Teach English in Machi Zhen - Baotou Shi

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The yellow duck is in first place. The next word rapidly appears on the screen “trabajar.” “click, clack, click. The sound is heard on the students’ laptops’. Some click “trash”, others “to work”, the yellow duck on the screen moves forward, this student clicked “to work”. The yellow duck passes the red ribbon and wins first place, there is an excited yelp that crosses the classroom followed by the words “I won!” This student has just won first place in his Spanish class’ duck race computer game. Students come in every shape, size, age, and background. Every class is unique. How can a teacher help their class learn and also stimulate their interest in a subject, when every individual in a classroom is so drastically different? The answer is through games. Games are what can make a boring class fun, or a non-responsive audience responsive. Games can improve every form of learning and education. It is highly beneficial for teachers to incorporate games into their class. There are a variety of games that can be used in the classroom, whether they be on paper or computer. According to a study done by the University of Montenegro “word associations, memory games, anagrams and quizzes are games that enhance students’ motivation the most” (Anđić, 2018). I have taught students of all ages different subjects such as math, foreign language, and science. Throughout my teaching experiences, I have noticed that whenever I use games, I am able to motivate my students to learn. For example, I had a math student that highly disliked math, but he was very competitive. I decided to play a competitive online math race game with him that covered the topics we were going over. He kept on getting last place and did not like losing. He then asked me to teach him more so that he could win. I did so, and the next time he played he received first place. By finding and using games that help motivate students, learning can become more enjoyable for the student and the teacher. Aside from motivating students, games can be used for any type of learner. Whether the student is a spatial, auditory, linguistic, or kinesthetic learner, there is a game for them. In a classroom, it can be difficult to engage all of the students because the activity does not account for every individual’s learning style. This is where games can come in. Due to the variety of games available for teaching, such as classroom RPG online games, Pictionary, Jeopardy, Kahoot, etc. it is easier to fulfill each student's specific learning style and ability. In a study done, regarding the use of games to learn Russian, it was stated that “many games require that students get up, move around the classroom, or make use of objects such as cards and game boards. In this way - when students see visual or material representations of a linguistic topic - games connect cognitive knowledge with perceptual experiences” (Stohler, 2011). Even if the student has diffidence in a public setting such as a classroom, games can aid in decreasing their diffidence giving them a comfortable environment. I had a student that found learning languages to be quite difficult. I decided to have him take a learning style quiz. I was then able to use this knowledge I gained from the quiz to change my teaching style and I noticed that he started to learn at a much quicker pace. He enjoyed each class, but I also noticed there was something missing, it was games. As I started to incorporate games to each lesson, he got more involved, and he even made the effort to look for other learning games outside the classroom to continue his learning in a fun, enjoyable way. Games are a wonderful tool to use with primary, secondary, college, and many other professional development courses. They are used because they have been proven successful. For example, medical school students use virtual reality surgery training to immerse the student into their future environment. A study done by the University of Michigan concluded that “all of the interviewees needed game-related technology, though there was much variation among the disciplines: arts and humanities and social sciences required video games; STEM required software; health sciences required peripherals” (Farrell, 2017). Whether the game used in the classroom be electronic or by paper such as a word search, they can be a highly effective and motivational tool for teachers to include in their lesson plans in order to solidify subject content. Games create a better rapport between teachers and students, they motivate them to learn, and they can provide the student with increased opportunities to learn according to there comprehension style. Games aren’t just for kids, or non-educational settings, but for everyone. Works Cited Anđić, Branko, et al. “A Comparative Analysis of the Attitudes of Primary School Students and Teachers Regarding the Use of Games in Teaching.” IAFOR Journal of Education, vol. 6, no. 2, 2018, doi:10.22492/ije.6.2.01. Farrell, Shannon, et al. “Academic Uses of Video Games: A Qualitative Assessment of Research and Teaching Needs at a Large Research University.” College & Research Libraries, vol. 78, no. 5, 1 July 2017, doi:10.5860/crl.78.5.675. Stohler, Ursula, and Elena Makarova. “The Use of Games in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language.” Rusistika, vol. 9, no. 13, ser. 36, 1 Sept. 2011, pp. 1–6. 36.