Basic requirements of using games in learning communication
Games introduce an element of competition into language-building activities. This provides valuable impetus to a purposeful use of language (Prasad 2012). In other words, these activities create a meaningful context for language use. The competitive ambiance also makes learners concentrate and think intensively during the learning process, which enhances unconscious acquisition of inputs. Most students who have experienced game-oriented activities hold positive attitudes towards them (Uberman 1998). An action research conducted by Huyen and Nga (2003), students said that they liked the relaxed atmosphere, the competitiveness, and the motivation that games brought to the classroom. On the effectiveness of games, teachers in Huyen & Nga's (2003) reported that action research reported that their students seem to learn more quickly and retain the learned materials better in a stress-free and comfortable environment [12; 13].
The benefits of using games in language learning can be summed up in nine points.
are learner centered
promote communicative competence
create a meaningful context for language use
increase learning motivation
reduce learning anxiety
integrate various linguistic skills
encourage creative and spontaneous use of language
construct a cooperative learning environment
foster participatory attitudes of the students. [13; 14; 125].
Games can play a range of roles in the language curriculum in secondary school. Traditionally, games have been used in the language class as warm-ups at the beginning of class, fill-ins when there is extra time near the end of class, or as an occasional bit of spice stirred into the curriculum to add variety. All these are fine, but games can also constitute a more substantial part of language courses. In the Presentation-Practice-Production framework (Mauer, 2007), (in which language items are first presented for students to listen to and/or read, then practiced in a manner in which the language used is controlled, e.g., students read out a dialogue from the textbook in which the two characters compare study habits, and then produced by students in a less controlled manner, e.g., two students discuss their own study habits), the games can be either for practicing specific language items or skills or for more communicative language production. Similarly, games can also be used as a way to revise and recycle previously taught language.
Children often are very enthusiastic about games, but precisely for that reason, some older students may worry that games are too childish for them. Teachers need to explain the purpose of the game in order to reassure such students that there is such a phenomenon as “serious fun.” In addition, older students can be involved in modifying and even creating games. Furthermore, adults have long participated in games on radio and television, not to mention the fact that popular board games, such as Monopoly, are played by adults.
As with other learning activities, teachers need to pay careful attention to the difficulty level of games. Part of the appeal of games lies in the challenge, but if the challenge is too great, some students may become discouraged [14,15]. The challenge can be of two kinds: understanding how to play the game and understanding the language content. There are some basic requirements of using games in learning communication: [16; 298].
Demonstrations of how the game is played. The teacher can demonstrate with a group of students or a group can demonstrate for the class.
A kind of script of what people said as they played or a list of useful phrases. Similarly, key vocabulary and concepts may need to be explained.
Clear directions. Demonstrations can accompany directions, and directions can be given when needed, rather than explaining all the steps and rules in one go. In addition, some student-initiated modifications can be accepted.
Games already known to students.
Games used to revise and recycle previously studied content, rather than involving new content.
Groups are heterogeneous in terms of current language proficiency, so that the more proficient members can help others.
Resources, online or print, such as dictionaries and textbooks [17; 213].
2. Classification of games in teaching speaking in secondary school
A game is a structured activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more concerned with the expression of ideas. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, and many games are considered work (such as professional players of spectator sports/games) or art (such as jigsaw puzzles or games involving an artistic layout such as Mahjong solitaire) [18; 19].
Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulation or psychological role. According to Chris Crawford, the requirement for player interaction puts activities such as jigsaw puzzles and solitaire "games" into the category of puzzles rather than games.
Games can be used at any stage of the lesson once the target language has been introduced and explained. They serve both as a memory aid and repetition drill, and as a chance to use language freely and as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. They can also serve as a diagnostic tool for the teacher, who can note areas of difficulty and take appropriate remedial action .
The pedagogical value of games in language learning at all levels has been well documented. Apart from their motivational value as an enjoyable form of activity, they provide a context in which the language is embedded. This context is ‘authentic’ in the sense that the games create its own world: for the duration of the game, it replaces external reality. Games also create the circumstances for meaningful repetition. Furthermore, the ‘same’ game can be played many times yet never produce identical outcomes. Games also ensure that the players interact with each other, and this interaction is usually played out in the language.
