Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to using Games to Learn English in the Classroom

How to using Games to Learn English in the Classroom
By Jack Stone
Students often find that learning the mechanics of English at school is boring and mundane. Unfortunately, this attitude often affects the students' English proficiency, limiting their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. Using games in the classroom can help shift students' attitudes from negative to positive, fostering excitement and anticipation, while still providing them with an opportunity to learn the basic principles of the English language



Tell A Story
A game that will help enforce principles of sentence construction is the Tell a Story game. To start this game, have students sit in a circle in the classroom. Stand up and tell the beginning of a story, such as "I was hiking through the forest on a sunny day. There was no one else around. Suddenly I heard a loud noise behind me. I turned around, and I couldn't believe what I saw." Sit down, and have the student next to you pick up the story, adding only one sentence. The story continues around the circle, with each student adding one logical connecting sentence to the story. Correct student grammar and pronunciation as needed. For a more educational game, give each student a vocabulary word that he or she must incorporate into the sentence.

Sentence Auction
To help students practice recognizing proper sentence structure, set up a mock "auction" where the students have to bid on sentences they think are grammatically flawless. Compile a list of flawed sentences from students' homework, and write several good, correct sentences of your own. Divide the class into several small teams, and give each team play money, perhaps $10,000 per team. Write a sentence from your list on the board, and then begin to auction the sentence off to the highest bidder. Announce the start of the auction, and enthusiastically take bids from the students throughout. Students will place higher bids on sentences they know are grammatically correct and lower bids on sentences they are unsure about. Once no one else wants to bid, that sentence is sold to the student with the highest bid. Continue through the rest of the sentences, interspersing grammatically correct sentences with flawed sentences. The team with the most correct sentences at the end of the auction wins.

Phrasal Verb Memory
To enforce a concept such as phrasal verbs, prepare several sets of 18 individual cards. On nine cards, write a phrasal verb, such as "call off," "come across" or "look up to." On the other nine cards, write a one-word verb that is synonymous with the phrasal verb, such as "cancel," "find" or "respect." Shuffle the cards, divide the class into groups of two and give one set of cards to each group. The cards are spread out face-down on the table, and each student takes turns uncovering two of the cards. If a student thinks he has found a match, he picks up the cards. If the students are unsure of a match, they may ask the teacher. The student with the most matches at the end of the game wins.

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