For decades people have been using games as a tool to teach new languages, this happens because game sets can be used for different purposes, achieving different levels of knowledge with students. Even though games usually have their focus directed to communication, they can also be used to improve the other English skills: listening, writing, and reading.
When we use games in our classrooms we make the students think faster, be more active, and, because we usually make them work in groups, they will interact with each other more and will learn how to work in teams.
While in one hand games help increasing student’s motivation, on the other hand, they can turn into a mess. For this reason, a few rules should be considered when using games in your classes:
Choose subjects your students are interested. People usually prefer activities that distract them, liking even more if the task has a topic of their interest. Before planning your game make a quick data collection of the things your pupils like the most, that will undoubtedly make your life easier while you think about the game you want and also in future activities.
The teacher must prepare the activity in advance. Having the domain of the class is extremely important is this situation; the teacher must know all the rules and how the students will be divided into groups before playing the game.
The game must be well explained. Before the game starts, the teacher must be sure that all the students understood the rules. Otherwise, the students will not know what to do and time will be the loss in the middle of the activity.
If the class is divided into groups, grouping has to be done quickly. Students tend to waste a lot of time trying to choose their teams or partners before activities, so, divide the class soon and use your time wisely.
After the game, give and ask for feedback! Students expect for feedbacks after activities, even when it is an exercise, an easy-going task such as games. So, provide your input, tell them what you think and how they can improve for the next game and ask them for their opinions about the game, what they like, what they think that should be improved, what kind of game they would want you to bring to class next time, etc.
So, given this points, next time you think about doing a game in your English class try to use the tips aforementioned, I guarantee that you and your students will love it.
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