Why Playing Games in Class is Important?
All humans are raised with an innate love for games. Since we were all children, playing games was our pastime activity. When comes to teaching either young learners or adults, in-class games are the foundation stone of learning.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Pavlina M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Teaching Business English (BE) to clients/adults must be a fun procedure. There are many reasons why a teacher must use games when teaching English in class regardless of students’ age or occupation.
To begin with, students can learn with great easiness through the game process. New concepts or language perspectives can be understood much easier when learners are actively involved. Group work or pair work is an excellent way of absorbing new aspects of a language as it is not a time-consuming procedure. On the contrary, it is plain, really interesting and fun. Students can express their ideas and thoughts without being frightened of making mistakes. By playing games, they are exposed to new vocabulary or grammar items but most importantly, they can gradually produce their speech.
The Effect of Games
Through games students of all ages learn important skills. Pedagogically speaking, students can develop their critical thinking, teamwork, and creativity. They are also able to produce their games having their teacher as a monitor model of course. Imagination plays a vital role here. Students improve their thinking, their concentration skills, and both productive and receptive skills. Games also help them boost their memory. This is especially true if we think that learners tend to remember every single detail a classmate did or told throughout the lesson.
Another important factor to bear in mind is that games enhance controlled competitiveness among learners. By using an in-class game, a teacher triggers students -especially boys- not only to compete with each other but also to support and praise their classmates.
Also Read: How much can I earn teaching English abroad?
Games can also count as strategy simulators. Most games require planning, improvising or problem-solving strategies. By making clear that a specific game has its strategy, students can use their working memory to solve problems, increasing in this way their critical thinking and mental cognition. Stimulating the brain with strategic decision making can be an excellent brain/thinking workout.
Including games in teaching, the process can also create positive stress. Being obliged to answer questions on an answer sheet within a time limit is often daunting and stressful to students. As an alternative to answering questions on a separate answer sheet, games are proved to be less stressful and fun. In this way, learners and especially adults can demonstrate their knowledge, skill, and understanding of various topics. Being less anxious or stressed will help students to adopt a more positive perception of their learning environment and give their honest opinion of their learning.
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Finally, games require to be fully alert and ready to act in any context. So, students have to pay great attention to every detail. A game can move quickly, and a learner has to be stand-by and attentive. Quick reflexes are always the key to success here! This full attentiveness when playing a game in class can help students to stay as focused as possible throughout the day.
As Nate Silver once said, “By playing games you can artificially speed up your learning curve to develop the right kind of thought process”.
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