For younger learners games have even greater appeal. Children are curiously paradoxical. They can be both committed to co – operation and, at the same time, fiercely competitive. They love the security of routine and the predictability of rules, yet they are often amazingly unpredictable and creative. They love to have fun, yet they dedicate themselves with deadly seriousness to the activities they engage in. It is not surprising therefore that are so popular with children; games too involve both co – operation and competition, rules and unpredictability, enjoyment and serious commitment [21, 7-10].
Games are fun and children like to play them. That in itself is a strong argument for incorporating them in the EFL classroom. Playing games is a vital and natural part of growing up and learning. Through games children experiment, discover, and interact with their environment. Not to include games in the classroom would be to withhold from the children an essential tool for understanding their world; a world, which the language teacher seeks to enlarge through the experience of a foreign language.
Games add variation to a lesson and increase the motivation by providing a plausible incentive to use the target language. Remember that for many children between four and twelve years, especially the youngest, language learning will not be the key motivational factor. Language can provide the stimulus. The game context makes the foreign language immediately useful to the children. It brings the target language to life. The game makes the reasons for speaking plausible even to reluctant children.
A game is an activity with rules, a goal and an element of fun. There are two kinds of games: competitive games, in which players or teams race to be the first to reach the goal, and cooperative games, in which players or teams work together towards a common goal.
Language games can be divided into two further categories: linguistic games and communicative games. In linguistic games, the goal of the game is linguistic accuracy: in the case of these grammar games, using the correct grammatical forms. Communicative games have a goal or aim that is not linguistic: successful completion of the game involves carrying out a task such as exchanging information, filling in a picture or chart, or finding two matching cards, rather than the correct production of language. However, in order to carry out this task it will be necessary to use language and, by careful construction of the task, it is possible to specify in advance what language will be required.
Language games are fun. However, all activities in a secondary classroom should be. Games are also task based: English is a tool for the children to reach a goal, which is not directly language related. Craft activities in the target language are also an example of this, as are songs. However, that does not make them games. A stricter definition is necessary for the purpose of a language games book.
Language games are a healthy challenge to a child’s analytical thought. The rules of the game set clear limits within which the children’s natural decision – making processes must function. With beginners, some games can resemble ‘fun’ drills, with the decision-making reduced to substitution of a single word in a phrase. However, even in such cases, children are required to make individual choices based on specific language criteria, which form part of the rules of the game. The key to a successful language game is that these rules are clear and the ultimate goal is well defined. Of course, the game must be fun, whether played in English or the children’s mother tongue.
There are many views in the case of differentiation the communicative games. In our research paper, we have decided to show the importance of using phonic, lexical, role-playing games in Learning Communication through games in secondary school.
2.1 Phonetic games
Choosing appropriate games. There are many factors to consider while discussing games, one of which is appropriacy. Teachers should be very careful about choosing games if they make them profitable for the learning process. If games are to bring desired results, they must correspond to either 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. For example, children benefit most from games, which require moving around, imitating a model, competing between groups and the like. Furthermore, structural games that prior knowledge. Games become difficult when the task or the topic is unsuitable or outside the student’s experience. Another factor influencing to the choice of a game is its length and the time necessary for its completion. Many games have a time limit, but according to Siek-Piscozub, 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. [22-23].
Rogova distinguishes the various types of games. She divided the language games into phonetic, orthographical, lexical and games for the work with alphabet. Language games intend for forming the pronouncing, lexical and grammatical skills and for practicing the usage target language in preparatory, precommunicative stages of mastering the foreign language.
The main purpose of phonetic games - staged (correction) pronunciation, practice in pronunciation of sounds in words, phrases, practicing intonation. They are used regularly, mostly at the initial stage of learning a foreign language (water-remedial course) as an illustration and exercises to practice the most difficult to pronounce sounds and intonations. As we move, forward phonetic games are implemented at the level of words, sentences, Rhymes, tongue twisters, poems and songs. Students in the classroom can use the experience gained in games of this type in the future in a foreign language.
I hear – I do not hear. The aim: to form the skills of phonemic hearing.
The course of game: the learners divide into groups. The teacher pronounces a word. If he or she names the word, which has long vowel sound or …, learners raise the left hands. If there are also consonant sounds or ... in the word, the learners raise two hands. Teacher writes the mistakes on the blackboard. The team, which made fewer mistakes, will win.
True or false. The aim: to form right, quick skills for distortion of the phonemic hearing.
