Playing Games in the Classroom to Create a Friendly Atmosphere
I believe that using English learning games will have a great impact on the students in a positive way, having fun and integrating the new language in that activity is a big boost for learning. The coursebook is essential and a great study tool, but a variety of activity is very important. There are so many different types of games which is amazing because the fact that the teacher can provide a totally different game to play will keep the students' interest at its fullest, and that will make the student absorb a new language like a sponge.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Joakim A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Types of Games
There are big games and small games, for example, a big game can be about integrating English in an outdoor or indoor activity where you are moving the body while learning. Big games can be, throw the ball and answer a question, doing charades or Pictionary on the board.
Small games are as good as the big ones. Playing memory with cards, doing scrabbles and hangman also make the students think about English.
Different Ways to Learn
I myself have learned my English by listening to music and watching movies and playing games. Games make it fun for the student and he can learn new words and phrases that he remembers for a future test.
Doing good in tests feel good when you are correct most of the time and when you have learned new words from the entertainment it's a very positive thing.
The teacher wants to make the students keep thinking in English, and game activities are good for just that. Some games the students can do in groups and some games are led by the teacher as the students are the players. It's also interesting for the teacher to see how good the students English is, so he knows what they are lacking and can plan future lessons.
Downsides of Playing Games
But playing games too much may slow the learning of the new language since I think the course book is a more intensive way of learning the language. I feel that games are a great booster in learning after having studied the books for some time, but definitely, games should be regularly used several times a week.
Games have a relaxing effect on the brain which I think is very necessary, it's like when an athlete has to take some days to rest his body because otherwise, the training will start to have a negative effect. The same thing I think goes for the brain, that is why variety in studying is essential.
Build up Your Game Library
What is good about English learning games is that they are cheap to buy for school, therefore you can have a wide variety of games and classes can use them at the same time.
Games don't always have to be played sitting down, they can be integrated into sports and gym-class too. Using English in activities as much as possible makes the learning-curve faster because the brain wants to access the information (the right answer in the game) as fast as possible when playing which is effective because it is needed the information to win or complete the task.
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Of course, doing the same thing over and over makes students remember phrases and words so many games are nice to play regularly.
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