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The Importance of Games Usage in the ESL Classroom

The Importance of Games Usage in the ESL Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Why are games important? Why do we play games? How do people play games in the class? These are the questions people usually ask.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Jessie l. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Normally their concern is what they can learn from the games? In my opinion, playing games in the classroom is not only for fun but also for practicing and reviewing what you have learned. In my class I have always enjoyed playing games, I have used many different games as well.

Students learn through the process of playing the game.

Students may be able to understand a new concept or idea. At the beginning of the class(Engage), you do not have to teach students the grammar in this part. We just have fun and engage the students. These are the games I usually play with my students.

  • "Two truths and one lie" The rules of this game are to write down three sentences about yourself, two sentences should be true and one false. For example, I like swimming. I can drive a car. My favorite animal is a panda. Then invite students to discuss in pairs which statement they think is a lie, Which is true. If they are not sure about the statements they can ask their partner some questions to find out the correct statements. They can also guess from their expression.
  • "Three things in common," Ask students to work in pairs and find three things they have in common and then report back to the class. You can also change the things you like or narrow the topic down. In this game, you can also text their grammar if you want to. For example: What they both did last week?Where they have visited or where they are going to visit. (You can also use this part in the study stage)
  • "What is your favorite... could be anything: food, family number, animal, plant, classmate, friend, TV show or movie. After that students need to explain why they choose that. Sometimes you will hear some interesting stories from this game. These are very popular games in my class in the engage stage. After the games, the students feel fun and relaxed. They will not feel bored because they all get involved. These are the feedback from my students.

Also Read: Teaching ESL vs. EFL - What’s the difference?

Inactive stage of the class.

I do play games with students as well. But I will use a different one. For example: If I teach grammar about tenses I will ask them to write a story that is relevant to what they have learned and then report it back to the class. I am referring to learning through play, active engagement, and fun.

Why I choose to play games is because games can get students' attention and actively engage them. I had a comparison in the class, one group learned the language through the games. A group just teaches and learns. I find that students enjoy playing games. Also, some students are tired of work, therefore, they need some time to relax.

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Again playing games in the classroom is not only for fun but also for practicing and reviewing what they have learned. And you also want your classes to be fun and more enjoyable.