Teach English in Luyuan Zhen - Zhuzhou Shi

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I can tell from my personal experience that playing games in the classroom can be the most efficient way to make students practice speaking or memorize new vocabulary or grammatical structures. This statement concerns not only children, but adults as well. There are a numerous reasons for it. First of all, I would like to quote legendary Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who said "All grown-ups were once children". Dwelling on his words I wish to add from myself that once adults start playing a game, their eyes light up and they become fully immersed in the atmosphere of it, complying with the rules and doing their best. This is one of the ways to create artificial language environment, which, as we know, is the best means of acquiring a new language. Secondly, a human being is a competitive creature, so dividing students into teams and making them compete against one another can be the key to provoking their capacity for a language. Their main goal becomes to win, so they automatically forget about all the fears, complexes and insecurities that have all this time hindered their progress and recall a lot of things they have learnt but have never used until that very moment. I think it is the point at which the instinct, which helped our ancestors hunt the wild and run away from the danger, is triggered to awaken our subconsciousness and use it to its full potential. Thirdly, engaging all the five senses, such as sight, hearing, and even taste, smell and touch, or even making students move while studying new material can make them associate the new vocabulary or grammar they have learnt with the pictures, actions or events they have seen, done or experienced at the point of acquiring new knowledge. It implies that the memory of what they have learnt is stronger, longer and more qualitative. The games themselves must be well-organized and meticulously planned so that they are suitable to the students’ level of English. They should also fulfill the needs of the students and relate to the program. The instructions must be straightforward and the teacher ought to demonstrate how to play the game first to avoid any confusion of the students. If playing a game requires props, they have to be neat, colourful (colours are known to stimulate brain activity, boost concentration and improve memory) and the type has to be readable. Games where a simple “yes” or “no” answer is required have every right to take place, but most of them should be designed to make a student speak, practicing the target vocabulary and grammar. There are a lot of online and offline sources where the ideas for creating games can be found, such as bingo, lotto, domino, story-telling etc. Personally, I look for inspiration and new creative ideas in TV shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show with James Corden, etc. To sum it up, the main purpose of playing games in the ESL lesson is to prevent boring cramming and provide interesting, fun and exciting learning, thus stimulating qualitative mastering of a language.