Published on November 2016 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 36 | Comments: 0 | Views: 305
of 45
Download PDF   Embed   Report



Masaryk University In Brno Faculty of Education
Department of English Language and Literature

Use of Games in English Language Teaching
Bachelor Thesis

Supervisor PhDr. Alena Kašpárková

Written by Kamila Palánová


Brno 2010

I would like to thank PhDr. Alena Kašpárková for her advice and suggestions invaluable for this work to be completed as well as for her seminars during my studies.


Autor projektu, UČO Studijní program, obor Datum předložení projektu Téma práce česky Klíčová slova česky Téma práce anglicky Klíčová slova anglicky Vedoucí práce Katedra

Kamila Palánová, 266189 Specializace v pedagogice, Lektorství AJ, kombinovaní 4.12.2010 Použití her při výuce angličtiny Hry, velké třídy, individuální výuka, kinetické aktivity Use of Games in English Language Teaching games, big classes, individual lessons, kinetic activities PhDr. Alena Kašpárková Anglického jazyka a literatury

Prohlašuji, že jsem bakalářskou práci vypracovala samostatně, s využitím pouze citovaných literárních pramenů, dalších informací a zdrojů v souladu s Disciplinárním řádem pro studenty Pedagogické fakulty Masarykovy univerzity a se zákonem č. 121/2000 Sb., o právu autorském, o právech souvisejících s právem autorským a o změně některých zákonů (autorský zákon), ve znění pozdějších předpisů.


4 Annotation.............................................................................................................................6 Introduction ..........................................................................................................................7 1. Advantages and disadvantages of using games in language teaching..............................8 2. Various types of games in language teaching.................................................................10 2.1 Listening games........................................................................................................10 2.2 Speaking games.........................................................................................................12 2.3 Kinetic games............................................................................................................14 2.4 Experiential games....................................................................................................15 3. Games in different kinds of classes................................................................................18 3.1 Using games in language teaching in classes according to language level ..............18 3.1.1 Beginners...........................................................................................................18 3.1.2 Intermediate students.........................................................................................18 3.1.3 Advanced students.............................................................................................19 3.1.4 Conclusion.........................................................................................................19 3.2 Using games in language teaching in classes according to age of students..............19 3.2.1 Young learners...................................................................................................20 3.2.2 Teenage students................................................................................................21 3.2.3 Adults.................................................................................................................21 Conclusion..................................................................................................................22 3.3 Using games in language teaching in classes according to class size.......................22 3.3.1 Individual lessons...............................................................................................22 3.3.2 Small classes......................................................................................................22 3.3.3 Big classes..........................................................................................................23 3.3.4 Conclusion.........................................................................................................23 3.3.5 Adapting games to a different class size............................................................24 4. Appropriate situations to use or not to use games in language teaching........................26 4.1 When not to use games.............................................................................................26 4.2 When to use games....................................................................................................27 5. Useful tips applicable in class.........................................................................................29 6. Investigation amongst adult learners..............................................................................31 6.1 Introduction...............................................................................................................31 6.2 Research methodology .............................................................................................31 6.3 Students’ input .........................................................................................................32 6.4 Evaluation of the students’ feedback........................................................................36

5 6.5 Comparison of questionnaire results with methodologists’ advice...........................37 6.6 Suggestions...............................................................................................................38 6.7 Conclusion................................................................................................................42 List of references:................................................................................................................44


This thesis deals with the usage of games in English language teaching and examines its aspects from various perspectives. The first chapter explains advantages and disadvantages of using games in language teaching in general, the second describes diverse types of games used in lessons. The third chapter investigates the differences in appropriate use of various types of games in different language level classes, from beginners to advanced learners, presents the differences in using games in language teaching according to students’ age and explaining the approach differences. It also compares the games according to number of students in the class, paying special attention to adapting games to smaller or bigger classes. The fourth chapter addresses the learning situations in which it is recommended to use or not use games, the fifth chapter attempt to give useful tips to teachers applicable in class. The sixth, concluding chapter presents an investigation realized amongst adult students about their preference regarding using games in language teaching, taking into consideration types of games and amount of time dedicated to games. It also gives the result and compares the students’ input with the recommendations of authors of teaching and methodology books.


Games are an important part of people’s lives. Although many adults have forgotten how to play, for children it is one of the main activities throughout their days. The reasons are introduced by Koťátková (Děti a my, 3, 26): ‘In a game, a child has the opportunity to try out and modify much of what they see; the game is therefore a source of cognition for them.’(translated by the author) In this article she also states that a game is an opportunity for the child’s self-realization and a way to dispose of stress. The idea of using games in teaching does not seem to be widely accepted and implemented yet, although its profitability and almost necessity has been proposed and justified as early as in the seventeenth century by Comenius. In spite of years of such knowledge and experience, it is still rare to see games implemented in the teaching process in schools in other than first to third grades. Also Maňák and Švec claim that ‘Comenius’s provocative appeal – schola ludus (school by play) remains nor understood, nor realized.’ (2003, p.126) (translated by the author). The use of games in the teaching process is not applicable restrictively to teaching languages; nevertheless, this is the area this work will focus on.


1. Advantages and disadvantages of using games in language teaching

Let’s take a quick view at what a game is. Prodromou suggests (1992, p.120): ‘What is a game? One working definition is that of an enjoyable activity involving an objective that is achieved by following certain rules, usually in competition with one or more other people.’ Although the competition element is what characterizes a game most often, for the purpose of this work, both competitive and non-competitive games will be considered as a subject of the thesis, both can be, and are, used in language teaching. The use of games in teaching English is not, however, appropriate at all times. Using various games can help students memorize vocabulary or grammar; it can eliminate the anxiety aroused from using a foreign language or uncertainty about the correctness of the output. As Demes da Cruz also states (2008, p.18): ‘While playing language games, students can be exposed to the target structures. However, because this is done in a context of a game, they relax and forget that they are being watched. They often become so involved in the game that they stop feeling anxious about their mistakes.’ At the same time overuse of games may take away the time the students can use to be working individually, having the matter explained properly or simply working with the language seriously. It can also create the overall class atmosphere in such a way that it is not a real learning, making it more difficult to concentrate on studying for serious purposes, like exams. The last consequence of overuse of games in language teaching to be mentioned here is the fact that the students might get bored with all the play. The reason is that students, especially students of higher secondary schools or adults, usually do not like to be treated like little children. The teacher must place challenge before them too, they need to have the feeling of having accomplished something more difficult than a good game result. Having said the above, experience, however, confirms that abandoning games in the classes of the older group age would deprive the teaching-learning process of enjoyment, which enriches and motivates the students. To be complete, it is also necessary to mention the teachers’ need to enjoy their work, enjoy the classes and activities realized. ‘The moment we enter the classroom, we must act as people who are looking forward to whatever is coming.’ (Paterson, 1996, p.13) (translated by the author). To fulfil that, games are of great help to keep the teaching work still enjoyable.

