Games as a Booster of English Skills
Foreign language teaching is a very exciting and responsible job. The new time requires teachers a new approach to this problem. One of the most important components in EFL classrooms are games. The game intensifies the mental activity of students; through the game, children learn social functions, norms of behavior; they develop comprehensively.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Evgeniya D. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Reasons to use games
The use of the game in EFL classrooms contributes to the creation of the psychological readiness of students for speech communication. The game has great educational opportunities. At the same time, the game has to have some requirements: to be time-saving and aimed at solving certain educational problems; to be "controlled", not to bring down the set rhythm of educational work during a lesson; to relieve tension of the lesson and to stimulate activity of students; has to realize first of all gaming time - the educational effect remains in the background; involve all students in-game activities.
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It is considered that the game is used in the following cases:
- as an independent method for the development of a certain topic;
- as elements, sometimes very essential, of some other method;
- as a whole lesson or part of it (engage, study, activate);
- As a part of extracurricular activities.
There are four types of educational games:
- Situational games are games that reproduce real-life situations. Students try on different social roles and act according to a specific task. At the same time, in certain moments, the student needs to improvise, connect imagination and creativity.
- Competitive games test how children have learned. In this case, the game includes elements of rivalry. There are many options: team board games, crosswords, linguistic puzzles. The winner is the one who knows better grammar and vocabulary.
- Music games-it's all kinds of songs, dances. If during the game, the student needs to act with a partner, he, also, develops communication skills.
- The creative games limited only by the imagination of the teacher and the students. They include elements of other types of games and are held in the form of drawing competitions, applications, writing poetry in English.
To use the game can be entertaining, which is held to relieve fatigue; training, conducted to form and improve practical skills and language skills, test and control them.
In the EFL classroom, teachers can use different visualizations, for example, diagrams, pictures, tables, slides, lotto. Games can be organized individually, pair or groups. In my professional opinion, the strength of the game is in its universality, the ability to easily and freely achieve significant results in the formation of personal qualities of the student.
Many teaching practices proved that younger students are happy to learn tongue twisters, come up with different situations using dialogue and monologue speech, play games such as: "Are you attentive?", "Ball game”," Find the object”, "Guess the name", "Story by drawing", "Cubes", "Picture", etc. Middle school students prefer games, competitions. At the lessons, the interest in new material increases, there is an incentive to do homework, because only deep knowledge allows students to prove themselves, to win the opponent. The spirit of competition, the desire to assert themselves – excellent motives for learning languages. Quizzes, contests, travel-these are the game forms that can be used for this. High school students are happy to participate in discussions on the proposed topics, express their opinions on the movies and performances, make crosswords. At this age, students need communication, for close contact with each other, and the game moments destroy the barriers between them, create conditions of equality in the speech partnership.
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Equally important that the teacher was able to captivate students with the game. The teacher's speech should be emotional and expressive. As for mistakes during the game, it is desirable not to distract students, analyze them after the game. Encouraging students and their activities are necessary to create the right interpersonal relationships in the team.
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The role of the game in EFL is huge. It is a good means of activating vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, development of oral speech skills. Therefore, the educational game is a kind of activity of students in the EFL classroom, during which educational tasks are solved in the form of a game. The game arouses the interest and activity of children and allows them to prove themselves in the exciting activity, promotes faster and stronger memorization of foreign words and sentences.
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