Teach English in Haiyong Zhen - Nantong Shi

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This personal summary looks at the role games in the classroom play and their benefits. After 20 units of this course and the opportunity to reflect on them, I feel as though this is the standout area for me in being an effective teacher in the classroom. From the very first lesson students and teachers will meet for the first time and establish important relationships that will continue for the duration of the course. Ice breaker games, as corny as they sometimes feel, whether it be in the workplace or a classroom provide a great opener into interaction between student to student and teacher to student. A great opportunity for the teacher to asses and develop future lesson plans and establish rapport with students from the first lesson. They require minimal setup time, planning, cost and can be adapted to suit age and language level. Engaging students to form positive connections/memories with learning. My personal memories with learning in my childhood were quite boring, uninteresting and disengaging. It took my later years in life to enjoy learning through positive experiences in the classroom where I had Teachers that would break up the course content with games to keep us entertained and interested. Hilarious or silly moments in the classroom were very memorable. Games like Charades or Pictionary can be used to provide that unexpected moment of hilarity or silliness, forming a positive learning memory. Games provide a low anxiety environment where students can focus on the fluency of the language they have learned, practicing with their fellow students without the fear of being “tested”. Even though the teacher will be monitoring individuals whilst they are engaging in the games. The students can be free to use their newly learnt language creatively and freely. Games also bring all students to be involved in the class and help break up heavy learning times such as grammar or tenses, to keep them motivated and use what they have learned in meaningful interactions. Games are also a great tool to use spontaneously or respond to changes in the classroom vibe. The International School I have been offered to run some After School Programs in the near future have been kind enough to let me volunteer assist in the classroom previously. Every second day they have PE lessons and every month have a fire drill. My observations have been that often when they have come back from emergency earthquake drills, assemblies, lunch time play and PE they are usually more energetic and harder to settle. A quick game relating to their course content or task for the day would have been a more useful tool. Harnessing this over active energy rather than trying to force an intensive worksheet resulted in an unsettled teacher, students being disciplined, the classroom task a failure and negative vibe for the rest of the day. Games are also a valuable tool in all ESA stages. Games are generally used to engage students and generate interest, but can help students in the Study and Activate phases. Games like Word Bingo, Scrabble Tiles, Scategories and Hangman can be adapted to lead into worksheets and fun activities like Role Playing Games in the Activate stage can get the students to utilise what they have learnt and meaningful interactions with the language. In closing, not every lesson can be a game and it is meant to be an addition to one of the tools in the Teachers arsenal. An active, fun and engaging environment to learn in will yield positive results and pave the way for positive outcomes for students and teachers. Leaning is fun, its up to the Teachers to keep it that way.