9 Simply put, the teacher must carefully consider how much and when it is appropriate to use games in the language teaching in order to be beneficial to the students and the whole teaching process. According to Bönsch (quoted in Maňák & Švec, 2003, p.126):
When utilizing game-like activities in the teaching process, it is necessary to realize that, despite many shared features, between the games and studying there is also a certain variance, as whereas play does not pursue strictly defined objectives, tuition is essentially target-orientated. While overcoming this tension, the didactic play must avoid two extremes: pursuance of the teaching aims must not superimpose the essence of play itself to such an extent that the pupil does not perceive the activity as a game; on the other hand, inexpedience and latitude of the game must not reach a degree when the actual aim of the teaching slips out. (translated by the author)


2. Various types of games in language teaching
There are many types of games the teacher may make use of. They are aimed to train different kinds of skills desired for students to be acquired. Over the time, it is profitable to keep changing the types of games to ensure the novelty and a surprise effect for the students. This way it is ensured that the outcome will have the highest possible impact. An experienced teacher is also able to recognize situation when a game is needed to be introduced to change the classroom atmosphere, therefore has several games on hand at all times. There are many types of games the teacher can make use of. In the following part, some of the types will be introduced, coupled with examples of games, using the particular type of activity. However, it needs to be mentioned that no game uses only one type of activity or practices only one skill. Therefore the games in this chapter are filed under a type of an activity and skill which benefits most.

2.1 Listening games
These types of games concentrate on one of the crucial and most difficult parts of language learning. Listening is usually viewed as a passive part of the lesson. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Listening requires being very attentive and active, should it bring the desired result. In schools, listening is often carried out in a boring and uninteresting way, using only the exercises offered by the book. To make students enjoy listening, the teacher needs to bring it closer to them. A good way is choosing a topic they would like to listen about or a song they like. We can use many activities using listening not as an aim of lesson, which makes it always more stressful, but as a means to accomplish a different task, be it completing the lyrics of a song, getting correct instructions for playing a computer game or obtaining information about interesting people or places. In a similar way, listening games can be used in order to maintain the students’ attention and interest. To ensure the effort put into the listening is exploited in full, the teacher can partner the listening game with consequent post-activities.

11 There are hereby enclosed two examples of games aimed at improving listening skills. Make a story (from This game is best suited to small groups. While sitting in a small circle, participants are asked to construct a story by each participant adding one line at a time (e.g. As he got off his horse, he saw a big rabbit). This continues with each additional participant adding another line until everyone has contributed at least two lines. There are many variations to this game but it highlights the value of listening to others. Blockbusters (from

Draw the grid on the chalkboard (as shown on the picture above). The best way to do this quickly is to draw the five columns of horizontal lines first, and then the vertical zigzags. Then write a different letter of the alphabet in each hexagon. Divide your class into two teams and nominate a student to choose a letter. From a previously prepared word list, choose a word whose first letter matches the student's choice, and explain this word to your class. The first team to guess the word correctly claims the hexagon and chooses to continue either vertically or horizontally. (Mark the hexagon with a squiggle of colored chalk corresponding to the team's color). One team must go horizontally

12 and the other team must go vertically. To win the game, a team must connect all the way from top to bottom, or from side to side. The ensuing conflict as teams vie for a winning route is what makes the game so fun and exciting. Customized lists of words can be used; textbook words from present and previous years, words that students have written and passed to the teacher, incidental words that have come up during class and topical or useful words that may be fun to use. If an end-of-term test is drawing near, the present textbook words can be used, because this is most useful for review. This list also includes a reference to the unit from which the word was taken, as occasionally students may to scan their textbooks for the answer. This is good reading practice, it helps students remember and relate to the word, and it helps the teacher get a feel of where more review might be needed.

2.2 Speaking games
Used as a follow-up to the previous listening, it is an excellent way to re-enforce vocabulary and expressions heard earlier. However, speaking games can be used at any time. The teacher must, nevertheless, make sure that a form of game is maintained. That means, the main focus is not put on the grammar (at the same time, it is an opportunity for the teacher to gather information about what parts of grammar the students have not acquired so far), the main aim is to make speaking and expressing ideas orally enjoyable and stress free. Once students get familiar with the principle of speaking games, it facilitates for ability to speak also in other parts of the lesson. As with the listening games, also in speaking ones, the teacher should concentrate on topics which are close to the students, their environment or interests. For instance, it serves its purpose well if the teacher avoids making students describe what they had for breakfast or describing a person without putting it into a game-like context. Taboo (from Taboo is a word game, in which one player gets the other(s) guess certain word using verbal explanation; there may also be a list of other words which the “explainer” must not mention. For example, “ladder” a

13 might be the word to describe, but without saying “climb, rungs, or fire truck” or any forms of those words. Having such a list of words makes the game more difficult, therefore such a restriction would be used in more advanced classes. Much like with crossword puzzles, students get practice explaining words in different ways, and the taboo words make it more challenging and interesting. It is also easy to incorporate an element of competition, though it may be wise to do some kind of trial run to see how your students do; I’ve found that even relatively easy words often defy time limits, even with more advanced students. And it can of course be de-motivating for students to keep missing the time limit. A method of two teams working at once can be used, seeing how many words they can get through in a set time period, rather than, say, one minute for one person to explain. Find someone who (from This is a well known language learning game where students mingle and ask each other questions to find for which person the fact they have on their worksheet is true. This activity is good for waking students up by getting them out of their chairs and is also good practice for “Nice to meet you” and introductions. It can be done with real information, or, if the students know everything about each other already, the teacher will need to give each person a roleplay card with some personal information about their “new” self, plus one worksheet with the information they should be searching for. The ‘Find Someone Who’ worksheets can be the same for each student or different for each person. They then stand up and go round the class asking questions until they find out that this person is Chilean, this person is 79 years old, this person is a seven year old film star etc, then sit down when they think they have found all the information. As can be seen from these examples, it is possible to add a little humour by the choice of role-play sentences. More speaking can be added to the game by students passing on all the information they have found out so far to the person they are speaking to.

14 Shouting dictations (from Any pair work dictations can be livened up by sitting each person and their partner far away from each other so that they have to speak loudly to make themselves heard above their classmates (who will also be speaking loudly). When used in schools, the game might be amended in such a way that only one couple would speak at a time, for the sake of the neighbouring classrooms. The reason for using this game is that being far away and having to speak loud helps the speaking skills. Many students tend to speak very quietly as they are shy, feeling their English is not enough or they are not sure about the right expression or pronunciation. They have no choice but to speak loud enough during this game and therefore it helps them build the confidence. It is also beneficial that it is not the teacher telling them to speak up, it is their colleague student they need to communicate with. Also all games based on role-plays are very useful for practising speaking as they are very efficient at making the students use the target language actively.

2.3 Kinetic games
Kinetic games are very popular amongst all age groups. They provide for refreshment in the class and teaching-learning process, especially at times when students are getting tired and find it difficult to concentrate. Certainly the kinetic games need always be joined with another activity too, be it reading, listening or speaking.

