The Importance of Games

In an ESL classroom, the material being presented needs to be done in an informative, fun method. One way to present material is through the use of games. Games do not have to be a part of every class, but they are effective when learning new material or reviewing for a test.

The three main categories of ESL games are vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. In the vocabulary category, the games include word match, word jumbles, hangman, crosswords puzzles, and matching similes. In the grammar category, there are games for nouns, verbs, and practicing past, present, and future tenses. In the pronunciation category, the games include rhyming pairs, homophones matching, and -ed pronunciation matching.

Using games in ESL classrooms can be done with massive poster boards, the blackboard, a PowerPoint presentation, handouts, or a spinning wheel with cards much like bingo. By playing as a whole class or by splitting the students up into smaller groups, you will ensure that everyone takes part in the games and does not sit idly by as the rest of the class participates. Do your best to include every single student in the game to allow them to have fun while learning the new material.

If you decide to use games in your ESL lessons, be sure they are not introduced until after the new material is presented. Go through your lesson first and make sure that your students have heard you model the material so they understand how it is supposed to look on paper and sound when spoken. Once this is complete, your students will be able to better understand the goals of the game.

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