Fun education

Teach grammar with fun educational games

Teaching English grammar can be challenging – for the teacher and the students. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or painful. You can teach English grammar with fun learning games and before you know it, your students will be more than willing to. How does it work, you ask. Well, there has been a move away from traditional methods of teaching English grammar through writing, rewriting and worksheets to using a more active approach through games. Researchers have also begun to look at how and why these new approaches work.

Four sound reasons for teaching grammar using games

1. Arif Sarikopan and Esin Mateen, authors of Songs, Verses, and Games for Teaching Grammar, explain how and why games work for teaching grammar in an ESL classroom. They say, “Games and problem-solving activities, which are task-based and have a purpose beyond producing correct speech, are examples of the most favored communicative activities.” They add that grammar games not only help children gain knowledge, but also be able to apply and use this learning.

2. In addition, games have the advantage of allowing students to “practice and absorb vocabulary, grammar, and structures broadly.” They can do this because students are often more motivated to play games than to do office work. In addition, during the game, the students focus on the activity and end up absorbing the language unconsciously. One could also add that fun learning games usually contain repetition, which allows language to survive.

3. While games motivate students, perhaps the best reason to use games, according to Sarikuban and Mateen, is that “the use of such activities increases cooperation and competition in the classroom.” One can use games to add excitement through competition or games that create bonding between students and teachers.

4. Aidan Ersuz, author of “Six Games for the ESL/EFL Classroom,” explains more reasons why games work in teaching grammar. Learning a language requires constant effort and it can be stressful. Ersuz says games can counter this for the following reasons:

* Fun and challenging games are very stimulating.

* Games allow the meaningful use of language in context.

Children are more motivated to learn grammar by using games

Intrinsic motivation theory also gives some insight into why teaching grammar through games works. Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal factors that encourage us to do something. Most young learners will not decide internally that they want to learn grammar. They don’t yet understand the concepts of why knowing the right grammar is important, so these external factors won’t affect them much either. Alternatively, intrinsic motivation can encourage them to play games. If these games are good, they will learn while they play.

Using some movement is crucial because movement helps activate students’ mental abilities and stimulate neural networks, thus enhancing learning and retention. If you have a large classroom without space, you still have options. Children can stand, sit, move different body parts, and pass things to each other. Movement isn’t just about tearing kids around the playground.

What are the best types of games?

When you’re looking for games to use in your classroom, don’t choose something to be a “time filler” that doesn’t have a specific linguistic consequence. These games may entertain students, but when you don’t have as much time with them each day as they are, you’ll want your game to do double duty for making the most out of the time you spend playing games.

Get a clear language score for each game. The game can be a listening game to allow students to hear repeatedly a new grammatical structure in use, or it can be a speaking game to allow grammar to be practiced once it has been internalized by listening beforehand. There are degrees of difficulty in speaking games from basic repetition in a fun context to more creative sentence construction for revision or more advanced practice once the basics are mastered. The teacher should lead the children through this progression so that the toy in hand is always within the reach of the students. This makes the games more fun than stressful. It is a mistake to play the talking game immediately after the new rules are introduced. Reading, spelling and writing games come into perfect form after the new rules are internalized and students can use them orally.

Another thing to watch out for in grammar games is that a maximum of students are participating at one time. If you have thirty children, you’ll want to avoid a game where only one child speaks at a time. What are the other twenty-nine kids supposed to do in the meantime other than get bored? On the other end of the scale are games that cause chaos in the classroom and make teachers unpopular with colleagues due to high noise levels. A variety of suitable games are available to try for free in the resource box below the article.

Now you can stop making students angry and nagging at students even when you think of teaching them a grammar lesson and having some productive fun.

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