Jumping onto sheets of paper (Originated by the author of this paper) This game can serve as practice opportunity of various pieces of vocabulary. In its simplest form the students may jump on coloured sheets of paper according to the colour the teacher shouts out. It may however practice more advanced parts of language – spelling of

15 letters with letters written on the sheets, words if pictures are used, or even phrases if pictures of situations when the phrases are used are printed on the sheets. Pictures on the walls (Originated by the author of this paper) The teacher places pictures on the walls; each picture has also a letter on it. The class is broken into small groups, each of which receives a sheet of paper with brief descriptions of pictures which bear letters needed for completion of a word they need to practice. To make the activity straightforward, the descriptions are in the same order as the letters in the target word. However, they may also be in random order to create more of a challenge for the students. In such case, though, they should receive more information about the target word, to be able to complete it. Each group completes a different word so their actions do not interfere. Nevertheless, they use the same pictures if they are looking for the same letter. The game may be adapted by using the whole words instead of letters, in which case the aim is to complete a sentence or a phrase. Another rule which may make the activity more difficult might be, that each team has its assigned base with a sheet of paper and they may not take it with them, they have to remember all they need. For children, also real items with a letter stuck on it may be used, making it more ‘hands on’ and fun. It may help if they are in boxes so they are not seen from afar. This game is not only kinetic, it practices reading at a large degree, vocabulary and communicative skills.

2.4 Experiential games
Experiential games are very interesting in a sense that they may not be games as such. The real aim is not to win or complete a language task but to experience the process and learn from it. The main thing to learn might be various things and the language is used only as a tool. What the participants learn may be qualities far overreaching the language skills or any other knowledge. They may influence peoples’ attitudes and teach them understanding; not only understanding of the phenomenon around but also themselves.

16 However, while target language is used, the students are driven into being able to communicate effectively, recycle vocabulary and work on their fluency. Experiential games have also great effect on the way the students are able to re-use both vocabulary and grammar. It is more natural, easier and effortless to remember the language learned through experience. Experiential approach can be adopted with any of the game types described above; in other words, any skill can be deployed using experiential games. Some of the experiential games are suggested below. Role-play discussion (Originated by the author of this paper) The teacher chooses a topic (students can also participate in the decision process, it draws their interest about the topic prior to discussing it), which is interesting enough for the students to discuss. He/she divides the class into groups. It is usually two groups but may be more if more than two strong opinions on the subject are possible. It is desirable not to reflect on the students’ real opinions on the subject. The teacher then assigns each group they focus conception on the subject. The groups need to be given time before the discussion itself to prepare their arguments. It may help if each group has a dictionary at their disposal. During the discussion itself, the numbers of the groups take turns and try to explain and reason their view. The aim of this activity is not to make students argue; on the contrary, apart from using the target language actively, they need to adopt techniques of expressing their view with confidence and yet without getting into quarrel and accepting other peoples’ opinions. What is more, by standing for a different opinion than is their own, they learn to understand others rather than judge and deprecate them. Memory training (from Simple but enjoyable is this game of memorizing what is placed on a tray. As can be read in Experiential Learning Instance 6: ‚Another succesful example has to do with how I learned to memorize effectively in school. My teacher used to bring in a tray full of assorted things to class. She then gave us a few seconds to gaze at the tray. We then listed out all those things

17 that we remembered seeing on it. With the teacher's help I realized that I could remember the names of most of the objects on the tray when I grouped them together meaningfully.‘ At the first sight this does not seem to be much experiential, yet the teacher by helping the students to find a useful strategy to succeed made it part of their important experience, rather than sticking to a simple vocabulary practice.


3. Games in different kinds of classes
It is advisable to distinguish between classes we cater for when using games. Each and every class is very specific and the teacher needs to take its characteristics into consideration when preparing and realizing a game, in the same way the whole teaching process is (or should be) tailored to a specific group of learners. However, it is impossible to reflect on all existing classes; therefore we will take a closer look at using games in different types of classes, based on several criteria – language level, age group and class size.

3.1 Using games in language teaching in classes according to language level

3.1.1 Beginners In classes of beginners, it is often difficult to maintain the students’ attention for too long, especially in cases when they are to learn their first foreign language and they are not used to trying to operate in other than their own mother tongue. It is very difficult for beginners to remember all the new words and expressions they need to acquire in order to proceed further. It is therefore most useful to incorporate games and other fun activities in the teachinglearning process. This not only helps the students to relax from the ‘serious’ learning, it also helps them to reinforce the new vocabulary. Probably the most specific outcome of using games in the class of beginner learners is building of their good relationship with the new language. It is crucial that the students do not learn to hate the language as is the case frequently in many schools. Once they learn to feel easy and happy about the foreign language being around them and being used, it becomes much easier later to build on this relationship and make further progress without having to overcome an aversion.

3.1.2 Intermediate students Intermediate students have already gathered vast amount of knowledge and skills regarding the target language. They have already built the relationship; they are usually aware of and realize the fact that the language is a real thing spoken by real people, rather than mere lists of words and set of rules. They are able to use the language actively and therefore the ground is set for more complicated games if desired. This can also be a springboard for

19 games, using knowledge and skills practiced in different subjects, for instance mathematics, geography or biology. Games for these students are not an essential part of a lesson, nevertheless, it brings the refreshment and enjoyment to the teaching-learning process, and it is an occasion to use the target language in an active manner. It is very important that the students use the language without prior careful thinking about a correct way to express themselves. An instinctive and immediate reactions and use of language reinforces the language abilities further and helps the students to adopt it as one of their basic skills.

3.1.3 Advanced students Advanced students with their almost absolute knowledge of the target language and ability to use it without thinking it through are a difficult group of students. The teacher does not focus on the basics any longer and builds rather a fine understanding of the language and the given culture. Games at this stage are not used very often, yet they still play an important role as a means of making the students live with the language and use it for not only educational purposes but mainly for interaction and serving as an instrument for experiential aims.

3.1.4 Conclusion Using games in the process of teaching languages is not restricted for any language level classes. It is a great tool for all levels, though it may serve different purposes and may be used in different ways. As seen in above paragraphs, games will always help students of all levels to feel comfortable and therefore more confident in the process of acquiring a new language. Language learning is a difficult task and requires adopting various skills. Games are a priceless support which a teacher may take an opportunity to use in order to help the students to succeed.

3.2 Using games in language teaching in classes according to age of students
People of all ages learn foreign languages. Not very long time ago, the pupils started studying foreign language at about 10 years of age and according to the target level of their education, they would continue for four years or up to the end of their university studies. It is now very different a situation. The knowledge and use of foreign languages has increased considerably and the demand for language studies has therefore intensified. The biggest

20 change is, however, in the range of the students’ age. Children start learning a foreign language – usually English - as early as at four years of age, and continue studying during the whole of their school education years. And many people proceed throughout their adulthood or return to their studies in their adult years. Some people visit language classes in their retirement age, too. Along with the demand, the supply must be adjusted accordingly. The teachers must be able to offer their services not only for various language levels but also age. It means that their way of teaching, their approach and methodology also reflects their students’ age and therefore differ. The use of games in language teaching, as an important part of teaching syllabus, is probably affected most. The mental need and ability to play, is one of the most visible differences between the children and the adults. For that reason, the age is one of the most significant specifics which the teacher must consider when preparing games for language lessons. . 3.2.1 Young learners Young learners are a group of students who, out of their natural disposition, seem to be an apparent purpose for existence games as such, language learning games not being an exception. For young learners the use of games and fun activities is a necessary part of a language lesson. Also an element of competition is something young learners enjoy and makes them stay interested. According to Nolasco and Arthur (1991, p.76): ‘In addition to the personal challenge, younger students also enjoy competing with their peers, and introducing a game element is a way of livening up any material.’ In order to acquire the language, they need not only to keep repeating the desired part of a target language; they need the repetition to be enjoyable every time. For that reason, games are a tool used in a class of young learners on regular bases. Taking into consideration the short attention span the young learners have, the games, as other lesson activities, are usually short and simple. On the other hand, with young learners, one game can be used more than once or can be slightly amended to serve its purpose. This is due to a fact that small children like things to be repeated, they like to know what is coming. It also enables them to participate with greater confidence and therefore enjoy the game more.

