Why are Games Powerful and Why do We Play Them in Class?
Let's begin with this - classroom activities are useful. Teachers need to use suitable games for students based on their level and that way students can train their vocabulary and language.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Sandra S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
While being helpful, the marvelous part is that the games are entertaining!
They are fun! It's important because nobody wants to sit in the classroom and be bored. Doing games in the classroom, educators can make a great relationship with learners, while learners can gain confidence, build self-esteem, so they will feel free to speak and participate in the class. Games boost students' energy, which makes the class more dynamic, more exciting, and enjoyable.
Teachers can use games at the beginning of the class as warmers, to make teaching go smoothly, in the middle of the class - to put the class on pause to give learners a break or to draw back the attention of learners, or they could be used at the end when there is still time left. Games could be played individually, in pairs or groups, and also they could be played by both teachers and learners. Sometimes playing games in pairs or groups can make learners compete with each other, which can make them feel enthusiastic, and that can make the whole class lively and animated.
Some games that can be played in the classroom are: unscramble, Pictionary, Simon says, tongue twister, surveys, hangman, charades, turntable, roll the dice, etc.
Teachers need to explain how games are played and make sure their explanations are clear and easy for students to understand and follow. Here are some examples of using games in the classroom when teaching about the weather:
1. Students could be engaged using tongue twister, for example:
'Whether the weather be fine, Or whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Or whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not!' After doing it and moving to the study phase the teacher could teach about the weather.
2. In the middle of the class when students are lacking concentration teachers could use 'turntable' game, for example:
Words such as 'sunny', 'rainy', 'stormy', 'cloudy' and 'snowy' could be written on the turntable, a teacher could ask the question 'How is the weather?' and students could answer according to the picture they get - 'The weather is rainy', for example.
3. By the end of the class where there is still time left, teachers could use the game to review what students have learned, for example, they can do it using 'roll the dice' game like this:
The teacher set pictures of words that students have learned and marked them using numbers, then the teacher rolls the dice and tells the student to say 'stop', when the student gets a number it's his/her turn to say that word.
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Games are important. Teachers should not neglect or underestimate them. Both teachers and students like to have fun while teaching and learning, playing games can ensure that learners will leave the classroom with the knowledge they achieved playing games.
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