Grammar Games - Motivation in Teaching English (42869)

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I. Introduction

1.1 General characteristics of the work

1.2 The role of games on language lessons

II. Main Part

Chapter 1. Theory part

2.1.1 The advantages of using games

2.1.2 The adequacy in using games

2.1.3 Learning grammar through games

Chapter 2. Practice part

2.2.1 Games with prepositions

2.2.2 Conditionals and Wishes

2.2.3 Examples of worksheets

III. Conclusion


I. Introduction

1.1 General characteristics of the work

The theme of my qualification work sounds as following: “Grammar Games - Motivation in Teaching English” This qualification work can be characterized by the following:

2. Actuality of the theme.

In recent years language researchers and practitioners have shifted their focus from developing individual linguistic skills to the use of language to achieve the speaker's objectives. This new area of focus, known as communicative competence, leads language teachers to seek task-oriented activities that engage their students in creative language use. Games, which are task-based and have a purpose beyond the production of correct speech, serve as excellent communicative activities. On the surface, the aim of all language games is for students to "use the language"; however, during game play learners also use the target language to persuade and negotiate their way to desired results. This process involves the productive and receptive skills simultaneously. Standing on such ground, I considered the theme of the work actual enough to make investigation.

3. The tasks and aims of the work.

1. The first task of my work is to describe the role of games on language lessons.

2. The second task is to describe views of different linguists on the problem of using games.

3. The last task is to describe various types of grammar games.

4. The novelty of the work.

I consider that the novelty of the work is concluded in new materials of the linguists, which were published in the Internet. The novelty of my work is concluded in the fact, that I had worked out some grammar games, which I had approbated on English language lessons during my pedagogical practice.

5. Practical significance of the work.

In my opinion the practical significance of my work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and I hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.

6. Ways of scientific investigation used within the work.

The main methods for compiling our work are the method of comparative analysis and the method of statistical research.

7. Fields of amplification.

The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:

1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with using of grammar games.

2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.

3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.

8. Linguists worked with the theme.

As the base for my qualification work I used the works of Abbott G., Azar B. Sh., Horwitz E.K., Lee Su Kim and others0.

9. Content of the work.

The present qualification work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part, which includes two items I gave the brief description of our qualification work (the first item), where I described its actuality, practical significance, and fields of amplification, and described the role of games on language lessons. The main part of my qualification work includes several items. There I discussed such problems as adequacy in using games and their advantages. In the second chapter (practice part) of main part described different types of grammar games, and included worksheets, which are needed for playing these games. In the conclusion to my qualification work I tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the main part of my qualification work. In bibliography part I mentioned more than 20 sources of which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias0 and also some internet sources.

1.2 The role of games on language lessons

Games offer students a fun-filled and relaxing learning atmosphere. After learning and practicing new vocabulary, students have the opportunity to use language in a non-stressful way. While playing games, the learners' attention is on the message, not on the language. Rather than pay attention to the correctness of linguistic forms, most participants will do all they can to win. This eases the fear of negative evaluation, the concern of being negatively judged in public, and which is one of the main factors inhibiting language learners from using the target language in front of other people. In a game-oriented context, anxiety is reduced and speech fluency is generated--thus communicative competence is achieved.

Games are also motivating. Games introduce an element of competition into language-building activities. This provides valuable impetus to a purposeful use of language (Prasad 2003). 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.

The benefits of using games in language-learning can be summed up in nine points.

Games: are learner centered.

  1. promote communicative competence.

  2. create a meaningful context for language use.

  3. increase learning motivation.

  4. reduce learning anxiety.

  5. integrate various linguistic skills.

  6. encourage creative and spontaneous use of language.

  7. construct a cooperative learning environment.

  8. foster participatory attitudes of the students.

II. Main Part

Chapter 1. Theory part

2.1.1 The advantages of using games

Many experienced textbook and methodology manuals writers have argued that games are not just time-filling activities but have a great educational value. W. R. Lee holds that most language games make learners use the language instead of thinking about learning the correct forms. He also says that games should be treated as central not peripheral to the foreign language teaching programme. A similar opinion is expressed by Richard-Amato, who believes games to be fun but warns against overlooking their pedagogical value, particularly in foreign language teaching. There are many advantages of using games. "Games can lower anxiety, thus making the acquisition of input more likely" (Richard-Amato). They are highly motivating and entertaining, and they can give shy students more opportunity to express their opinions and feelings (Hansen). They also enable learners to acquire new experiences within a foreign language which are not always possible during a typical lesson. Furthermore, to quote Richard-Amato, they, "add diversion to the regular classroom activities," break the ice, "[but also] they are used to introduce new ideas". In the easy, relaxed atmosphere which is created by using games, students remember things faster and better (Wierus and Wierus). Further support comes from Zdybiewska, who believes games to be a good way of practicing language, for they provide a model of what learners will use the language for in real life in the future.

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.

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. For example, children benefit most from games which require moving around, imitating a model, competing between groups and the like. Furthermore, structural games that practice or reinforce a certain grammatical aspect of language have to relate to students' abilities and prior knowledge. Games become difficult when the task or the topic is unsuitable or outside the student's 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 students' level, the number of people in a group, or the knowledge of the rules of a game etc.

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