21 3.2.2 Teenage students Teenage students are sometimes not an easy group to teach, inclusive of languages. The difficulties may be many. To name some, it can be their own dislike towards either the foreign language or anything they are required to learn, their personal problems which do not enable them to get absorbed it the learning process or a classroom atmosphere with their colleague students before whom they feel embarrassed or wanting to make a spectacle of themselves. To overcome the negative attitude, the teacher must carefully assess what activities, and of course games, too, they should be asked to execute. A game in a class of teenage students could be a disaster as well as it can be a great success in bringing the pupils together, making good classroom atmosphere, making the students to forget all other obstacles they felt they had before. 3.2.3 Adults We are not used to considering adults as a target group for using games in language teaching. Adults are often viewed as students who like learning to be serious and difficult in order to learn. As Harmer observes (2004, p.11): ‘Adults are frequently more nervous of learning than younger pupils are. The potential for losing face becomes greater the older you get.’ This is where the role of games becomes important. With the help of a game, the adults have the opportunity to relax and freely participate, which enriches their language acquisition and makes their use of target language more natural. Therefore they can make a very good use of games in language learning. Adults are often very much aware of the mistakes they make and feel more comfortable if given time to think their input through. Regarding such students’ approach towards their production in class, implementation of games into their learning process is invaluable for both the students and the teacher. Once the students gradually get used to games being introduced, they can overcome the initial diffidence and uncertainty, which will help them to achieve goals also in different parts of the teaching-learning process. It can help them to diverse their attention from their own image and the awkward feeling derived from unfamiliarity with the language, to the language itself. A game can make the adult students to create more relaxed relationship with the target language, which will help them to be able to communicate without embarrassment.

22 Conclusion Using games in language teaching is beneficial for all age groups, from the youngest to the oldest ones. For some of them it is a necessary part of the lesson, for others ‘only’ enrichment of the lesson. The reason the word ‘only’ is written in apostrophes, is that the difference made when using games in adult students language teaching is so significant, that we should not see it as subordinate approach. The common reason for using games in all age group classes is creating a stress-free environment, which makes learning easier for the students. It also creates a good classroom dynamics and enables students to refresh their minds.

3.3 Using games in language teaching in classes according to class size
The type of techniques a teacher uses also depends on a class size. This part of the paper will take a look at the way, how a class size influences games, which can be utilized. The class sizes in question are individual lessons, small classes and big classes.

3.3.1 Individual lessons In one-to-one teaching, the range of usable games is very limited. The reason is that many games are designed to be played in between the students. Of course the teacher may be included in the game to make it a pair game but he/she must consider carefully what roles to adopt in the game and what game to use, in order not to have an advantage caused by his/her better language skills. Such a situation would not encourage the student to do his/her best. Therefore in one-to-one teaching, it is advisable to use games, where the winning or loosing will not be influenced by the target language level and the language would only be used to achieve the aim of the game. Another choice is a game based on an activity with no winners.

3.3.2 Small classes Small classes seem to be a perfect ground for using any games in general. However, the teacher may have to adjust some games if it is not possible to create appropriate groups for playing an original version of a desired game. There may be games which cannot be played in a setting of a small group, like games where several small groups are required. In such games

23 it is realizable, that an individual will produce an activity which was planned to be executed by a pair o a small group. Even though the above is viable, it must be carefully assessed in what cases this will serve one of the most important purposes of the game - to help students relax within the target language. This interest needs to be considered for every game – the teacher should not put the students under an unnecessary pressure, which would discomfort them and prevent them from learning in a stress-free environment. Nevertheless the teacher is still left with many games which can be played in small groups successfully.

3.3.3 Big classes Big classes may be difficult to control at times, which may be the reason why learning by playing games is not often used in real practice in schools. However, this class size enables the teacher to make use of many interesting games which may also help students to acquire the language in natural way. While conducting a game, the teacher has an invaluable opportunity to monitor the students’ communicative language skills and find areas shared by majority of students, which require closer attention by the teacher. An important factor of using games in big classes is creating and maintaining a good classroom dynamics. Another significant effect is influencing classroom atmosphere and relationships. During shared activities the students gain collective experience which can build up a feeling of a closely-nit group, a team. Such approach becomes a base for further activities and by encouraging cooperation between the students may be of help in studying as such, far over-reaching the English language classes.

3.3.4 Conclusion As seen above, using games in language teaching is not restricted to any classroom size. Employing games is beneficial for all students since it helps them to view the language as a living means of communication, enables them to try and use it without the feeling of being assessed according to their language skills and at the same time learn useful parts of the language and reinforce knowledge they have already gained. For some students, a game may be an important occasion to earn their personal value in both others’ and their own eyes, be it the case of students who are not very skilful at standard language work. For all those reasons, it is advisable for the teachers to take the advantage of games, giving the students the opportunity to utilize the utmost of its benefits, regardless the class they attend.

24 3.3.5 Adapting games to a different class size Every language teacher who has attempted to use games in their teaching surely has encountered games, able to satisfy the demands for both educational and entertainment goals placed in the specific language teaching/learning aim, yet the game was not possible to be used in its original version due to its unsuitability for the given class size. Most of the games are designed to be played by a medium size class. Such size enables the teacher having all students taking their parts as individuals, creating small groups to enhance cooperation and communication or creating two bigger teams, within the framework of which the two teams act, and produce outcome, like two individuals. Practically all games may be played in a medium size class. The problem may occur when trying to play games in a large class. In such case many games need to be adapted to enable the teacher to employ them. To be able to accommodate the class for a game it is often necessary to break the class into groups, which may be done in the means of a change of the seating arrangement (where possible), or simply by assignation different parts of a class to different tasks. This enables the teacher to use a game with minimal alterations, where larger groups play parts of individuals as indicated in the original version of a game. Using this, the timing needs to be expanded, for the group needs time to coordinate and prepare their actions first in order to act as one. Some games require students to receive handouts for information purposes. Again, in a large class, this requires too much paper use, which can be substituted by having the information attached to a wall or written on the board. This enables students to have the information available at all times without having to use a handout. However, should different members of the class have access to a different piece of information, the seating rearrangement might be necessary. As an example may serve changes to a game ‘Spot the Difference’; Nolasco & Arthur (1991, pg.90) present three suggestions how to adapt a well known pair game, where two people have slightly different pictures and they need to find the differences without showing it to each other using language only. Nolasco & Arthur take steps to amend this game for a large size. They suggest the teacher displays one of the pictures and hides the other one so only him/her can see it. The students then ask questions to find the differences. Another adaptation they propose is dividing the class into two parts and rearranging the seating so that one half can see only one picture and the other half the other picture. The teacher then nominates students who ask and give answers. The third recommendation is to keep the seating arrangement in pairs but make the students face

