Appropriate situations to use or not to use games in language teaching
Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №9 (113) май-1 2016 г.
Дата публикации: 24.05.2016
Статья просмотрена: 9 раз
Мадаминова Д. А. Appropriate situations to use or not to use games in language teaching // Молодой ученый. 2016. №9.5. С. 62-63.
Abstract: Using game in lessons is not only accept but even appreciate, they are able to both understand its purposes and enjoy the activity and change of the overall learning environment to more relaxed one. The teacher should be aware of the benefits of using games as well as look after the right proportion of games with relation to other lesson activities in order not to overuse the games, which need to be implemented meaningfully to be able to serve their educational purposes.
Аннотация: Используя игры на уроках, можно не только принять, но и они способны понимать цели и наслаждаться активностью и изменением общей среды обучения в более расслабленной обстановке. Учителя должны быть осведомлены о преимуществах использования игры, чтобы иметь возможность обслуживать свои образовательные цели.
Keywords: prerequisite, co-operation, educational purpose, learning process, situations,tо internalize, educational benefit.
Ключевые слова: предварительное условие, кооперативность, образовательная цель,процесс обучения, ситуация, усваивать, пособие на образование.
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. Games will always help students of all levels to feel comfortable and therefore more confident in the process of acquiring a new language.
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.
In general, it is advisable to use games in all kinds of classes, there are many games and fun activities to choose from. Petty  also encourages teachers to invent their own games, and furthermore, he suggests the teacher has the students to create their own games, too. Further, he advises: „Wherever they come from, though, do try games; they create that intense desire to communicate which is the prerequisite for learning any language. And they make your lessons fun. However, don’t play one game too often, or too long. This is a general rule by obeying which the teacher ensures the games are always welcome by the students and still serve their purpose.
1. When not to use games
Although many times to use games and fun activity as they are of a great help to the whole teaching/learning process, there may be also situations, where a game may not answer its purpose and the teacher’s educational aim. Some of such situations are outlined hereby.
Students have not built the bases of vocabulary needed for the particular game — if the students lack the knowledge which the game requires. It then becomes stressful even though the game would otherwise be an enjoyable activity.
Too little time available — a game should be planned carefully time-wise as well as content-wise. It is of help if the teacher dedicates more time to the game than seems to be necessary. It creates anxious feeling if the game must be ended before finishing the tasks because the time runs out.
Students are overexcited and misbehaving — they need to calm down, a kinetic game may not be the right answer. Students do not co-operate with the teacher during the lesson — in such case, it is advised by Harmer  to stop using the enjoyable activities, as a restoration of discipline tool: „Teachers can make it clear that some of the more enjoyable activities which students like to do will only be used when the class is functioning properly. Otherwise, they will be forced to fall back on more formal teaching and language study.
2. When to use games
On the other hand, there is number of situations, in which using a game or a fun activity may be of a great help in both developing good conditions for language acquisition itself, as well as helping to improve or create learning environment and overall positive atmosphere in the class.
Some of such situations are described hereby. Vocabulary — it is usually difficult to learn and live the new words, which the on-going process of studying process requires. It is then useful to introduce games as an opportunity to re-use the desired vocabulary. During a game, repetition of the target words can be executed repeatedly. The students get personally involved, therefore, in addition to avoiding boredom as it often happens when repeating words; it is also more likely the vocabulary will get internalized. Lack of interest — this is a common situation in teen-age classes, where the students are often not motivated enough to take the learning process seriously. In such cases, it can help to employ games and fun activities, where they need the target language in order to succeed. The games can be a springboard for the serious language work, or vice versa, the language work can become a precondition to a success in the following game.
Tiredness — it is a matter of fact that students do not always come into the language class in their best condition. They may have just had a demanding PE class, have just written an exhausting exam, have difficulties at home, or it is simply „one of the days‟. In such cases, it is very difficult for anyone to perform their best, including language students. The teacher should be aware of that. Games may be used as a tool to overcome the crisis and yet bring an educational benefit, too.
The students do not co-operate — there may be classes where the students are not very close to each other, do not feel comfortable when asked to co-operate on an activity. A game has a great potential bringing the students together. The reason is that such activity is not viewed as extremely serious; the students can relax and find a way to communicate better.
This skill is then also transferred to other activities too, and, needless to say, other subjects may also benefit from the newly learned communication skill, especially if the students are required to work on projects or otherwise as teams.
Time left — short games or fun activities may serve as time fillers, for instance at the end of a lesson, when all planned work has been finished. This way the time remaining is not „wasted, it is used for the language practice too. Regular use of short games at the end of lessons also motivates the students to work harder and have their work finished earlier, in order to save time for an enjoyable activity.
1. Petty, G. (2004). Teaching today: a practical guide. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
2. Harmer, J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
3. Knapp, F Nancy. 2003. Implementation Contextual Teaching and Learning: Middle and High School Students Perception of Classes Taught by Game Novice Teachers. Retrieved from:http://Coe.uga.edu/game/ casestudy/crosscape.pdt/. Accessed on February 15, 2010.
4. Mc Cabe, Allyse. 1992. Language Games to Play with Your Child: EnhacingCommunication from Infancy through Late Childhood. New York:Insight BooksPlenum Press.
5. Mei, Yin Yong and Yu-jing, Jang. 2000. Using Games in An EFL Class for Children.Daejin University. ELT Research Paper. Fall 2000.