THE ROLE OF GAMES AND SONGS IN TEACHING a FL

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THE ROLE OF GAMES AND SONGS IN TEACHING  a FL

If we ask a child, what he likes to do best, he would say ‘Play!’ оr  ‘Sing!’

Today games and songs are widely used in teaching foreign languages. I can say that they  are not just time-filling activities but have a great educational value. There are many advantages of using them. «Games can lower anxiety, thus making the acquisition of input more likely» (Richard-Amato) Games encourage, entertain, teach, and promote fluency. If not for any of these reasons, they should be used just because they help students see beauty in a foreign language and not just problems.

You can’t expect young children to learn English without a LOT LOT LOT of repetition…Making this repetition fun is down to the skill of the teacher and the resources you choose. Songs are absolutely IDEAL for language learning as children love them and will want to hear them over and over again — perfect for vocabulary acquisition and language learning. You may have noticed that if you expect your child or pupils to sit still and listen to you while you show them flashcards, you will not have their attention for long! Successful ESL teaching is all about variety, movement and using resources that appeal to young children. Young children love games, they love stories and they love songs.

Games also lend themselves well to revision exercises helping learners recall material in a pleasant, entertaining way.

There are many factors to consider while discussing games, one of which is appropriacy. Teachers should be very careful about choosing games if they want to make them profitable for the learning process. If games are to bring desired results, they must correspond to either the student’s level, or age, or to the material that is to be introduced or practiced. Not all games are appropriate for all students irrespective of their age. Different age groups require various topics, materials, and modes of games. In text-books and resource books it is possible to find games of different types and categories, with the focus on oral or written language, pronunciation or grammar; loud or quiet; long or short; team games or group games. And they are all a wonderful source if   they are used appropriately in the teaching situation. Games become difficult when the task or the topic is unsuitable or outside the students experience.

Another factor influencing the choice of a game is its length and the time necessary for its completion. Many games have a time limit, but the teacher can either allocate more or less time depending on the student’s level, the number of people in a group, or the knowledge of the rules of a game etc.

Games are often used as short warm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of a lesson. Yet, as Lee observes, a game «should not be regarded as a marginal activity filling in odd moments when the teacher and class have nothing better to do». Games ought to be at the heart of teaching foreign languages. Rixon suggests that games be used at all stages of the lesson, provided that they are suitable and carefully chosen. At different stages of the lesson, the teachers aims connected with a game may vary:

In text-books and resource books it is possible to find games of different types and categories, with the focus on oral or written language, pronunciation or grammar; loud or quiet; long or short; team games or group games. And they are all a wonderful source if   they are used appropriately in the teaching situation. In my practice I use such games as:

Snowball

Snowball is very useful  in revising new words of  a previous lesson. The teacher says Kazakh equivalent of a word(парта), a child gives  English equivalent(a desk) and says another word in the Kazakh language(кітап), next one must translate(a book) and repeat all the words and ask to find the translation of another word

a  desk-a book-etc.

Painter

One child comes to the board and begins drawing a picture of one the new words. The others begin guessing, not waiting until he/she has finished by asking “Is it…?”. The answers could be “Yes, it is” or “No, it isn’t”. Painter game is our favourite when learning and revising vocabulary.

Telephone

The children stand in a line. The teacher whispers a word or a sentence to the first player, who whispers it to the second one, and so on. The last player has to  say aloud what he/she has heard.

Correct the teacher

The focus is on listening and the task is finding the mistake. The teacher begins to tell a well-known story with a mistake in each sentence, which the group has to correct.

T: Little Yellow Riding Hood lived in a cottage in the middle of a wood.

C: No, Little Red Riding Hood.

T: Oh, yes. Little Red Riding Hood lived near a cottage…

C:  No, in a cottage.

Etc.

 

Word games

Match:

Buckingham                 Ben

Trafalgar                       Palace

British                           Gallery

Big                                Square

National                        Museum

Hyde                             Park

Read  the capitals of the countries:

Grlondonjkhfedinburghndfetcardiffmllbelfastfferastanavvdrottawafrewashingtondf