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Teach English in Wangxing Zhen - Huai'an Shi
In this report, I will talk about “how games can be used in the classroom?” Here we are going to talk about different types of games that can be used in the classroom. Various types of games can be used, to achieve the teacher´s aims, during different stages of the lesson. How can we use these games in the class? First the teacher needs to observe the space and size of the class in order to use the appropriate type of game, also the teacher needs to consider the age range of the students to make those games appropriate and fun for their age. If the teacher is starting a new course and doesn´t know the names of the students, he/she can use a type of name game, for example “the name game” this starts with one person in the room picking a word that describes himself or herself as a person. The catch is, that the word must start with the first letter of their first name. For example, “Hello my name is jolly James”. The person after me must say my adjective and name before saying theirs. So they would say “Hello jolly James, my name is lucky Luke”. The aim of this game is to help everyone remember each other’s names and establish a rapport. Before starting a lesson teachers sometimes use warmer games to get the students warmed up and ready for the lesson. For example we can use hangman witch students have to guess different letters, this can be very useful for reintroducing vocabulary or new vocabulary. We can also use a game to reintroduce an aspect of grammar or to raise the topic for the lesson, for this we could use a typical game called “quick questions” where you write a list of two or three questions on the board which introduce the theme of the lesson. For example, if you were going to talk about past tense, you could write “Where did you go for your last holiday” “What did you do at school yesterday?” “What did you watch on TV last night”? The aim of this is to get the students already thinking in the past and with this incorporate it into your lesson. During a study phase of a lesson teachers can also incorporate a game either for drilling vocabulary or grammar. For example “Grammar auction” is a game that I have used in previous lessons and has worked, it helps the students identify grammar mistakes. Write or display 16 sentences on the board, some sentences should be correct and some should contain grammar mistakes. Divide the students into four teams. Explain that all the sentences on the board are for sale and that you are going to auction the sentences off to the highest bidder. Tell the students that each team has $100 and that their task is to buy the sentences they think are correct. In their teams, the students then discuss which sentences they think are right and decide which ones to buy. The students should also decide how much they are prepared to pay for each sentence. The teacher then takes on the role of an auctioneer and sell each sentence to the team who offers the most money. When all the sentences have been sold, the teacher goes through them one at a time and elicits which ones are correct and which are incorrect. If a sentence is wrong, we ask the students to correct the mistake. The team that bought the most correct sentences wins the game. Teachers should always consider the age and level of English of the students to then select appropriate games for the class. Teachers should also consider what their aims are for each game (enhance vocabulary, grammar, establish rapport, etc…). I have personally used these games in a full immersion program in Spain with students aged from seven to sixteen years old. Some of the games I found that I would have to adapt these to certain ages or levels of the students. In conclusion, teachers must select games according to their aims for the lesson, and the ability, size and group dynamic of their class. The use of games, when carefully chosen, can be a useful technique to build rapport, to introduce new topics to students, and to drill vocabulary or grammar.