Nowadays one of the main points in countries educational system is to develop new methods and ways of teaching English language which was mentioned by N.A. Nazarbaev the president of Kazakhstan republic. In his speech to Kazakh nation the head of the government stressed on the importance of teaching and mastering three languages as Kazakh, Russian and English. Fluent use of English language plays significant role in any developed country’s economy and educational system.
Language learning is hard work. Effort is required at every moment and must be maintained over a long period of time. Games help and encourage many learners to sustain their interest and work.
The need for meaningfulness in language learning has been accepted for some years. A useful interpretation of “meaningfulness” is that the learners respond to the contend in a definite way7 if they are amused, angered, intrigued or surprised the content is clearly meaningful to them.
Thus the meaning of the language they listened to, read, speak and write will be more vividly experienced and, therefore, better remembered.
A number of authors contributed to the subject of promoting acquisition by means of games.
Michael Bucky says: “Language learning is a hard task which can sometimes be frustrating. Constant effort is required to understand, produce and manipulate the target language. Well-chosen games are invaluable as they give students a break and at the same time allow students to practise language skills. Games are highly motivating since they are amusing and at the same time challenging. Furthermore, they employ meaningful and useful language in real contexts. They also encourage and increase cooperation. Games are highly motivating because they are amusing and interesting. They can be used to give practice in all language skills and be used to practice many types of communication.”
Games can be found to give practice in all the skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), in all the stages of the teaching\learning sequence (presentation, repetition, recombination and free use of language) and for many types of communication (e.g. encouraging, criticizing, agreeing, explaining).
Enjoyment of games is not restricted by age. Same individuals, regardless of age, may be less fond of games than others, but so much depends on the appropriateness of the games and the role of the player.
It is generally accepted that young learners and adults are very willingly to play games. (this partly depends on the learner’s socio-cultural background). Early teenagers tend to be more self-conscious and one must take into account their reticence when selecting games for them.
Games which can be played in pairs or groups may be particularly useful in this case. It is clear to all observers of classroom practice that the teacher’s own belief in the usefulness and appropriateness of a game affects the learners’ response. We have observed games and materials normally used in primary schools being accepted by businessmen owing to the conviction of the teacher.
We have already acknowledged that teenage learners might be reluctant to play games. We also acknowledge that many people are so anxious to learn English in order to pass examinations or to improve their employment prospects that they look on games as unnecessary. If you have such committed learners you must dearly respect their point of view and be able to justify the use of each game in terms of the density and meaningfulness of practice it provides.
Let’s look around a game from the pedagogical point of view. During the lesson in play form the principles of didactics are carried out: the principles of activity, the principles of practices, the principle personality, etc.
During the practice, observing the pupils’ knowledge of English, I noticed that many of them have no good speech, poor word-stock and even the unclear pronunciation of separate sounds. The bringing up of sound culture of speech is a main part of work system for the development of speech skills in the learning of foreign languages. It is important to take after timely development of pupils speech skills, to pay attention to its clarity and rightness.
The richer and better pupils speech the easier he can tell his thoughts, the actively his psychological development is flown. Among other aims bringing up and training the development of speech is one of the main. One of the affective means of developing interest to the subject with the other methods and ways using during a lesson is a didactic game. Even K.D. Ushins advised to include the elements of entertainment, play moments in educational labor of learners for that process of knowledge would be more productive.
A game takes a considerable place in former years of pupils studying at school. At the beginning the pupils are interested in only the form of a game a game must be a means of developing of an interest to the subject, that is why at its organization should keep following demands:
- The rules of a game should be simple, exactly formulated;
- A didactical material should be simple by preparing, maintenance, and usage;
- A game is interested if there each pupil takes a part;
- A coming out of results of a game should be fair and clear.
In play motion the pupils, imperceptible for themselves, do different exercises where they have to level, to execute the tasks. A game puts the pupils in terms of search, wakes an interest up to the victory, therefore, the children aspire be fast, quick-witted, exactly execute tasks, following to the play rules.
In game, especially collective, the moral qualities of child are formed. In play motion the children are taught to render help to friends, consider with opinion and interest of others. The feeling of responsibility, collectivism is developed by pupils. During such lesson the discipline and character are brought up.
