Games in the classroom Building Interest in the Class

Building Interest in the Class ======================

Many students do not necessarily like the idea of being in classes to learn a new language. Even more, it is obvious that even the most attentive students can get bored and lose focus on occasion. Incorporating games is a great way to get out of the rut of language drills, worksheets, boring repetition and individual study. If teachers find ways to keep their students interested in class through games, they will also find that the students are interested in the topic, and can absorb and retain more knowledge than if they simply study to pass a test or complete an assignment. Games make learning fun, so students are willing participants and not just there because they have to. Also they pay more attention because they are enjoying themselves and get to use the language all the time during the game. Friendly competition is also great to keep students interested. It often is the one encourager that students need to actively participate in any classroom activity. The outcome of the game gives students a concrete and immediate incentive to use the language as dictated by the game.

Putting Language in Useful and Meaningful Context ==============================================

Games allow teachers to engage the entire class in activities that require practical use. When students of EFL get this meaningful and contextual practice, the language becomes more vivid in their minds and they are better able to remember what they have learned and used. Another advantage is that games lend themselves perfectly to quick bursts of revision and can help the class to revise a massive amount of vocabulary and grammar in a few minutes. Furthermore, games often encourage students to use language spontaneously and to think for themselves and they give them the confidence they need to go out and use the language in real-world settings.

Giving Students a Break ======================

Learning a new language is intense and even sometimes stressful. Games allow students to have a break from the rigor of learning a new language. If teachers find the right kinds of games, this break can have purpose and make useful the time spent on the break because they are still practicing their skills. In addition, the students will be totally immersed in the focus of the game and they will be learning before they even realize what is happening.

Teaching Real World Skills ========================

Teachers who successfully use games in their classrooms know that there are more benefits than those just related to learning the language. Games give opportunities for shy students to express themselves in a non-threatening environment. The class will learn to work together as a whole or as small groups. Games can also promote competition in a healthy, fair manner, if teachers chose to use them that way.

Creating a Student/Teacher Bond =============================

Finally, teachers would like to build a bond with their students and this is one of the most rewarding aspects of using games in class. Playing games does this in so many ways. Teachers will be able to show themselves as a person, not just a teacher, as they encourage their students to do well in the game, or join in with them. Playing games also creates a positive learning environment that allows students to relax and enjoy themselves and those around them. The philosophy of encouragement incorporated into games allows all students, including the less good ones, to gain in confidence. While some people still look at games as time fillers in a classroom, when used correctly they can actually replace traditional teaching time with activities that give the students and teachers so many more benefits than lectures, worksheets and boring repetition.

Reference: 101 English Language Games