25 opposite walls to which the teacher attaches the two different pictures. The students then work in pairs. Nevertheless, not all games can be adapted to a large class. Still, there is a vast number of games which are designed for large classes or can be adapted to be used there. A contrary problem is faced by teachers of small classes or individual lecturing. Small classes are able to use majority of games with only minor amendments. However, the teacher should carefully assess, whether in some cases the pressure placed on an individual is not too high. This may be the case when the teacher asks individual students to perform activities, which are in the original version of the game assigned to small groups. In such cases, it is not advisable to use such activity as the anxiety aroused by the pressure would highly exceed the joy and relaxation which is a precondition for using a game in the educational process in the first place, and therefore the aim of realization of the game itself would not be accomplished. Probably the most problematic is adapting games for the use of one-to-one classes. The situation with using games in individual teaching has already been described in the Chapter 3, Using games in language teaching in classes according to class size, Individual lessons. For the teacher, the choice of a game to adapt is very limited, they need to bear in mind that the student must not get intimidated by the disadvantage of being at a lower target language level. Therefore in addition to the advise given above in the Chapter 3 – no winner games, success at the game regardless the language level – it is necessary that the teacher shows his/her enthusiasm for the activity as well as satisfaction with or joy about the student’s good result. Although the teacher’s enthusiasm is important at all times, during one-to-one game it is crucial, as the teacher cannot avoid participating and needs to ensure that the student does not place the language level in the upfront of his/her attention.


4. Appropriate situations to use or not to use games in language teaching
As was said earlier in Chapter 1, the use of game in the classroom is not appropriate at all times and in all situations. In general, in is advisable to use games in all kinds of classes, there are many games and fun activities to choose from. Petty (2004, p.255) also encourages teachers to invent their own games, and furthermore, he suggests the teacher has the students to create their own games, too. Further, he advises: ‘Wherever they come from, though, do try games; they create that intense desire to communicate which is the prerequisite for learning any language. And they make your lessons fun. However, don’t play one game too often, or too long.’ (2004, p.255) This is a general rule by obeying which the teacher ensures the games are always welcome by the students and still serve their purpose.

4.1 When not to use games
Although it was advised in this paper many times to use games and fun activity as they are of a great help to the whole teaching/learning process, there may be also situations, where a game may not answer its purpose and the teacher’s educational aim. Some of such situations are outlined hereby. Students have not built the bases of vocabulary needed for the particular game – if the students lack the knowledge which the game requires. It then becomes stressful even though the game would otherwise be an enjoyable activity. Too little time available – a game should be planned carefully time-wise as well as content-wise. It is of help if the teacher dedicates more time to the game than seems to be necessary. It creates anxious feeling if the game must be ended before finishing the tasks because the time runs out. Students are overexcited and misbehaving – they need to calm down, a kinetic game may not be the right answer. Students do not co-operate with the teacher during the lesson – in such case, it is advised by Harmer to stop using the enjoyable activities, as a restoration of discipline tool: ‘Teachers can make it clear that some of the more enjoyable activities which students like to do will only be used when the class is functioning properly. Otherwise, they will be forced to fall back on more formal teaching and language study.’ (2004, p.131)


4.2 When to use games
On the other hand, there is number of situations, in which using a game or a fun activity may be of a great help in both developing good conditions for language acquisition itself, as well as helping to improve or create learning environment and overall positive atmosphere in the class. Some of such situations are described hereby. Vocabulary – it is usually difficult to learn and live the new words, which the on-going process of studying process requires. It is then useful to introduce games as an opportunity to re-use the desired vocabulary. During a game, repetition of the target words can be executed repeatedly. The students get personally involved, therefore, in addition to avoiding boredom as it often happens when repeating words; it is also more likely the vocabulary will get internalized. Lack of interest – this is a common situation in teen-age classes, where the students are often not motivated enough to take the learning process seriously. In such cases, it can help to employ games and fun activities, where they need the target language in order to succeed. The games can be a springboard for the serious language work, or vice versa, the language work can become a precondition to a success in the following game. Tiredness – it is a matter of fact that students do not always come into the language class in their best condition. They may have just had a demanding PE class, have just written an exhausting exam, have difficulties at home, or it is simply ‘one of the days’. In such cases, it is very difficult for anyone to perform their best, including language students. The teacher should be aware of that. Games may be used as a tool to overcome the crisis and yet bring an educational benefit, too. The students do not co-operate – there may be classes where the students are not very close to each other, do not feel comfortable when asked to co-operate on an activity. A game has a great potential bringing the students together. The reason is that such activity is not viewed as extremely serious; the students can relax and find a way to communicate better. This skill is then also transferred to other activities too, and, needless to say, other subjects may also benefit from the newly learned communication skill, especially if the students are required to work on projects or otherwise as teams. Time left – short games or fun activities may serve as time fillers, for instance at the end of a lesson, when all planned work has been finished. This way the time remaining is not ‘wasted’, it is used for the language practice too. Regular use of short games at the end of

28 lessons also motivates the students to work harder and have their work finished earlier, in order to save time for an enjoyable activity.


5. Useful tips applicable in class
This chapter is dedicated to various advises and ideas, which can vitalize the teaching/learning process and help the teacher enrich his/her teaching plans. Some of the tips are mentioned as follows. Both teachers and students will profit, if the teacher is open to the students suggestions and ideas. It is also good idea to enclose the students in the planning process and encourage them to take part. As Harmer (2004, p.12) says: ‘Good teachers are able to balance the serious study of English with the more entertaining activities that they think their students sometimes need. By watching their classes and asking their students what they think and feel, they can select a judicious blend of activity and style.’ The teacher should be aware or various types of games and activities and use all the types in appropriate way. The most desired games in language teaching are, nevertheless, communicative games, which exploit the language to its possible maximum. This is strongly advised by Demes da Cruz (2008, ETP, 58,18): ‘To be effective in the language classroom, games need to be those which will allow the students to use the target language frequently and with flexibility.’ Also Nolasco and Arthur (1991, p.76) urge the teachers to put the stress on the communicative games: ‘Many games are highly controlled. Controlled games are useful as pre-communicative activities. They provide plenty of practice, they involve students and they prepare them for freer word because they are less formal then many traditional language learning activities. However, they should not be viewed as a substitute for the genuinely communicative games which are the ultimate aim.’ Use internet resources to have access to up-to-date changes in the target language. They can be used as a source of information for games and game-like activity too. For instance on the web page ‘’ there can be found newly created words, not yet well known and often amusing. Such words are ideal to be used in a guessing game, where students try to work out the words’ meaning. Setting time limit for activities can not only save time but also serves as motivation for students. As Regan (2003) suggests: ‘Another way to liven up the pace is to put a time limit on some activities - "You have 2 minutes for this, so get going!" Or introducing an element of competition - put the class into small groups and tell them that these are teams and the first team to finish this activity is the winner. (Prize = no homework, or something like that.)

30 Maybe the activities which involve matching words with pictures would be a good one for this).‘


6. Investigation amongst adult learners
6.1 Introduction
The practical part of this thesis draws its attention to adult language learners and their preference regarding using games in the language teaching-learning process. It is well known that adult students often view the learning process as necessarily serious. This is also described by Geoffrey Petty (2004, p.234):
During my schooldays, learning was regarded as a serious and difficult process; if laughter ever burst from a classroom, passing teachers would peer in with anger and suspicion. Yet games can produce intense involvement, and a quality of concentration no other teaching method can match. What is more, the increase in interest and motivation produced by a short session of game-playing can produce positive feelings towards the subject (and the teacher) which last for weeks.

