Teach English in LongxingchAng Zhen - Bayannao'er Shi — Bayan Nur

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Why do children prefer playing games to studying? The simple answer is that the games are easy and fun. Human beings are more motivated to perform actions that would require minimal input and give maximal outcomes. Learning through games is an essential part of human development and it is used as a study tool in a number of areas. Learning English (being no exception to the rule) benefits from incorporating various types of gaming activities. However, the games are not used in every English lesson, there are both advantages and disadvantages that need to be taken into account. First of all, it would be illogical to argue how important games have become in the learning of the English language. Every modern textbook would at least use some gaming activities to encourage students to interact with the study material. It works particularly well with younger learners, but the activities with the same purpose can be found in the more advanced textbooks, it proves they are efficient enough to educate the adults as well. The use of games helps to wash out the boundaries between studying and entertaining which decreases anxiety and improves motivation. Secondly, gaming activities are flexible and diverse. Almost all the major features of the games can be adjusted if it is required. A teacher can use games during any phase of their lesson to fulfill different goals. Playing games is a good way to elicit vocabulary or to practice sentence patterns. The difficulty of the game can be changed on the go by the experienced teacher. Considering that there is plenty of them to choose from. It is a relatively simple task to avoid being repetitive with the activities in the classroom. Another example of the benefits provided by the games is the possibility to expose the students to the material they would not be normally exposed to in the English classroom. Teaching English has become greatly affected by CLIL. Dual-focused aims lessons are quite popular. While the usual study material can be presented in a form of a text, an audio or a video, games can be used to organize a unique and meaningful speaking activity based on a subject that is not directly related to the English language. A good example of that would be a lesson focused on selling and buying goods. Students would have to use English as a language of communication. The use of games in such an environment only makes the process of learning more natural and authentic. In spite of all the benefits, teachers cannot ignore the drawbacks of the games in the classroom. The list is not as short as one might think, it includes the effort required to plan the activity, time needed to conduct it during the lesson, additional toys and props, specific classroom setup and others. However, the biggest disadvantage comes from the ability of games to entertain. The classroom environment is different from the playground, it is meant to be serious and focused on acquiring knowledge above anything else. Teachers use games as some sort of a carrot on a stick to trick students into learning without taking it too seriously. Students' perception of the games could develop a destructive addiction if they perceive them as a goal rather than an instrument. A common situation is when the use of games in the classroom becomes so abundant that the students except for nothing less in the future. Such a problem should be avoided with the help of careful planning. Games are a useful tool to balance out the positive and negative aspects of learning. They are used to motivate students, decrease their anxiety and promote learning in the context of real-world situations. Although not flawless, they are highly efficient and can be found in the majority of the textbooks. As long as the use of the games is well-considered and meaningful, teachers should try to include them as a part of their lessons.