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[RELO] Let's Play! Games in the English Classroom
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[RELO] Let's Play! Games in the English Classroom

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Games can be a motivating way of teaching English, but are they always useful? In this workshop, we'll look at reasons for using games and examine how to match objectives with fun so that our …

Games can be a motivating way of teaching English, but are they always useful? In this workshop, we'll look at reasons for using games and examine how to match objectives with fun so that our students can be engaged, successful learners. We'll also take a look at some example classroom games and analyze which ones would be best to use in your classroom!


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  • 1. GAMES IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM Katie Bain English Language Fellow ktbain53@gmail.com elfellowkbain.wordpress.com
  • 2. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER Why should we (or shouldn’t we) use games in the classroom?  How should we select appropriate learning games?  What are some games that could be helpful in the classroom?  What other questions do you have? 
  • 3. AGREE OR DISAGREE? The classroom should be a serious and quiet place at all times so that students can learn the most possible.
  • 4. AGREE OR DISAGREE? Games should be used every day.
  • 5. AGREE OR DISAGREE? If you’re not sure what to do for your lesson, use a game!
  • 6. AGREE OR DISAGREE? Children might feel nervous if they are asked to compete in a game, so you should not use games.
  • 7. AGREE OR DISAGREE? Competition is not appropriate for the classroom.
  • 8. AGREE OR DISAGREE? Competition is fun and can be used appropriately.
  • 9. OBJECTIVE Participants will understand how and why to use games and examine some examples of games that they might use in their classrooms.
  • 10. WHY SHOULD WE USE GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM? are FUN!  They help to lower the affective filter. 1. Games
  • 11. WHY SHOULD WE USE GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM? Games are MOTIVATING! They intrinsically pique interest as students learn through play. 2.
  • 12. WHY SHOULD WE USE GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM? Games are CHALLENGING! They can challenge students to be responsible for their learning and knowledge in a new way. 3.
  • 13. WHY SHOULD WE USE GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM? 4. Games are INTERACTIVE! They inherently create situations in which students interact with each other.
  • 14. WHY SHOULD WE USE GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM? 5. Games are REPETITIVE! They help students to repeatedly practice in fun ways.
  • 15. DEFINITION OF GAMES  A recent definition views games as a “system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, and resulting in a quantifiable outcome” (Salen, 2008, p. 268).  Games are further often described as transmedial phenomena, implying that the same game can be transmitted through different kinds of media: on paper, via computers, digital networks, consoles, ha ndhelds, mobile phones etc. (Juul, 2005).
  • 16. RESEARCH FINDINGS. + students’ understanding of a complex phenomena.  Students gain linguistic and communicative knowledge.  Students engage in rich social negotiations (Barab et al., 2007a, p. 71).  Enhance     In some studies, only 50% of students enjoy playing certain games. Students get tired over time if when students find out that games do not match their assessment test. Games can serve as a distracting element instead of keeping students focused on a learning task (Swingvy & Nilsson. 2011).
  • 17. RESEARCH SUGGESTION When designed bearing in mind instructional materials and curriculum content, games do yield good results.
  • 18. HOW SHOULD WE SELECT APPROPRIATE LEARNING GAMES? Games should be used as practice of what has already been taught.
  • 19. 1. CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE OBJECTIVE.
  • 20. 2. PLAN FOR ASSESSMENT  How will you ask students to show what they have learned in your lesson?  What exactly will students be able to do at the end of the lesson?
  • 21. 3. PLAN TO USE A GAME THAT WILL ALLOW YOUR STUDENTS TO MEET THAT OBJECTIVE.
  • 22. 4. CONSIDER THE MATERIALS AND TIME THAT YOU WILL NEED.
  • 23. 5. PLAY THE GAME WITH YOUR STUDENTS!
  • 24. 6. LEAVE TIME AT THE END FOR REFLECTION ON THE GAME AS A CLASS.
  • 25. EXAMPLES OF GAMES
  • 26. GRAMMAR BOARD RACE  Board Race Video Questions  1. What is the objective of the lesson?  2. Would you use this game in your classroom?  3. How could you change this game to make it more appropriate for your context? 
  • 27. BOARD RACE SCREEN SHOT
  • 28. MEMORY GAME 1. 2. 3. One student says a sentence. Students say the same sentence and then add something. Once someone forgets what was said or cannot add something, he or she is out of the game. Student 1: I went shopping.  Student 2: I went shopping and bought a jacket.  Student 3: I went shopping and bought a jacket and a cap.  (Shaptoshvili, 2002)
  • 29. Yesterday, I went to the park.
  • 30. WORD ASSOCIATION Example: TOPIC: The Classroom: Student 1: chalk Student 2: book bag Student 3: tape recorder Student 4: ruler (Shaptoshvili, 2002)
  • 31. TOPIC: MY NEIGHBORHOOD
  • 32. MIMING Students mime an action and other students (perhaps in teams) guess what the action is. Variation Topics: 1. Jobs/Occupations 2. Famous people 3. Animals 4. Sports or Sports Players 5. Characters from a book, movie, story, or article that was recently read in class. (Shaptoshvili, 2002)
  • 33. WHAT IS SHE DOING?
  • 34. SUGGESTION CHAIN Students review leisure activities and ways to make suggestions. Example Student 1: Let’s go to the concert! Student 2: No, not the concert. What about going to the cinema? Student 3: We could go to the dance club. Student 4: No, not the dance club. Why don’t we eat at a restaurant? Students continue the game until they have used all of their leisure activities, or until students cannot think of anything else to do and there is only one person left. (Shaptoshvili, 2002)
  • 35. LET’S WATCH A MOVIE AT HOME!
  • 36. EXPANDING SENTENCES WITH ADJECTIVES Teacher: She bought a jacket. Student 1: She bought a black jacket. Student 2: She bought a long-sleeved black jacket. Student 3: She bought a long-sleeved black wool jacket. (Shaptoshvili, 2002)
  • 37. I HAVE A BROTHER.
  • 38. FRUIT BASKET UPSET
  • 39. GUESS WHO?
  • 40. SENTENCE SCRAMBLE
  • 41. CLASS JEOPARDY
  • 42. SWAT THE WORD
  • 43. SCAVENGER HUNT
  • 44. TABOO
  • 45. PICTIONARY
  • 46. WHERE DO YOU FIND MORE GAMES?
  • 47. WWW.AMERICANENGLISH.STATE.GOV
  • 48. ABOUT ME
  • 49. NAME 3
  • 50. NAME YOUR FAVORITE
  • 51. WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT?
  • 52. WOULD YOU RATHER?
  • 53. HTTP://WWW.ESLGAMESWORLD.COM/
  • 54. HTTP://WWW.ESLCAFE.COM/
  • 55. HTTP://WWW.TEFLGAMES.COM/GAMES.HTML
  • 56. RECAP 1. 2. 3. 4. Games can be good if used appropriately. Align your games to learning objectives and assessment. There are many great games out there – Adapt them to your context! Be creative and create your own games – share them with others!
  • 57. SOURCES  Shaptoshvili, S. (2002). Vocabulary practice games.English Forum, 34/37. Retrieved from http://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_fi les/02-40-2-h.pdf
  • 58. THANK YOU! Katie Bain ktbain53@gmail.com www.elfellowkbain.wordpress.com