Teach English in Qiaotouhe Zhen - Loudi Shi

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“As an ESL teacher, you may feel that your students aren't paying attention, or participating in class even though you have the perfect lesson plan.” The thought of playing or using games as a teaching tool inside the classroom may sound intriguing, whether you’re a student, a parent of a student, a tutor, a friend of a student or someone just interested in gaining more insight into either learning or teaching English as a second language. You might be wondering how beneficial and productive games or fun activities would be and the impact they would have on students learning a new language, and if its truly an advisable and effective use of time in the classroom. If you picture yourself as a student being part of a new group in an English class where you don’t know anyone, and in fact, the only thing you have in common with your classmates is the few words of English that you do know. You may feel nervous, unsure and frightened of what to expect. Fear of the unknown is a natural emotion to feel when trying something new or stepping out of your comfort zone in expectation of gaining knowledge, and learning a new language. When starting a class with a new group of students, it is common for there to be some apprehension in the atmosphere of the classroom, which can make for an uncomfortable teaching and learning experience. It is important to relieve the tension of the room and from the students so that they will be in a calm and relaxed state of mind, open and ready to receive and learn new information. Games and fun activities are effective in a few different ways. It’s an amazing way to build rapport not only between the students and teacher but between the students as well. It's a great way to “break the ice” and get the students talking and warmed up to their classmates and teacher. This will increase students' confidence, and make them more readily willing to participate in other areas of the lesson and class, and participation is key. You may also want to use a fun activity that will allow the students to get to know a little about each other as an introduction. Not only do games relieve a major part of the stress students feel, it also builds on spoken English development. Games and fun learning activities encourage an open and flexible mind psychologically. Our minds tend to retain and hold onto information longer in our memory that has been transmitted during an activity or function we find pleasurable and enjoyable. Sometimes it's tough to feel motivated when there is a lot of hard work at hand and what seems like many boring assignments to do, as a result, students may feel overwhelmed even though they realize they will reap the rewards in the end. Another advantage of games and fun activities in the classroom is that its one of the few times you get to observe the students being more carefree with their speech. It's an opportunity for students to feel free and express themselves without worrying about being corrected on every mistake. Games are not only useful with a new group of students, but teachers should also ideally implement games into their lesson plan as a routine. Having fun while learning breaks the cycle of just being in the books and changes things up from doing worksheets and drills. It’s important to keep things interesting and fun at the same time practicing through conversation with each other in English. Information is constantly flowing in and out of our brains. So we have to find a way to filter out all distractions, which will have the students focusing on what really matters, the lesson at hand. To do that the teacher should present information in fun and exciting ways. Students will be enthusiastic and excited about learning if they are able to enjoy the process. Ultimately that is the result we are looking for, the achievement and success of our students.