Abstract: Language learning is a difficult task and requires adopting various skills. Games are a priceless support which a teacher may take an opportunity to use in order to help the students to succeed. Using games in the process of teaching languages is not restricted for any language level classes. It is a great tool for all levels, though it may serve different purposes and may be used in different ways. Using games will always help to feel comfortable and therefore more confident in the process of acquiring a new language.
Аннотация: Изучение языка является трудной задачей и требует применения различных навыков. Игры -бесценная поддержка, которую учитель может использовать для того, чтобы помочь студентам добиться успеха. Использование игры в процессе преподавания иностранных языков не ограничено для любых классов уровней языка. Это отличный инструмент для всех уровней, который может служить разным целям и быть использован по-разному. Используя игры, студент может чувствовать себя комфортно и следовательно, более уверенным в процессе овладения новым языком.
Keywords: foreign language, context, group, task, teaching process, mother language, target-orientated, communication, didactic, motivation, achievement, effectiveness, game.
Ключевые слова:иностранный язык,контекст, группа, задание, процесс обучение, родной язык, ориентированная цель, коммуникация,дидактик, мотивация, достижения, эффективность, игра.
The use of games in teaching English is not, however, appropriate at all times. Using various games can help students memorize vocabulary or grammar; it can eliminate the anxiety aroused from using a foreign language or uncertainty about the correctness of the output. As Demes da Cruz also states „While playing language games, students can be exposed to the target structures. However, this is done in a context of a game, they relax and forget that they are being watched. They often become so involved in the game that they stop feeling anxious about their mistakes. At the same time overuse of games may take away the time the students can use to be working individually, having the matter explained properly or simply working with the language seriously. It can also create the overall class atmosphere in such a way that it is not a real learning, making it more difficult to concentrate on studying for serious purposes, like exams. The last consequence of overuse of games in language teaching to be mentioned here is the fact that the students might get bored with all the play. The reason is that students, especially students of higher secondary schools or adults, usually do not like to be treated like little children. The teacher must place challenge before them too, they need to have the feeling of having accomplished something more difficult than a good game result. Having said the above, experience, however, confirms that abandoning games in the classes of the older group age would deprive the teaching-learning process of enjoyment, which enriches and motivates the students. To be complete, it is also necessary to mention the teachers need to enjoy their work, enjoy the classes and activities realized. “The moment we enter the classroom, we must act as people who are looking forward to whatever is coming. To fulfil that, games are of great help to keep the teaching work still enjoyable. Simply put the teacher must carefully consider how much and when it is appropriate to use games in the language teaching in order to be beneficial to the students and the whole teaching process.
According to Kayi  when utilizing game-like activities in the teaching process, it is necessary to realize that, despite many shared features, between the games and studying there is also a certain variance, as whereas play does not pursue strictly defined objectives, tuition is essentially target-orientated. While overcoming this tension, the didactic play must avoid two extremes: pursuance of the teaching aims must not superimpose the essence of play itself to such an extent that the pupil does not perceive the activity as a game; on the other hand, inexpedience and latitude of the game must not reach a degree when the actual aim of the teaching slips out.
Further suppport comes from Zdybiewska (as cited in Uberman,2002), she believes that games can be a good way in practicing the target language that being learned by the children, since they are able to provide a model of language on what the learners will use in the real life. Related to that statement, Kim presents six advantages of using the language games in the classroom, which are:
- games are motivating and challenging.
- games are as a welcome break from the usual routine of the language class.
- games help the students to make and sustain the effort of learning.
- games provide language practice in the various and integrated language skills.
- games encourage students to interact and communicate to each other.
- games create a meaningful context for language that is being learned by the students.
In line with Kim, Mei and Yu jing also  believe that through playinggames, students can learn English as the way the children learn and say their mother language without being aware they are studying; thus without stress, the students can learn a lot in learning the target language. While Wright  write that games can help the teacher to create contexts in which the language is useful and meaningful. The learners who want to take part in the activities, must understand what others are saying or have written, and in order to do so, the students then must speak or write in expressing their own point of views or give information.
Thus games are able to help the students use and practice the target language being learned in a relaxed way. Games are also highly motivating since they are amusing and interesting. Games also can be used in giving practice in all language skills and the use to practice many types of communication which is in line with the objectives of the teaching skill.
There are some studies conducted on the use of games in language learning. By using games, the students became more interested, actively involved and motivated in the learning activities. Games also helps the students in building a good relationship with their friends as well as increasing their achievement in learning English.
While Nurisnaini found out that games and songs are effective strategies in improving the students’ participation in the classroom activities. Furthermore, Huyen and Nga  stated that games have been shown to have more advantages and effectiveness in learning vocabulary in various ways. First, games bring relaxation and fun for the students, thus help them to learn and retain new words more easily. Second, games usually involve friendly competition and they keep learners interested in the activities. These create the motivation for learners of English to get involved and participated actively in the learning activities. Third, vocabulary games bring real world context into the classroom and enhance students in using English language in a flexible and communiative way.
There are many types of games the teacher may make use of and they are aimed to train different kinds of skills desired for students to be acquired.
- Kayi, Hayriye. 2006. Teaching Speaking: Activities to Promote Speaking in a Second Language. The Internet TESL Journal. XII (11). Retrieved from:http://iteslj.org/Articles/Kayi-Teaching Speaking.html. Accessed on March 16, 2010
- Mei, Yin Yong and Yu-jing, Jang. 2000. Using Games in An EFL Class for Children.Daejin University. ELT Research Paper. Fall 2000.
- Wright, Andrew et al. 1984. Games for Language Learning. Cambridge University Press.
- Huyen, Nguyen Thi Thanh and Nga, Khuat Thi Thu. 2003. Learning VocabularyThrough Games. ASIAN EFL Journal. December 2003.Available on http://itselj.org/lesson/lin-using games.ttml accessed on December 24th 2004.