4 important Language Games used in the classroom to teach the English language

4 important Language Games used in the classroom to teach the English language


Flashback!

Please recall what has been discussed in the previous article of English Nali-Kali. We discussed how to make students speak in English by conducting Conversation Circle activities in ENK classroom.

From the last article, you got to know the following points:

  • One of the best ways to learn a language is by speaking it continuously.
  • Conversations are used to help children both understand and respond in English. The earliest form of conversation in ENK is the question-answer format where children learn to both questions as well as answer.
  • There are 2 parts to each conversation: the first is the greetings section and the second is the conversation exchanges.
  • Conversation circles follow 3 steps.

Language Games

Now, it is time to discuss how to use Language Games in the classroom to teach English to the students by engaging them in playing fun games.

Language games are introduced judiciously to help students to learn through doing, which sustains and reinforces concepts what is taught in the classroom. The games are a fun activity and reduce learning anxiety resulting in increased motivation to learn. Language games introduced consciously to provide language practice initially in speaking, listening, and later in reading and writing.


How are language games in ENK designed?

ENK introduces a variety of games with varied activities, pace, and organization. Every game is designed to help students acquire a particular skill or concept by following instructions, listening carefully to sounds, etc. Though having fun is important, it is essential that the game has a language learning value to it.

When activities are enjoyable and interesting they make children want to continue doing them so they get more practice. 

Although early games focus more on listening and understanding they progress to using language in a familiar context.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Always keep in mind the objective of the game and what you are trying to achieve – encourage interaction and expression.
  • The language game is a fun way of learning and should not descend into a law and order problem. Make sure children follow rules.
  • Focus on cooperation - Sometimes competition leads to dejection and a sense of failure - Remember to encourage effort.
  • When children get excited, they use their mother tongue. Let them calm down and remind them to use English.
  • If the game involves taking turns, make sure all children get a chance to lead.
  • If you find children’s attention to be decreasing, you can revise the games played earlier.


The 4 language games used in ENK

Given the limited time available in a multi-grade classroom, it is important to conserve time spent on learning new rules for the game. For this reason, the number of games is kept at 4 over the first 2 levels. The games remain the same for each theme so that regardless of the level children play a particular game in a month. 


The four games

  • Simon Says
  • I Spy
  • Passing the Parcel 
  • Fire on the Mountain


Let us see how the game ‘Simon Says’ is played

In this game, students are expected to listen carefully to the commands given by the teacher and follow the instructions. These steps are taught over four weeks. The schedule and sequence in which language games are taught are given clearly in the teacher card. The teacher is expected to follow the guidelines given in the teacher card.

4 important Language Games used in the classroom to teach the English language
Teacher Card of Language Game


Step 1: The teacher explains the rules of the game in the mother tongue. She could divide the class into groups if necessary. 

Step 2: The teacher tells the students that Simon will give the commands one by one and they have to do the actions. 

E.g. When Simon says touch your head, students should touch their heads. The teacher practices the game once with students and checks if they are doing it right. 

In the game, students are expected to do the actions only when Simon gives the commands. If others give commands, then it should not be done. 

The teacher also models the actions.

Watch this video to understand the steps of conducting the game - Simon Says.


How are language games conducted in class for level 2 students?

When the class contains students at 2 levels playing a language game it is often a good idea to have the older children of level 2 play the game first and allow the younger children to watch. This allows them to understand the rules simply by watching and reduces the need to give elaborate instructions. 

In certain games such as Fire on the Mountain or Passing the Parcel, all children participate. Here specific responsibilities must be assigned, e.g. an older child from level 2 takes on the responsibility of forming a family (all children hold a card specifying a family member). In other cases when playing passing the parcel, the teacher must make sure to stop the clapping only when the parcel is with a child of the “active group” i.e. when the child is in the level that is playing the game.

Watch this video clipping to understand on how to carry out the Simon Says game in the classroom.


Let us sum up

  • Games help students to learn through doing and sustains what is taught in the classroom. 
  • Games provide language practice in various skills- speaking, listening, and later in reading and writing.
  • They create a meaningful context for language use and increase learning motivation and reduce learning anxiety. 
  • Every game is designed to help students acquire a particular skill or concept by following instructions, listening carefully to sounds, etc.
  • Teaching a language game follows 2 steps:
Step 1: The teacher explains the rules of the game in the mother tongue. 

Step 2: The teacher tells the students that Simon will give the commands one by one
They have to do the actions only when Simon gives the commands and not if others give commands.
  • The teacher practices the game and also models the actions.

Download the module: Language Games





Credits: Samagra Shikshana Karnataka and UNICEF


Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post