Similar observation has also been made by Lucia Maffione (2008, p.23):
The learning experience should involve as much fun (or at least enjoyment and satisfaction) as possible. Students (and many teachers) often think that to be effective, learning tasks have to be boring. In fact, the opposite is the case because it has been shown that a relaxed atmosphere may facilitate the learning process.

It may also be the case that an attitude of today’s adult students towards their language learning regarding use of games and their preference of the lesson style has its roots not only in the students’ personality but is also influenced by the teaching styles they have experienced in their learning history. This idea is one of the issues explored with kind help of adults, who attend language classes at the moment or did so during their adult life. The other aim of this research is to give an insight to the students’ preferences as such, with possible additional information connected with their particular needs and wishes. The evaluation of its outcome may give us a better conception of the students’ wishes and a tool to plan game usage in language teaching according to students’ personal needs.

6.2 Research methodology
The aim of this research is not creating an exhaustive database of opinions; it is rather an attempt to present an overview of about 30 English language students’ inputs.

32 The students will be presented with a questionnaire (compiled by the author). As some language students may have problems proper understanding the questionnaire in English (appendix 1), a questionnaire in Czech language (appendix 2) is also distributed. The questionnaire itself is not intended to be part of the language teaching and using the Czech versions should be beneficial to increase the number of returned copies. The form includes questions about the respondents’ age, gender, learning history, opinion about using games and their idea of optimal amount and type of games used during their language classes. The reason for asking about the respondents’ age and gender is to find out how, or whether, they possibly influence a personal attitude towards using games for the teaching purposes. It can only be presupposed that younger people would probably opt for using more games and they would consider them as a teaching/learning tool as opposed to older ones; similarly it can be assumed that women would choose to see more games in their lesson plans than men. The reason for asking about the respondents’ learning history has been explained above; a personal experience is one of the most significant sources from which individuality with its attitudes and opinions is derived, therefore also their preference about using games in language teaching. The most obvious questions to ask the students are those about their views and wishes. This is probably the most important information to obtain in order to match the real students’ demands with the methodologists’ advises as well as compare the students’ input with the authors presumptions above. The main aim for the teacher is therefore better understand the needs and wishes of the students and possibly apply the results in their teaching.

6.3 Students’ input
The questionnaire was distributed to adults, who have experience with English language classes during their adulthood. The reason is their evaluation of game usage, should they experienced any. As the investigation caters for adults, it was desirable to see whether they liked using games in language learning as adults. There was no other restriction regarding the respondents. The table below presents all the responds, the number of the returned forms is 28. The desired arrangement varies according to data needed, but as the printed media enables to use

33 only one, the following organization was used. The data is sorted by gender (male, female), experience with using games in the language learning (no, yes), age (rising).
Form number gender age learning history years games experience games good for atmosphere games good for language learn. like using games serious work important fun - good for learning max SSS w/o correction mistakes to be all corrected Speaking Reading Listening Writing Kinetic Art games - % in lesson lessons w. games

2 M 35 1 N -

10 M 67 3 N -

27 M 27 4 Y Y

9 M 40 3 Y Y

14 M 49 3 Y Y

18 F 23 0 N -

26 F 23 4 N -

12 F 24 5 N -

11 F 32 12 N -

8 F 39 5 N -

7 F 41 2 N -

13 F 45 2 N -

28 F 52 0 N -

17 F 19 2 Y Y

Y N Y Y N 6 3 3 2 2 2

N Y Y Y N 8 5 3 2 0 0

Y Y N Y Y N 1 1 0 1 8 7

Y Y Y Y Y N 14 2 0 2 0 0

Y Y Y Y N Y 7.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 0 0

Y N Y Y N 5 3 2 3 5 0

Y N Y Y N 5 2 3 0 5 3

Y Y Y Y N 5 4 5 2 1 1

Y N Y Y N 6 2 2 2 2 4

N N N Y N 8 0 7 3 0 0

Y Y Y Y N 3 3 3 0 6 3

Y Y Y N Y 0 5 8 5 0 0

Y Y Y Y Y 6 3 3 3 2 1

Y N Y N Y Y 6 3 4 3 1 1

40% 5% 100% 15% 30% 30% 60% 50% 70% 0% 30% 50% 100% 20% 80% 5% 100% 40% 30% 20% 50% 60% 80% 0% 40% 30% 100% 20%

Form number gender age learning history years games experience games good for atmosphere games good for language learn. like using games serious work important fun - good for learning max SSS w/o correction mistakes to be all corrected Speaking Reading Listening Writing Kinetic Art

6 F 27 9 Y Y

21 F 30 10 Y Y

22 F 33 3 Y Y

1 F 34 7 Y Y

4 F 34 16 Y Y

3 F 35 7 Y Y

23 F 36 18 Y Y

20 F 38 2 Y Y

25 F 38 5 Y Y

5 F 43 6 Y Y

15 F 43 3 Y Y

19 F 43 7 Y Y

16 F 44 1 Y Y

24 F 47 2 Y Y

Y Y N Y N N 5 3 3 3 2

Y Y N Y Y N 5 3 5 4 0

Y Y N Y N N 7 4 3 4 0

Y Y N Y Y Y 8 1 3 2 2

Y Y Y N Y Y 4 3 3 2 3

Y Y N Y N Y 4 3 4 3 1

Y Y Y Y Y N 5 3 3 3 2

Y Y Y Y N Y 10 2 3 2 0

Y N N Y Y Y 5 3 3 3 2

Y Y N Y N Y 3 3 3 3 3

Y Y N Y Y Y 7 4 4 0 0

Y Y N Y N Y 3 4 4 3 2

Y Y N Y Y Y 5 3 3 3 2

Y Y N Y Y Y 7 4 2 2 1.5

2 1 0 2 3 3 2 1 2 3 3 2 2 1.5 games - % in lesson 20% 50% 70% 50% 20% 25% 40% 30% 20% 50% 50% 50% 30% 25% lessons with games 70% 50% 100% 90% 90% 33% 80% 50% 100% 100% 20% 50% 30% 25%

35 The following information is encoded in the table: PART 1 – LEARNING HISTORY Gender – M-male, F-female Age – in years Learning history years – number of years the respondent has studied English in their adult age Games experience – Y-respondent experienced using games in their language classes N-respondent did not experience using games in their language classes Games good for atmosphere – filled in only if the respondent experienced games in classes Y-using games was beneficial for good learning atmosphere N-learning atmosphere did not benefit from using games Games good for language learn. – Y-using games was beneficial for language acquirement N-language acquirement did not benefit from the games PART 2 – PERSONAL OPINION Like using games – the respondent likes using games and fun activities in lessons Serious work important – respondent agrees that serious work during lessons generates better language skills Fun-good for learning – respondent agrees that it helps the language learning if they laugh and have fun in lessons Max SSS w/o correction – respondent prefers to maximize his/her speaking time in the lesson, not all the mistakes need to be corrected Mistakes to be all corrected – respondent prefers all his/her mistakes to be corrected when he/she speaks Speaking, Reading, Listening, Writing, Kinetic, Art (singing, drawing, etc.) – the choice of activities the games in a lesson may focus on, the student distributed 18 points to those he/she prefers to be used Games-% in lesson – when games are played in a lesson, how big a part of a lesson would respondent like to spend playing Lessons with games - how many of all their lessons would he/she like to have a game or a fun activity in, percentage used


