Importance of Language Games in Learning English
Activities and games can prove to be really useful while learning a language even when you are learning via an online English speaking course. The learners understand better when they are active. If games are properly designed, they may help in making the teaching-learning process more effective. Games provide language practice in all the four skills, namely, reading, speaking, listening, and writing. For use of language, these games not only create a meaningful context but also can be fun while learning English.
Games offer an environment where the learners can practice using new words and are free to express themselves. Multiple research studies show that participating in such activities can be an efficient way to develop communication skills, strengthen relationships and face the world with confidence. Games are highly encouraging and increase cooperation. Speechify, as an online English speaking course in India, language games is one of the most important ways to teach effectively in a language class.
Noted writer, Donn Byrne, has emphasized the importance of language games in English. He explains that games not only provide the much needed break in the lesson routine, but also form an integral part of learning. Jane Ellis in her book, “Teaching English - A Course in Classroom Language and Teaching”, states that language games provide fun and entertainment.
Language games to make learning English fun
I’ve been an online English teacher for quite a while now. I personally feel that activities and games in the classroom can enhance the learning process of the student. Here are a few language games that will integrate language learning with fun and help build vocabulary.
1) Fun with Words- Playing with words can be really creative and a fun way to learn English. The learner will be learning English as they play. Pictionary helps to practice vocabulary and it is a great way to check if your student is remembering and using the words.
HOW TO PLAY:
- -Before the class starts, prepare a group of words.
- -Tell the student to choose a word from the bag. Alternatively, in an online classroom, you can show a picture that represents a certain words and students will guess the word
- -The correct answer gets a point or a reward.
- -Then, encourage the student to draw and you guess the word.
- -You can also tell the students to tell synonyms and antonyms of the word that you’ve shown in order to enrich their vocabulary.
- -Tell them to make sentences from the words that have been used in the class.
2) 4 Pics 1 Word: It is an entertaining picture quiz that will force the learners to brainstorm and find the correct answer.
HOW TO PLAY:
- -Prepare a collage of four words which has something common with each other.
- -Share the picture collage to the student in the class and ask them to guess one word that is common in all the four pictures.
- -You can help the learner with hints, if required.
- -Once done, move to a different picture collage and continue till the learner learns some good new words in your class.
3) Comic Strips: Comic Strips are a great way to describe a picture and also to guess a story out of the given images.
HOW TO PLAY:
- -Prepare a comic strip (sequence of cartoons without writing captions).
- -Show the picture to the students and ask them to describe the images in correct order.
- -After the students have described the images in the correct order, half of the work is done as the student is able to make a story out of the comic strip.
- -Help the student to understand the images and tell a whole story in a comical way.
- -The student will thereby, make a story and help the learners to understand a concept.
4) Impromptu Speaking: This activity will help the students to think and respond quickly and build self-confidence.
HOW TO PLAY:
- -Prepare a list of topics that are engaging and your learners will be aware and able to speak.
- -In an online classroom, you can give one topic or tell your student to choose one topic out of the different topics you give them.
- -The student needs to speak for at least a minute.
- -Later, you can tell your students the grammatical mistakes that they have made.
5) Story Telling: This will help the learners to communicate their thoughts and feelings and also encourage active participation.
HOW TO PLAY:
- -Prepare the starting lines of the story. For Example- Meeta heard unusual voices in the forest while coming from work. Then………………………
- -Tell the students to complete the story in their own words.
- -Set the duration.
- -Listen to the learners carefully and point out their grammatical errors or usage of repeated words, if any.
6) Scattergories- A fun game that boosts your brain and fosters creativity.
HOW TO PLAY
- -Take 5 or at least 6 categories, such as animals, foods, countries, subjects, movies, books, colours, etc.
- -Once you have them, randomly take one letter.
- -Now, the learner needs to write a word starting with that letter for each category.
- -Set a duration- When the time ends, the learner should stop writing and reveal the answers.
- -The learner gains points for a word in each category.
7) Memory Game- This activity can improve attention, concentration and ability to focus. Research finds that memory games sharpen thinking skills and lead to improvements in memory and learning.
HOW TO PLAY
- -Keep 10-15 words ready in your bucket.
- -In the class, speak all the words that you have chosen.
- -Tell the learner to remember the words without writing them anywhere.
- -After you’ve shot all the words to the learner, ask the learners to recall and state the words in no specific order.
- -After the student has revealed the words, you can tell the remaining words to him that he has forgotten.
- -Thereafter, you can discuss the meanings of the words and tell the learner to make sentences using those words.
These games and activities for teaching English to learners can definitely help plan effective lessons for learners of all ages and levels and encourage them to speak. Keep using a variety of activities and media, such as podcasts, videos, articles, and music, to keep your classes interesting and lively.