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Choosing appropriate games
The advantages of using games.
Students have the opportunity to use the new language in freer more creative ways, integrate the new language with old. The atmosphere in the classroom usually relaxed, students feel confident enough to try out the new language. The teacher is the monitor, adviser, encourager, consultant. Errors are corrected only if they interfere with comprehensibility. Typical activities are: games, role-plays, discourse chains, information and opinion gaps.
Games are not just time-filling activities but they have a great educational value. Most grammar games make learners use the language instead of thinking about learning the correct forms. There are many advantages of using games in grammar.
1. Games can lower anxiety, thus making the acquisition of input more likely.
2. Games are highly motivating and entertaining, and they can give shy students more opportunities to express their opinions and feelings.
3. They also enable learners to acquire new experience within the foreign language that are not always possible during a typical lesson.
4. Games add diversion to the regular classroom activities, break the ice and introduce the new ideas.
5. In the easy, relaxed atmosphere which is created by using games the students remember things faster and better.
6. Grammar games are a good way of practicing the language, for they provide a model of what learners will use the language for in real life in future.
7.Grammar games encourage, entertain, teach, and promote fluency.
There are many factors to consider while discussing games, one of which is appropriacy. Teachers should be very careful about choosing games if they want to make them profitable for the learning process. If games are to bring desired results, they must correspond to either the students’ level, or age, or the materials that are to be introduced or practiced. Not all of the games are appropriate for all students irrespective of their age. Different age groups require various topics, materials and modes of games. For example, children benefit most from games which require moving around, imitating a model, competing between groups, and the like. Another factor influencing the choice of a game is its length and the time necessary for its completion.
When to use games.
Games are often used as short warm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of the lesson. Games should be used at all stages of the English lesson, provided that they are suitable and carefully chosen. At different stages of the lesson, the teachers’ aims connected with a game may be different:
1. Presentation. It presents and provides a good model, making its meaning clear.
2. Controlled practice. It elicits a good imitation of the language and appropriate responses.
3. Communicative practice. It gives to the students a chance to use a foreign language.