Back to: Pedagogy of English- Unit 5
A language game refers to an activity that is used to facilitate the learning of a language. Adeng & Shah (2012) state that “grammar teaching that is too dependent on rules and memorization makes learners lose their interest and motivation” and add that “games are the most suitable to learn the grammar of a second language.” Learning a new language requires a lot of effort and practice. Incorporating games in language learning enable learners to practice various skills such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Games can create a meaningful context for the usage of language.
Advantages of the Games Method of Teaching
The Advantages of the Games method of teaching the English language are as follows:
Games add a lot of variety to the learning situation. By incorporating games into the teaching-learning process, it is no longer monotonous but becomes interesting and engaging instead.
Games add a change of pace to the lesson and this keeps them highly motivated because games are fun. Since the students enjoy playing games, the teacher can keep them motivated and retain their attention.
Formal teaching can sometimes be boring and monotonous as it can go at the same pace but adding games can lighten the classroom and renew the energy of the students.
Games also offer the hidden practice of specific language patterns, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
Improves Various Skills
Games also improve the attention span, memory, concentration, reading skills, and listening skills of the learners.
Disadvantages of the Games Method of Teaching
The disadvantages of the games method of teaching the English Language are as follows:
This method can be a bit time-consuming because teachers have to find time to prepare the game and organize it. Choosing the right game and planning how to implement it can be tough.
The game can distract the learners from the actual pedagogical goal and the outcome of the teaching-learning process may remain unachieved.
Some games require a lot of resources and materials to give the learners the best experience and some may face a lack of availability in the resources.
Incorporating games creates a relaxed environment and there may be a lot of informal interaction between the teacher and the learners which some teachers may view as unproductive.
Loss Of Interest
Complex games may make the students be more inclined towards learning the rules of the game due to which, their interest may divert from the actual topic.
Martin in Brewster and Ellis (2002) state that,
“games is any fun activities which give young learners the opportunity to practice the foreign language in a relaxed and enjoyable way. In playing a game students can relax, not as in doing exercise in the textbook. Without being forced by the teacher, students are willing to practice the language because they enjoy the game.”