! They have a good point because they have a strong willingness and motivation to learn English. Can we still use games for adult learners in the activity in class?
Approach 3: Accompanying the material for special groups
In the adult beginner class, the material will depend on their purpose in learning English. The games should be related to the lesson that might be useful for them to understand more. For instance, an adult beginner class who learns about verbs needs to memorize it. Sometimes they also take time to memorize new words. Sometimes those new words are unfamiliar to them because they are rarely used even in their native language. In this case, games are also helpful. We can play scramble words or snake and ladder with vocab in every step. But this game is better to use in a small group class.
Also Read: 5 Energizing Flashcard Games for EFL Classes
There are two types of teaching, one to one class and in a group. Even in a group class, there are two types of class, small class, and a big class. The number of people in the class will have a different style of games. We can choose the best one to make all of the students participate and involve. We use games not only to memorize vocabulary but also for practicing and speaking. When we teach about simple past tense, we can give them a task to make a paragraph about their last holiday. Then inactivate the stage, you can give them a worksheet to play bingo and ask their friend based on the question on the worksheet. It can encourage them to speak with simple past tense for asking and answering questions. In one to one class, we also can play games with an adult student. If the material of the lesson is about the simple present, we can use role-play in the activate stage. We can ask him/her about daily activities or routines. He/she will use the simple present tense in daily conversation. It also encourages him/her to speak in English.
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Playing games will force them to get involved and participate in a fun way. They automatically will be familiar with the word or sentence that we play in those games. The important thing when we play the game in class is to make sure all students are involved. It does not mean you can play a game at every meeting. The activity must be varied day by day.
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