Fun English learning with games!
Yella Dezas Perdani
Fun English learning is one of the most well-known expressions for fun English teaching and learning. It is used to provide a supportive environment in which students can comprehend material taught with a positive attitude. Using games in the classroom is one way to create this environment. If teachers are still uncertain about what type of game to use in teaching English language or how to get students to work, the following examples may be of assistance.
- Tic-Tac-Toe (British Naughts and Crosses) is modified slightly for team play, but the objective of three-in-a-row remains the same. Students must answer questions correctly as a team to earn a chance to place an X or O (depending on their team), and each team member has a chance to answer for their group. Questions can be in the form of pictures that correspond to vocabulary, sentence construction using grammar points, or anything else you choose to review with the students.
- Concentration is a card-matching game for teaching English learners that is best played in circle groups so that everyone can see the cards. The students can gain additional practice by helping you create card pairs. After shuffling each deck, the cards should be placed face-down in the center of the circle. Each student’s turn consists of turning over two cards face-up. If the cards match, the student wins them. If they do not match, the student must flip them face-down again and continue to pay attention so that on their next turn they can make a match. Students will help each other decide when a match has been made, but you will also need to monitor and perhaps have each student share their pairs at the conclusion of the game for additional review.
- The Clothesline is a game that teaches English learners to construct sentences using a variety of words. Have piles of numerous alternatives for each part of speech, including punctuation.
Individually or in teams, students take turns rearranging the words to form sentences. Points are awarded for correct use of vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation when students read the sentence they’ve constructed. The winner of the round is the student or team with the most points.
- Oral Matching can be a fun way for English learners to practice conversation and socialize. Each student is given a slip of paper with either a question or an answer on it (for more variety, they can have both, as long as they don’t match!), and they are instructed to read their questions and answers to their classmates so that they can determine which ones belong together. Use a dialogue or story to create your question-and-answer slips for added entertainment. Once each student has located his or her matching pair(s), you can have them reassemble the text in its original order and read it aloud as a class.
- Scrambler is a puzzle-like activity that can be entertaining for English language learners as a break from traditional worksheets. Create a word that you want the students to discover (this can also be an answer to a key question, if you so choose). Utilize various vocabulary words containing the letters of the target word.
Then, scramble the vocabulary words so that students must determine, letter-by-letter, which vocabulary words correspond to each scrambled word. Using those letters from the vocabulary, the target word can then be vertically arranged. If you are using a key question, be sure to leave a space blank so that students can rewrite the target word from the boxes once they have found the answers to all the scrambled words.
To sum up, fun English learning is one of the best-known ways to talk about teaching and learning English in a fun way. It is used to create a positive environment where students can learn and understand what is being taught. One way to make this kind of atmosphere in the classroom is to use games. If teachers still don’t know what kind of game to use to teach English or how to get students to work, they could try Tic-Tac-Toe, concentration, the clothesline, oral matching, or scrambler.
Cameron, L .2001. Teaching Languages to Young Learners. UK: Cambridge University Press
Moon, J. 2000. Children Learn English. UK: MacMillan Publisher Limited.
Scott, A. W. and Ytreberg H. Lisbeth. Teaching English to Children. NewYork: Longman.