Games in the Classroom ?Work is either fun or drudgery. It
'Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun.' ' Colleen Barrett. (President and Corporate Secretary for Southwest Airlines Co.)
A quote I had read as a preteen which stuck with me through the years. How we learn really does depend on our attitude. Lot's of learners, especially young learners, do not look at their tasks in this light. Students either learn because they have to, or simply don't. As humans, we rarely ever try to enjoy ourselves as we go through the process of learning something that does not necessarily interest us. It is usually not easy for anyone to approach work this way.
'Nothing is interesting if you're not interested.' ' Helen McInnis (Author ' best-seller).
We cannot expect students to want to learn if they simply are not interested with what is being offered to them. Students will retain more when they are interested in what is being taught. Therefore it is the teachers' responsibility to make the learning process as 'painless' as possible for the students and interest them. What better way then to use games'
Games not only change the whole atmosphere of the class but it also give students a break from routine. Using games in the classroom is also a great way to stimulate the learning process. Games can also help students establish rapport with each other, new students, and the teacher.
Most teachers in their teaching career will encounter students who are not willing to participate, but with games it can motivate and interest even the most uncooperative students. I have seen situations where uncooperative students will behave and participate just so that they can be allowed to be involved during the games time.
So which games would be suitable for classroom use' Teachers can choose to use popular/generic games and tailor it to the students' needs, use EFL games, or be creative and create their own games. There is such a wide variety of games for tackling both receptive and progressive skills. Games should not be limited to just the board. Computer games can also be used if the school has the facilities. Board games also add to the variety in games. Whatever the teacher decides to use, it is important to choose games which are relevant to the lesson(s) being taught. Each class is different, so some games will work for one class and may not work for others.
How much time should be given for games' Should there be more than one game in the lesson' Is the game suitable for the age group' Is this game relevant to the lesson' The teacher should ask himself these questions before selecting a game.
Although games are supposed to be exciting and students should be allowed to enjoy themselves, the teacher must maintain control. When playing games, it is important that the teacher does not lose track of time and continues to monitor the students. Game time does not mean that the teacher can sit back and relax while the students 'fend for themselves'.
Learning does not always have to be boring. Students can greatly benefit from games regularly being used as part of their learning process because they are actively using what they have learned. Let's interest and motivate our students by using games in the classroom. The students in return will retain more and be enthusiastic towards learning English.
'I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.' ' Chinese Proverb
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