Teach English in LamawAn Zhen - Huhehaote Shi — Hohhot

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Games in The Classroom Games traditionally were played outside the classroom as a break from learning. They now are known to be powerful learning strategies earning a respected place inside the classroom. Being fun and interactive, ESL teachers integrate them into lessons to engage and activate students. Included in this essay are some activities as they often have the same characteristics and are interchangeable with games. Why Games Are Important in the Classroom Reducing Stress Anxiety and stress need to be low among students for effective learning. Completing worksheets and writing answers can be a stressful process for some students and doesn’t accurately demonstrate their skill or understanding of the topic. Games are less stressful and place the student in a more positive mindset to relax and perform better. Motivation Fun games motivate students to learn, pay attention and continue on to participate in set tasks in the Study phase. Endorphins are released that create a sense of happiness and excitement that encourages students to apply themselves to difficult concepts and to regularly attend classes. Discover language Where possible, students must be encouraged to discover language for themselves. By playing games students become more responsible for their own learning as there is less to no teacher talking and more students talking. Improve memory Repeating games and playing a range of games increases the students’ need to remember important details about the topic. They also need to process this information and act quickly. Having to recall in “English only” improves their ability to engage extended conversations. Constructing their own simple games extends their learning as they have to review the topic before they can construct questions and answers. Cooperative learning Students have a range of knowledge and skills and can coach, teach and encourage others as they work in pairs, small groups and as teams. They can be competitive or cooperative games. Revision and assessment Games can not only help to revise class content but also previous class content on the same topic. This cumulative revision can enable the students to practise recall skills and if done for a full topic can be an informal assessment technique. When to Play Games The ITTT program is based on the Engage, Study and Activate model put forward by Jeremy Harmer. Games are most commonly used for the Engage and Activate stage. Engage Stage (Warmers) These games are designed to switch students on to speaking English and are even better if they link in with the topic being presented. Often,however, there is no teaching intended. Games could include: Fizz Bizz , Alphabet Relay, Sevens, I spy, Memory Games, Word Linking, Alphabet introductions and many other excellent ideas that are explained in Unit 3 of the ITTT program. Many websites have ice breaker ideas such as www.youthgroupgames.com.au Elicitation (Study Phase) Elicitation is an important part of this model. Techniques are used to get information on what students know and don’t know. It typically happens after the warm up stage and at the start of the study phase. Games such as: Follow on questions (start with an initial question that a student answers and then follow up with an extension of this question that students answer)(ITTT Unit 3), Guessing games that use video, mime, flashcards or magazine pictures and Drawing/Pictionary games are useful. Activate stage This stage comes after the study phase and uses games or activities for student led learning to reinforce learning, create fluency and extend learning where possible. Ideas for games and activities include: Role plays, Miming, Quizzes, Surveys, Scrabble, Tic Tac Toe, Jeopardy, Animal, Vegetable or Mineral, Debates, Charades, Word Bingo, Describe (draw animal from container and describe to class),Jigsaw reading ( two halves of text have to be matched), Jigsaw reading (put sentences back into correct order) and Communication games based on Guessing Games, Pictionary, Monopoly, Cluedo, and various other options available in Communication resource books. Many websites provide resources such as www.teachingenglishgames.com.au. Games are a vital part of the Teacher’s lesson plan. Scheduling them at the engage and activate stages ensures that students are motivated, relaxed and practising their language learning and fluency. They are then able to learn more effectively and have fun during the process!