6.4 Evaluation of the students’ feedback
Despite the fact that the number of adults who have returned the questionnaire is not very high, there are some interesting pieces of information that can be drawn from the respondents’ input. At variance with the presumption the author made in Chapter 5.2, the vast majority of respondents (84%) like and prefer using games and fun activities in language learning, regardless their age or gender. It needs to be pointed, however, that for valid and overall conclusions regarding the influence of gender and age on the preference of using games in language learning process, a research on a multiple large scale would need to be realized. Although there are respondents, who would like to spend 0% of time playing games in language lessons, there are also those who would like to have all their lessons filled with games and fun activities as much as 100%. Nevertheless, the average amount of time these adults would like to spend playing games in there language lessons is given in the table below.
games - % in lesson Lessons with games - % 40% 55%

All respondents who have experienced using games in their adult learning history state that it was beneficial in both aspects – creating a good learning environment and acquiring the target language. This is the case of not only those who enjoy games in general but also those who do not, which is something that supports the recommendations to use the games for all students and emphasizes its benefits and students’ preferences. Interesting and useful information we get is the proportion of various types of games the students would like to have implemented in their language lessons. The table below shows the proportion in percentage related to the entire amount of time dedicated to games.

Speaking Reading Listening 31% 16% 18%

Writing 14%

Kinetic 10%

Art 10%

37 As the table above shows, all the speaking activities are largely appreciated by the students, which suggests that although they relate their wishes to games, they still have the language lesson priority on mind, which is to learn to speak the target language. This is also reflected in the proportion of students who would like to maximize their speaking time (71%) without being corrected at all times. The adults in general often do not attend language classes to obtain a certificate. The reason usually is to be able to speak the target language therefore all-time correctness is not necessary to concentrate on; it is the speaking which is in the centre of the attention. The amount of games practising the other language skills like reading, listening and writing is almost on the same level. These skills are desired by the students to be exercised, but they should each take between 15 to 18 % of the games time. The least preferred type of games and fun activities are kinetic and art ones. This is probably due to a fact mentioned in chapters 1, 3 and 5 – the adults like the feeling of serious work. Whereas it is easy to see the educational purposes and meaning for speaking, reading, listening and writing games, the purpose of kinetic and art activities seems to the students to be rather relaxing than educational. Another reason for such a low rating of kinetic and art activities is that these activities represent games and play as such more than others and there are still those 14% of respondents who do not like playing games in their language lessons. Whereas those who like playing games in language classes prefer having time dedicated to games filled with speaking activities by 30% and kinetic and art activities by 11%, those who do not like playing games would like to fill the game time with speaking activities by 38% and kinetic and art activities by only 4%. The difference is remarkable; therefore it is very good for the teacher to know what type of students attend their classes.

6.5 Comparison of questionnaire results with methodologists’ advice
The general questionnaire output supports the advice of the methodologists and the quotations of various authors given throughout this paper regarding usage of games in the educational process. In case of adults, it is advised to use the games in the foreign language teaching, it is not only children who benefit from their use in the teaching/learning process. The research result also supports the warning of Petty (2004, p.255) not to use a game too often or long, especially with adults, they are aware of their language learning aims and need to feel that the purpose of their studies are being fulfilled.

38 The students’ preference of speaking activities also reflect Nolasco’s and Arthur’s (1991, p.76) call for maximum employment of communicative games, further expanded in Chapter 5 – Useful tips.

6.6 Suggestions
There are several suggestions that may be drawn from the students’ inputs, their opinions and preferences which they have expressed by completing the questionnaire form. Some of them are directed to the teachers and some to the students themselves. First of all, as was mentioned above, the teacher needs to take the responsibility and effort to get to know their students to at least some extent. Specifically, the teacher should care to want to know at least some of their students’ inclinations and interests, to respect them and possibly implement them into their teaching. It is never possible to tailor the activities onto all of the students at once, on the other hand, a class consisted of many personalities gives the teacher more material to work with when it comes to topic choices. Regarding games, the teacher needs to respect the students’ wishes too, for the teaching to be maximally successful. There are several ways to find out about the pupils’ preferences regarding game use in the educational process. One of them is asking them to complete a questionnaire, which may be of the sort of the one used in this paper or any other that would enable the teacher to receive the desired information. Completing the form could easily become an activity itself, followed by a discussion, which would clarify all possible confusions and at the same time provide the teacher with more information and suggestions from the students. Such method would not only equip the teacher with the knowledge about his / her students’ wishes but also contribute to the overall teacher – student relationship. That leads to another approach the teacher might adopt. He / she may encourage the students to be maximally open about their attitudes and preferences at all times. They might even go as far as to include the students (especially the adult students) in the lesson planning, taking suggestions from them, informing and discussing the planned activities when appropriate. Nevertheless, also here the teacher needs to assess which of the students will and which of them will not appreciate such approach. However, during time, the teacher will get to know the students’ priorities well enough not to need to go through the brainstorming very often. Unless, of course, it becomes an exercise which the students enjoy.

39 The second suggestion is aimed at the students themselves. It is to encourage them to be open to the teachers and give them suggestions and inform them about the preferences they as students have. It is only natural that the teacher, based on the simple fact that he / she is a human, will tend to implement less or more games, and such kinds of games, according to what he/she self would like to experience and finds interesting and enjoyable. If the students prefer a different approach, it is advised to speak to the teacher (in a polite and friendly manner) about their wishes. It is worth trying to suggest their own ideas for some lessons if the student – teacher relationship allows it. The third group of people involved in the teaching – learning process are creators and editors of education materials, both students’ and teachers’ books. They are not visible in the educational process itself, yet they influence it by a great deal by giving the teacher the guideline for the teaching through their books and materials. It helps the teachers greatly if they use such books in their teaching which reflect the students’ liking of using games in their educational process and incorporate them into the suggested lessons and activities. As a part of the content of the books there could be games suggested for all (or almost all) units of the book. If not, the teacher could use the content of the unit as a base on which games found elsewhere or created by the teacher (or even students) could be added and used. They could be created and proposed in the generally ideal proportion, which, based on the enclosed research result, could be for the speaking games to take up about a third of the games time, reading, listening and writing to share about a half of the time and kinetic and artistic activities to be used in the remaining one sixth of the time planned to be dedicated to games. Also, to satisfy the students’ preferences, there should be enough of them to cover about a quarter of the total studying time (half of every other lesson). There is also one more aspect that would be useful to consider and that is whether or not should the students be aware of the games earlier than shortly before the game itself takes place. Some of the games need to have a surprise element in them; therefore the students may know that a game is going to be played in the lesson, however it is impossible for them to know which one. Other games can be openly presented in advance for the students to be able to become familiar with them beforehand. Such games would be meant to be played in lessons and bear a concrete educational purpose but they would also serve the purpose of motivating the students, who would be aware that having completed some tasks is going to lead them to playing a game, which is considered rather enjoyable a part of the lesson among the students; or they can look forward to a game they are already familiar with and enjoy playing.

