Language learning is hard work … It 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.
Games also help the teacher 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.’
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 content in a definite way. If they are amused, angered, intrigued or surprised the content is clearly meaningful to them. Thus the meaning of the language they listen to, read, speak and write will be more vividly experienced and, therefore, better remembered.
Generally, children learn through playing. Therefore, using games in English classes can help children’s language learning because games are:
– Practise/ revise language in a meaningful way
– Use all senses to activate different learning styles
– build on children’s knowledge of playing games
– Encourage team working
– Have a final outcome
– Easy to learn
There are a lot of games and they are divided into two types: games used for communicative language practice like game “ what number is it?” (sentence patterns are repeated to help gain fluency) and games used for word /phrase practice like games “bingo”, whispers”, “what’s missing?”, “number grab” (words are recycled and revised to increase vocabulary and practise pronunciation).