One of the challenges in teaching English as a second language (ESL) is to make learning as effortless as feasible. By making learning simple and fun, the instructor can make sure that the material imparted is received, understood and retained. Language is all about meaning and context. The best way for students to find meaning and context in what they are learning is in the event that they experience it.
Is it feasible then to teach the English language by allowing the participants to experience it? Yes it is feasible, through games. According to Lee Su Kim, author of Creative Games for Learning Class, using games in the classroom help students to maintain the work of learning. More to the point, it fosters interaction. What is language but a method to communicate? Through these fun activities, instructors will be able to promote the practice of English.
Real-learning is when even outside the learning place, the student will still be able to apply the subject material. Instructors must understand that the more relaxed the learning surroundings is, the less anxious the scholars will be. Hence, the simpler the scholars will be able to assimilate what is being taught. However, the use of games in ESL instruction requires cautious planning, design and execution.
Games should not be used as ice breakers or time fillers only. They ought to be used as part of the instructional design. Games ought to be seen and used as a motivational gizmo. Below are a couple of suggested games and their application:
ESL Charades game
The class can be divided in to mini-groups. The white or black board should accordingly be divided depending on the number of groups there is. Each group ought to have an assigned person who will draw the given phrase and an assigned who will shout the answer. The other members will act as coaches. The instructor will show a phrase to the representatives and the first group to guess the answer wins the round. The time apportioned for each round ought to not be long because this activity should foster information retrieval and information relaying. This activity should best be used as a review for idiomatic expressions.
ESL Guessing game
The instructor will write a word on a piece of paper and tape the piece of paper on the back of a student. The instructor ought to do the same for all the participants. The scholars should not know what word is posted on their backs. The instructor will then tell everyone that they can each ask closed-ended questions (answerable by yes or no) from each of their peers in order to guess what the word is. This game is best used for students who already have a working knowledge of sentence structure. The game can serve as an introduction to query formulations, which fundamentally reverses word orders.