The course of game: teacher names the words or the words in the sentences, in phrases. Learners raise their hands when teacher reads the emphasis sounds in sound patterns. Then teacher asks learners to read definite sound patterns, words, phrases and sentences. If learner reads right, others raise their hands with green cards, if it is wrong – with red cards. The team that after counting the points will evaluate correctly the presence and absence of mistakes will win.
Which word sounds? The aim: forming the skills of determining adequate sound – letter correspondence.
The course of game: the learners are given 10 – 20 words. The teacher begins to read the word with definite speed in voluntary sequence. The learners will do the following actions:
To find the words in the list which teacher pronounces and put ordinal numbers near the words.
To click only those words which teacher reads.
To write down aurally the words, which are not in list, and try to find them in dictionaries, if learner does not know them, he must extract, and find any orthographical mistakes.
2.2. Lexical games
Lexical games have focused students' attention solely on the lexical material and are designed to assist them in acquiring and expanding vocabulary, and to work to illustrate the use of words in communication situations. There are different types of vocabulary games [22-23].
The numerals. The aim: to consolidate the cardinal and ordinal numbers.
The course of the game: teacher divides pupils into two teams. She or he names cardinal or ordinal numbers. The first team must name the previous and the second one – the following (according to the cardinal or ordinal numbers). The team will get the penal points for every mistake. The team, which gets the less penal points, will win.
Adding the pictures. The aim: activation the vocabulary of learned theme, development the skills of dialogical speech.
The course of the game: the participants are divided into the pairs. Every pair is given the pictures with the cards of cues. With the help of these cards, pupils must add the pictures. The pair, which will prepare the dialogue first and add it correctly, will win.
Teakettle. (English game) The aim: to form and develop the contextual guess.
The course of the game: the leader goes out the room. At this time pupils must choose several homonyms and think the sentence. When leader enters the room, pupils pronounce the sentence one by one, which includes the word “teakettle” in place of homonyms.
For example: I said good teakettle when I went to the little store teakettle the bank to teakettle some meat. The word “teakettle” must be replaced by “bye, by, buy”. The leader must find out the meaning of the phrase: I said good-bye when I went to the little store by the bank to buy some meat.
Divide the students in to groups of four or five. Then ask the student to make the name for their ships for example with the names of animals, cities, movie stars or let them find their own favourite names. Them to choose the Captain and the Shooter. The captain's duty is to memorize his ship's name, so he can reply if somebody call his ship's name. The shooter's duty is to memorize the names of the ships of 'their enemies', so he can shoot them by calling their ship's name.
Arrange all the captains in a circle, the ships' crews must line up behind their captains. The shooter is the last crewmember in line. Teacher must decide a lexical area of vocabulary; this vocabulary will be used to defend their ships from the attacks. Every students (except the shooters) must find their own words. The lexical area for example, "Four Legged Animals". Give the students 1-2 minutes to find as many possible words as they can and memorize them. The game by calling a ship's name, for example the ship name is "THE CALIFORNIAN". The captain of THE CALIFORNIAN must reply with a word from the lexical area given, for example he says "TIGER" followed by his crews behind him one by one, "COW"; "SHEEP" until it is the shooter turns and he calls out the name of another ship and the captain of the ship called must reply and his crews must do the same thing. No word can be repeated. The captain is late to reply (more than 2 seconds) or his crew can not say the words or a word repeated or the shooter shoots the wrong ship (his own ship or the ship that has already been sunk) the ship is sunk, and the crew members can join the crew of another ship. Teacher can change the lexical area for the next round. The last round there will be two big groups battling to be the winner.
2.3 Role – playing games.
Role – play games can be seen as simple, guided drama activities. The language input can be quite rigidly prescribed or very open depending on the language level, curiosity, and confidence of class. Role-plays stimulate a child’s imagination and are tests of true communication.
There are different types of games holds a special place role-playing game. You know, of great importance in the educational process is learning motivation. It helps to enhance the thinking is of interest to a particular kind of occupation, to perform a particular exercise. Strongest motivating factor is the training methods that satisfy the need for students to study material novelty and variety of the exercises. Using a variety of teaching techniques helps to perpetuate the memory of linguistic phenomena, creating more stable visual and auditory images, maintaining interest and activity of students.
The lesson of foreign language is seen as a social phenomenon, where the classroom - a particular social environment in which teachers and students enter into definite social relations with each other, where the learning process - the interaction of all present.
