1- Literature review.
2- What is vocabulary learning?
3- Why should language learners learn vocabulary?
4- Reasons for using games.
5- Assumption about games.
6- Advantages and disadvantages.
7- The effectiveness of games.
8- How to choose games ? (Tyson, 2000).
9- Kinds of games to implement.
* With the use of games, the teacher can create various
contexts in which students have to use the language to
communicate, exchange information and express their
own opinions (Wright, Betteridge and Buckby, 1984).
* Teachers should consider games which are appropriate
to students’ age, cultural background and interests, and
teacher also should consider activities where students can
experience success (Lightbown and Spada, 1999).
Friermuth (as cited in Uzun, 2009) stated that games are
more learner-centered since they give students the
chance to resolve problems without the intervention of
Huang (1996: 1) comes to a conclusion that "learning
through games could encourage the operation of
certain psychological and intellectual factors which
could facilitate communication heightened self-esteem,
motivation and spontaneity, reinforcing learning,
improving intonation and building confidence."
Vocabulary is the total number of words in a language
(Hornby, 1995).Vocabulary is an important part to master
English well. According to Piageat’s (cited in Wadsworth
2003) theory, a child at the age of 7-10 years is always
interesting in recognizing and knowing new words, he
stands to repeat new words repeatedly so that he will
memorize them. There are essential steps of learning
vocabulary (Hatch and Brown 1995):
• Having source for encountering new words.
• Getting a clear image for the form of new words.
• Learning the meaning of new words
• Making a strong memory connection between the form
and the meaning of the words
What is vocabulary learning?
In the past, vocabulary teaching and learning were often
given little priority in second language programs, but
recently there has been a renewed interest in the nature
of vocabulary and its role in learning and teaching.
There is no doubt that vocabulary plays a very important
role in learning languages. There has been much advice
given by methodologists that language learners should be
highly aware of the importance of vocabulary and must
have a high-frequent plan for studying new words as soon
as and much as possible.
WHY SHOULD LANGUAGE LEARNERS LEARN
According to Richard-Amato (1996:10), even though
games are often associated with fun, we should not lose
sight of their pedagogical values, particularly in foreign
language teaching and learning. Games are effective
1- Provide motivation
2- lower students' stress, and give language learners the
opportunity for real communication.
Reasons for using games
Aydan Ersoz (2000:12) reaffirms that games should be
used for teaching and learning in language classrooms.
He says that:
1- Games are highly motivating because they are
amusing and interesting.
2- They can be used to give practice in all language skills
and be used to practice many types of communication.
Jean Predieri (1999:32, 33), Consequently, games should be
used wildly for many reasons:
1- Games are a welcome break from the usual routine of
the language class.
2- They are motivating and challenging.
3- Learning a language requires a great deal of effort.
Games help students to make and sustain the effort of
4- Games provide language practice in the various skills-
speaking, writing, listening and reading.
1- can help students to use the language
creatively (Saricoban and Metin, 2000).
2- Hadfield (1998: 4) defines game as an activity with
rules, a goal and an element of fun. With all these
elements, games exactly can provide several benefits for
the purpose of teaching vocabulary.
3- Ersoz (as cited in Azar, 2012) said that games are
always interesting and amusing for students. Games
can make students more focus in learning because they
do not feel that they are forced to learn.
4- Shy students also have more opportunities to express and use
their language since it provides a lower-anxiety environment.
5- They awaken the will to win and competitive desire inside
students so that the classroom atmosphere will be more livened
6- It creates such a situation in which students will be more active
to practice their vocabulary.
Games have been shown to have advantages and
effectiveness in learning vocabulary in various ways:
1- Games bring in relaxation and fun for students, thus
help them learn and retain new words more easily.
2- 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.
3- Vocabulary games bring real world context into the
classroom, and enhance students' use of English in a
flexible, communicative way.
Pros and cons
- Games can make students more focus in learning because they
do not feel that they are forced to learn.
- Another advantage is that there are lots of interesting features in
computer, no child feel bore and alone using computer.
On the other hand because of interesting features and different types of games
1- Children become too much dependent on it.
2- They spend their most of the time using computer games as a result they
lose their interest on daily activities like their school homework and also forget
to meet with their friend and colleagues.
3- Some video games can be very aggressive in nature so these video games are
usually highly addictive and easily available on internet.
4- Continuous use of computer game can damage both
eyes and physical posture of the children.
To sum up, there are lots of merits of using computer
game however in my opinion; children don’t spend
their whole time on computer. Parents should also care
about their schedule for computer game.
Regarding the effectiveness of games, interviewed teachers
reported that their students seemed to learn new vocabulary
more quickly and retain it better when it was applied in a
relaxed and comfortable environment such as while playing
* A game must be more than just fun.
* A game should involve "friendly" competition.
* A game should keep all of the students involved and
* A game should encourage students to focus on the use
of language rather than on the language itself.
* A game should give students a chance to learn,
practice, or review specific language material.
How to Choose Games (Tyson, 2000)
1- Activity games: kind of games designed with the
purpose of making students flexible and active.
Furthermore, they give students more chances to
practice grammar, syllable, spelling, punctuation
2- Vocabulary or picture match games: This is as
similar as activity games which give students a
chance to be dynamic. They not only bring fun to
students but also provide them with particular
categories of new words. This game aims to provide
students with useful idioms.
Kinds of games to implement
3- Crosswords, puzzles, or quiz: crossword puzzles give
students a chance to sharpen their mind. Vera Mello (2001:43)
In order to solve the crosswords, they must try to understand
the terms or sentences used in the crosswords. This kind is also
designed in different structural forms of grammar, vocabulary,
In conclusion, learning vocabulary through games is
one effective and interesting way that can be applied in
It’s suggested 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 use of games also enhanced students’
motivation to learn vocabulary.
It also improves learners’ ability to memorize the words
effectively. Games provide comprehensible input while
learners interact in the group, allowing students to
clarify meanings of words in such contexts.
Ersoz, A. (2000). ‘Six Games for the EFL/ESL Classroom’, in The
Internet TESL Journal. Retrieved July13, 2012 from
Nation, I. S. P. (1990). Teaching and Learning Vocabulary.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Nation, I. S. P. (2000). Learning Vocabulary in Another Language
(Cambridge Applied Linguistics).
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Kim, L. (1995). Creative Games for the Language Class. Forum,
Vol. 33. March 1995. Page 35.
Hadfield, J. (1990). An Collection of Games and Activities for Low
to Mid-Intermediate students of English. Intermediate
Communication Games. Hong Kong: Thomus and Nelson and Nelson
and Sons Ltd.