Teach English in JiAngdong Jiedao - Chongqing

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Games in the classroomGames in the classroom, when utilised properly, can be a fantastic tool for teachers. Games are not only engaging for students, they are also memorable which means students have a good chance of remembering the English associated with the game. The main advantages and disadvantages of using games in the classroom, along with types of games and when to use them, will be explored below. Advantages of using games A teacher can use games to reinforce the main points of a lesson. A game should be fun and memorable for the students, but also based around the key learning objectives of the class. A teacher can also gain rapport through use of games. This can be done in two main ways: by using a game which the teacher knows students will have a favourable reaction to, or by basing the game around a topic which is interesting to students (i.e. using images of certain cartoon characters within a game). Disadvantages of using games Teachers can find themselves over reliant on games. This may result in the main substance of the lesson being rushed through, meaning students don?t fully understand what is being taught. Overuse of games can also lead students to only ?switching on? when they know a game is going to be played. It is very important that the games a teacher chooses are directly related to the lesson, and feature the vocabulary and/or grammar points of the class. Types of games to be used When technology is present: PowerPoint games can have a big impact on a class. They can be made to be very eye-catching, interactive and fun. If students are arranged into small teams, it can allow everyone to get involved. Quizzes, such as ?Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and ?Jeopardy? can be performed using PowerPoint, as can visual games such as ?Catchphrase?, review games such as ?Bomb games? and more traditional teaching games such as ?Pass the ball?. students often enjoy themselves when playing these games, and are likely to remember what was studied. PowerPoint games can be very versatile: i.e. they useful in both the ?engage? and ?activate? stages of a lesson. Internet based games can also be very useful in a classroom. Games such as ?Akinator? (where a genie guesses a famous person you have thought of), and games on dedicated websites (such as eslgamesworld.com) can provide both valuable English practice and entertainment for students of all levels. The great thing about internet games is that students can also play in their spare time or at home; they don?t need to be in English class to take advantage of these. When technology is not present: Charades offer a chance for students to express themselves. This game is probably better used in the ?activate? phase of a lesson, after vocabulary has been learned. Pictionary is also a good game to use in the activate stage of a class, after vocabulary has been learned. ?Simon Says? is a suitable game to use for younger learners. The teacher asks students to perform an action (i.e. in ?Simon says ?Touch your nose?? in a lesson about body parts), but the students should only perform the action if the sentence is prefixed with ?Simon Says?. This can be useful in both ?engage? and ?activate? phases of a lesson. ?I-spy? is good as a warm up exercise, for lower level and young learners. It serves to make students alert, and pre-empts them to think in English. Conclusion Teachers should utilise games in the classroom, but only where and when appropriate. Games shouldn?t be the focal point of the lesson, and are best kept as warm-up exercises, or as a way to activate English after it has been learned. Teachers should be open-minded about use of games, and recognise the merits of using a mixture of technology and non-technology based games. It is worthwhile for teachers to learn PowerPoint skills, as being able to utilise PowerPoint games can be particularly beneficial, both in terms of learning and generating/maintaining rapport. It is also beneficial for teachers to be aware of what is available on the internet, and to be able to direct students to certain websites where/when appropriate.