Педагогические науки/5. Современные методы преподавания
Senior instructor Shukanova N. A.
Taraz State University, Kazakhstan
Active games in teaching grammar
Presenting new information is thing; getting the student to apply the new information another. So far, we have been concerned with how to present the student with new material; but how is he to apply what he has learnt? The basic aim in any language is to train the student to use new patterns. In traditional textbooks, all information is presented in the form of «rules» which the student applies in a series of disconnected sentences by filling in blank spaces, or by giving the correct form of words brackets. It has become abundantly clear that this approach to language-learning is highly ineffective. It encourages the teacher to talk ABOUT the language, instead of training his students to use it. The emphasis is on written exercises. The greatest weakness in this approach is that the student cannot transfer what he has learnt from abstract exercises of this kind to other language skills like understanding, speaking and creative writing.
There are numerous techniques concerned with grammar presentation, if teachers want students to remember new grammar material it needs to learn in the context, practiced and then revised to prevent students from forgetting. By using visual techniques teachers help students and associate the presented material in a meaningful way and incorporate it into their system of the language units.
Recent years have seen a reawakening of interest in the role of grammar in English language teaching. Grammar is usually a necessary or desirable part of classroom language learning. Nowadays the teachers follow different creative techniques by entertaining and relaxing the learners while they are learning or practicing a linguistic structure which eliminates students` negative attitude towards learning.
Games are a lively way of maintaining students’ interest in the language, they are fun but also part of the learning process, and students should be encouraged to take them seriously. They should also know how much time they have to play a game. It’s not useful to start a game five minutes before the end of the lesson. Students are usually given a ‘five-minute warning’ before the time is over so they can work towards the end.
The older the students are, the more selective a teacher should be in choosing a game activity. Little kids love movements, while older ones get excited with puddles, crosswords, word wheels, and poster competitions whatever.
Modern language teaching requires a lot of work to make a lesson interesting for modern students who are on familiar terms with computers, Internet and electronic entertainment of any kind. Sympathetic relations must exist not only among students but between students and a teacher. It’s of special importance for junior students because very often they consider their teachers to be the subject itself, i.e. interesting and attractive or terrible and disgusting, necessary to know or useless and thus better to avoid.
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.
Games are often used as short warm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of a lesson. Yet, as Lee observes, a game "should not be regarded as a marginal activity filling in odd moments when the teacher and class have nothing better to do". Games ought to be at the heart of teaching foreign languages. Rixon suggests that games be used at all stages of the lesson, provided that they are suitable and carefully chosen.
The aim of all language games is for students to practice the language. Games are highly motivating and entertaining. The games can give the students more opportunities to express their opinion and feelings, remember things faster and better to gain knowledge.
Some of the creative activities that we use while teaching grammar are as follows:
«There is …»
The teacher divides the class into two teams. The teacher puts some things into the box. The members of the teams name the things. There is a book in the box. There is an eraser in the box and etc.
The class is divided into two teams. The teacher reads the sentence in Kazakh language. The students find the translation of the sentences in the text. The team with the most points is the winner.
The teacher divided the class into some teams. The teacher gives the each team different tasks. The students must find out different parts of speech in the text. I team - noun, II team-adjectives, III team- verb and etc. The team who copes with the task is the winner.
“Tic Tac Toe”
Play “Tic Tac Toe” with your classmates. The teacher will draw a big tic-tac-toe grid on the blackboard and fill in each square with the name of a resource or product. Divide the class into two teams –X and O. X goes first. One student chooses a word from the grid and makes a passive voice statement telling where that product or resource is produced, raised, or grown. If the statement is incorrect, the teacher erases the word and writes an X, and the other team has a chance. If the other team makes a correct statement, the teacher erases the word and writes an O. The purpose of the team is to get three Xs or three Os in a row.
Phrasal verbs races.
Language structure – to ask for, to find out, to grow up and etc.
- Put SS in pairs or groups of 3 or 4. Give each pair or group a sheet face down.
- Explain that the activity is a race. Each group should have a ‘secretary’ who writes down the answers. The winner is the pair or group who can find the most correct answers in the time limit. They only have to write one answer to each question unless it specifies more, and if they are stuck with one question, they should move on to the next.
- Set a time limit, e.g. five minutes, and tell SS to start. Give more time if you can see that SS need it.
- When the time limit is up, check answers, encouraging SS to use full sentences, e.g.
1. When you get to a restaurant the first thing you usually ask for is a table (or a menu);
2. How can you find out what’s on at the cinema?
3. What are two typical things young children want to be when they grow up?
4. What do people usually say to each other when they hang up?
5. Can you name two times of year that people normally look forward to?
6. Can you name three things you can turn on with a remote control?
Suggested answers (but others are possible)
1. A table
2. By looking on the Internet, phoning the cinema, etc.
3. Footballer/actress, etc.
5. The summer holidays, national holidays, e.g. Christmas
6. TV, hi-fi, DVD player, etc.
This game is useful for helping students build their vocabulary and understand how to use synonyms. Arrange the students so they are standing in a circle and give one student the ball. When the teacher calls out an adjective, such as "beautiful," the student holding the ball throws the ball to his classmate who then must say a synonym for the adjective, such as "pretty." Each student must call out a synonym in five seconds or he is out of the round. The last student remaining wins the game.
Grammar games also lend themselves well to revision exercises helping learners to recall a grammar material in a pleasant, entertaining way. Grammar games should be an integral part of a lesson providing the possibility intensive practice. They are useful and more successful than other methods of grammar presentation and revision.
1. «Иностранные языки в школе» Журнал, Москва.
2. Новые педагогические и информационные технологии в системе образования. Е. С. Полат, М. Ю. Бухаркина, М. В. Моисеева, А. Е. Петров – М.: Издательский центр "Академия", 2004.
3. “English in mind”. Cambridge University Press. 2010.
4. Полат Е.С. «Компьютер на уроках английского языка». Ин.яз. 2004г.
5. “New English file”. Oxford University Press. 2006.
6. Rixon, S. 1981. How to use games in language teaching. London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
7. Lee Su Kim. Creative Games for the Language. Class Forum Vol. 33 No 1, January - March 1995