The success in training - is the result of collective use of all opportunities for learning. In addition, students should make a significant contribution to this process. Ample opportunities to revamp the educational process is the use of role-playing games. Role-play - methodological procedure relating to a group of active methods of teaching practical language skills. Playing is a contingent of actors playing real practical activity, creates conditions for real communication. The effectiveness of training is due primarily to an explosion of motivation, increased interest in the subject. Play motivates speech activity, as students find themselves in a situation where the need is updated to say anything, ask to find out to prove something to share with someone clearly convinced that the language can be used as a means of communication game will intensify the desire to contact the guys with each other and the teacher creates the conditions of equality in the speech partnership breaks the traditional barrier between teacher and student game allows a timid, diffident students to speak and thus to overcome the barrier of uncertainty. In the usual discussion students, leaders tend to seize the initiative, and the timid prefer to remain silent. In the role-play, each gets a role and must be an active partner in speech communication games. Pupils master the elements of communication such as the ability to start a conversation, keep it, to suspend the interlocutor at the right moment to agree with his opinion or disprove it, specifically the ability to listen to the interlocutor, to ask clarifying questions, etc. playing teaches to be sensitive to the social use of language. A good conversationalist is often not the one who enjoys the best structures, and those who can most clearly recognize (interpret) the situation in which there are partners, to consider the information that is already known (from the situation, experience) and choose the linguistic resources that will be most effective for communication all the training time devoted to role-play voice for the practice is not only talking but also listening to the most active, as it is to understand and remember the replica partner, correlate it with the situation, determine how relevant the situation and the problem of communication and properly respond to the cue have a positive effect on the formation of students' cognitive interests, contribute to the conscious development of a foreign language. They contribute to the development of qualities such as independence, initiative, foster a sense of collectivism. Students actively, enthusiastically working to help each other listen carefully to their comrades, but the teacher manages the educational activity
Basic requirements for the role-playing games:
1. The game should stimulate motivation to exercise, to cause the student interest and desire to do the job well; it should be based on the situation adequately the real situation of communication.
2. Role-playing game should be well prepared in terms of both content and form, clearly organized. It is important that the students were convinced of the need to perform well a certain role. Only under this condition, their speech is natural and convincing.
3. Role-playing should be taken as a group.
4. It certainly is conducted in a friendly, creative atmosphere, causes the pupils a sense of satisfaction and joy. The freer the student feels in a role-play, the more initiative, he will be in communication. Over time, he will feel confident in their abilities, that he may fulfill different roles.
5. The game is organized so that students can active verbal communication to maximize the use of piloted language material.
6. The teacher will certainly believe in the role mothers play in their effectiveness. Only under this condition, it can achieve good results.
7. Greater significance is the ability to teachers to make contact with the children. Creating a supportive, friendly atmosphere in class - a very important factor, whose value cannot be overestimated the game, the teacher sometimes takes some role, but did not start that game does not become a traditional form of work under his leadership. It is desirable that the social status of this role would have helped him gently to direct verbal communication in the group; the teacher takes a role only in the beginning, when students have not mastered this kind of work. In the future there will be no need for this the game strong help the weak students. The teacher also manages the process of communication: it is suitable to one, then another student who needs help, makes the necessary adjustments to the job the game, the teacher does not correct the error, but only for the students quietly write them to the next lesson to discuss the most common playing can be used as the initial stage of learning, and the advanced studies show that during the period from the fourth to tenth grade, when carried out to study a foreign language, students develop through several stages of age. It is also noted that the most important changes in the mental characteristics of the individual at this stage of its development due to the dominant activity, characteristic of this stage. Primary school age, which starts learning a foreign language, not only precedes the earlier, pre-school age period, but also an older form of the dominant activity. This early form of the dominant activity is the role-playing game. In the early school years, i.e. seven - eleven years old, the dominant activity is teaching transition from one activity to another lead is in the form of interaction between old and new ways of behavior. Earlier-formed personality traits persist in a period when there are active and formed new personal property, and during the most recent full development are prerequisites for the emergence of personality traits corresponding to the transition to new leadership of the age and the next step. The game as a form of reflection leading activity may correspond to the achieved age, to return to earlier forms of behavior, ahead of the appropriate age and contribute to the preparation stage for a new leading activity. These and other theoretical situation is still not used to the proper organization of educational role-playing game in the foreign language lessons in the secondary school. [25-26]
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