The inclusion games and play moments in the lesson does the process of teaching more interesting and entertaining, creates cheerful working mood, makes it easier getting over difficulties in mastering of the material.
Various play acts, with the help of which the mental task is decided, effort the interest to the subject, to the cognition by them of the world. The inclusion in the educational process a game and play situation breeds to those pupils, animating by a game, imperceptible for them, acquire knowledge, skills and habits.
It is now very generally accepted that language teaching not merely can be but should be enjoyable. This is not to assume that it is easy, but only that there is no need, by excluding enjoyment, to make it more difficult.
The results of this research suggest that games are used not only for mere fun, but more importantly, for the useful practice and review of language lessons, thus leading toward the goal of improving learners’ communicative competence.
The majority of the games give the learners experience of communicating with the help of the foreign language; one might indeed call them “communication games”. It is through experience of communication in the language they are learning that language learners best learn how to communicate in it.
“Communication games” are not necessarily lengthy or complex. There is something to be communicated to others or to be found out from others, and the learners want to keep the game going because they are interested in it. Moreover, unless they succeed in communicating the game falls fiat and comes to an end. This is true of such a game as Number Change, at first sight apparently “non communicative”; but unless those who speak are understood by those who hear, the game goes wrong and the learners are not satisfied. Some of the vocabulary games are rather different: in adding extra words the learners are demonstrating their own knowledge, but to fellow, learners. There is a communicative aspect to this activity too; the knowledge is shared.
Diagrams in the experimental part are of two groups of students which were explained the same subject by two different methods: with the help of games and without.
The aim of this work was to reveal advantages of games used in teaching languages and their role in improvement of the process of foreign language teaching. The tasks of the work were:
- To compare the real and potential results and give the students practical advice to improve educational activity.
- To find various means and methods, in order to help students in understanding represented material.
Games help to create contexts in which the language is useful and meaningful. The learners want to take part and in order to do so must understand what others are saying or have written, and they must speak or write in order to express their own point of view or give information.
Games can be found to give practice in all the skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), in all the stages of the teaching learning sequence (presentation, repetition, recombination and free use of language) and for many types of communication (e.g. encouraging, criticizing, agreeing, explaining). We have presented a classification of different games: Vocabulary game, pronunciation game, number game, miming role play game.
Games are fun and children like to play them. Through games children experiment, discover, and interact with their environment. Games add variation to a lesson and increase motivation by providing a plausible incentive to use the target language. For many children between four and twelve years old, especially the youngest, language learning will not be the key motivational factor. Games can provide this stimulus. The game context makes the foreign language immediately useful to the children. It brings the target language to life. The game makes the reasons for speaking plausible even to reluctant children.
Through playing games, students can learn English the way children learn their mother tongue without being aware they are studying; thus without stress, they can learn a lot. Even shy students can participate positively.
Games also lend themselves well to revision exercises helping learners recall material in a pleasant, entertaining way. All authors referred to in this article agree that even if games resulted only in noise and entertained students, they are still worth paying attention to and implementing in the classroom since they motivate learners, promote communicative competence, generate fluency.
Games have been shown to have advantages and effectiveness in learning language in various ways. First, games bring in relaxation and fun for students, thus help them learn and retain new words more easily. Second, games usually involve friendly competition and they keep learners interested. These create the motivation for learners of English to get involved and participate actively in the learning activities. Third, games bring real world context into the classroom, and enhance students’ use of English in a flexible, communicative way.
Therefore, the role of games in teaching and learning vocabulary cannot be denied. However, in order to achieve the most from language games, it is essential that suitable games are chosen. Whenever a game is to be conducted, the number of students, proficiency level, cultural context, timing, learning topic, and the classroom settings are factors that should be taken into account.
In conclusion, learning vocabulary through games is one effective and interesting way that can be applied in any classrooms. The results of this research suggest that games are used not only for mere fun, but more importantly, for the useful practice and review of language lessons, thus leading toward the goal of improving learners’ communicative competence.
- Gibbs, G.I. (2005). Handbook of games and stimulation exercises.
- Rixon Shelagh (2010). How to use game in language teaching. - Macmillan.
- Root Betty (2013). Reading games to make and play. – Macmillan
- Кличникова З.И. Психологические особенности обучения чтению на иностранном языке. - М., 2009. - 228 с.