40 Following there is an example of a unit with its materials and activities, which could represent a usual way the students’ books are compiled and planned. This part of the paper will present a suggestion of game additions, which could bring the particular unit closer to the students’ preferences regarding the amount of games to be used in the language lessons, according to the research results above. The copy of the unit chosen from the original Student’s book is in the appendix 3. For this purpose, the Oxford University Press’s New Headway Elementary by Soars & Soars (2009, p.60) was chosen as this is one of the most widely used books amongst the English language teachers. Within this Student’s book, it is a Unit 8 the propositions will concentrate on, suggesting two games to be played based on the material in this unit. The reason for suggesting two games is that a simple working on this unit could take, let’s say, three lessons; to follow the rule above suggesting every other lesson to have a game employed, it should then be two games that a teacher needs to prepare and use when going through this unit. As this study concentrates on teaching adults, also the proposed amendments and additions consider working with this age group. The first of the games suggested to be played during the Unit 8 could be placed after the section ‘Did you know that?’ on page 62 or ‘Time expression’ on page 63: Call the Bluff (from, adapted by the author of this paper) The purpose of this speaking game is to practice past forms of regular and irregular verbs in both indicative and interrogative moods. There are several ways of using this game; the versions hereby are arranged by its difficulty for the students, from the easiest (A) to the most difficult (C). (A) Each of the students receives a card with several famous historical figures and a choice of three facts from the past about each figure. Only one of the facts is true and is marked as a correct one. The students present the choice of facts orally without showing the card and others try to guess which fact is true. If played in small groups, the students are encouraged to discuss their thoughts before calling the bluff. Students try to guess or deduce as many correct answers as possible.

41 (B) Each of the students receives a card with several famous historical figures and a choice of facts from the past about each figure. The facts are not written in complete sentences; they are in forms of headword entries using infinitive verb forms; the students need to make them into whole sentences to be able to share the facts with other students. Only one of the facts is true and is marked as a correct one. The students present the choice of facts orally without showing the card and others try to guess which fact is true. If played in small groups, the students are encouraged to discuss their thoughts before calling the bluff. Students try to guess or deduce as many correct answers as possible. (C) Each of the students receives a card with several famous historical figures and one true and little known fact about each. Further there might or might not be a list of verbs needed to be practiced in their infinitive form. The students need to be given time to create their own suggestions of two more possible but not true facts for each historical figure. Then they present the choice of facts to others, who try to guess which fact is true. If played in small groups, the students are encouraged to discuss their thoughts before calling the bluff. Students try to guess or deduce as many correct answers as possible. When using this version, each student gets also credit for invented ‘facts’ which were regarded by other students as true. For this version it is also possible to create groups of two or three people working together to invent the facts and in the second part of the game to have two of these groups present their quiz to each other. This way, the stress raised by having to create the facts does not lie on the individual and communication is enhanced. The second of the games is proposed to be played at the end of the unit; thematically it goes back to the vocabulary in exercise 2 in section ‘Vocabulary and Pronunciation’ on page 63. It serves as a vocabulary recycling game and practices mainly reading: Pairs (adapted by the author of this paper) In this version of the well known game the specific vocabulary needed to recycle is used, together with its phonetic spelling as practised in the exercise 2 on page 63. There are ten cards with the words written using phonetic spelling and ten cards with the same words using standard writing. The cards are spread on the table, writing facing down. The students take turns, each time turning two cards. The aim is to find a pair consisting of the same word, one written in

42 standard writing and the other one phonetic. If a matching pair is not found, the cards are turned back again. Each time a student reveals a matching pair, he/she pronounces the word (which the students may do every time they turn any card, too), keeps it and may to turn another two cards. The aim is to gather as many word pairs as possible. The students may also say the Czech translation before keeping the cards, if the teacher prefers. The game is played in a small size class, a bigger class would have to be divided into groups and several sets of cards would need to be prepared. In such arrangements, the teacher needs to walk around to monitor the pronunciation.

6.7 Conclusion
As the research result shows, adults appreciate the use of games, and their feedback should encourage the teacher to implement the games into their teaching. Sometimes the teachers are worried that adult students would not accept playing educational games in the language lessons. This analysis gives evidence of the contrary. The vast majority of adults not only accept but even appreciate using game in lessons, they are able to both understand its purposes and enjoy the activity and change of the overall learning environment to more relaxed one. The teacher should be aware of the benefits of using games as well as look after the right proportion of games with relation to other lesson activities in order not to overuse the games, which need to be implemented meaningfully to be able to serve their educational purposes. Taking into consideration the amount of time students would like to dedicate to games in their language learning process, it would be very beneficial for teachers if also the students’ and teachers’ books consider the students’ preferences and wishes. At this moment the educational language books present only small number of enjoyable and relaxing activities, if any, leaving all the initiatives to the teacher. If they care or have time to look for the suitable games themselves. Having suggestions of games for the particular part of curricula in the original course-book or the teacher’s book would be of a great help to the teacher. The last output to be highlighted hereby is the fact that the students may be very different and have different priorities. It is the teacher who needs to get to know his/her pupils. This helps not only to establish close and trusting relationship and learning environment but mainly to tailor the lesson style and activities to the concrete students’ needs, which enables to run

43 the lessons smoothly and with joy. This, in return, can result in both students’ and teacher’s contentment.


List of references:
1. Demes da Cruz, G. (2008). English Teaching professional. Let us play, 58, 18. 2. Harmer, J. (2004). How to Teach English. Malayisia, Addison Wesley Longman Limited. 3. Koťátková, S. (2009). Pedagogická poradna. Děti a my, 3, 26. 4. Maffione, L. (2008). English Teaching professional. Keeping them interested, 58, 23. 5. Maňák, J. & Švec, V. (2003). Výukové metody. Brno: Paido. 6. Nolasco, R. & Arthur, L. (1991). Large Classes. Hong Kong: Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 7. Patersonová, K. (1996). Připravit, pozor, učíme se!. Praha: Portál. 8. Petty, G. (2004). Teaching today: a practical guide. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd. 9. Prodromou, L. (1992. Mixed Ability Classes. China: Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 10.Soars, L. & Soars, J. (2009). New Headway English Course, Elementary, Students’ Book. China: Oxford University Press 2004. Internet sources: 1. awkins. Call my bluff. Retrieved on 3 December 2010 from 2. Regan, Liz. (2003). Liz Regan’s 20 Teaching Tips. Retrieved on 12 November 2010 from 3. Successful examples showing why learning through experiential games works?, Experiential Learning Instance 6. Retrieved on 3 December 2010 from 4. Oak Training. (2010). Listening Games, Make A Story. Retrieved on 3 December 2010 from 5. Elvin, Chris. High Motivation Listening Games, Blockbusters. Retrieved on 3 December 2010 from 6. BootsnAll Travel Network. (2010). TEFL Word Game, Courtesy Of Hasbro. Retrieved on 3 December 2010 from 7. Case, Alex. (2009). Speaking games for (false) beginners, Find someone who. Retrieved on 3 December 2010 from

45 8. Case, Alex. (2009). Speaking games for (false) beginners, Shouting dictations. Retrieved on 3 December 2010 from

Sponsor Documents

Or use your account on


Forgot your password?

Or register your new account on


Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Back to log-in