Fun in Learning:
L2C’s Take on Activities from TESL Database
Creativity, fun and play contribute to meaningful learning when teachers and facilitators host memorable moments that encourage horizontal learning relationships.
We all know that creativity and games play an important role in learning. Fun, interactive activities are an excellent way to break the ice, encourage more reserved students, and participants to act together, explore complex topics and engage in active learning. They also enable teachers to host memorable lessons that have a real impact on the student’s learning process.
Language learning and exploration is essential to how we can build a more communicative world, and positive relationships across borders. This handy directory of games and activities from The Internet TESL Journal (ITESLJ), is an online resource for teachers of English as a second language (ESL), but the activities can be adapted to many context, and even to learning with adults.
We especially like how educators enjoy caring for the commons by giving time to others and sharing their passion. The activities presented have been shared, tried and tested in the ESL/EFL classroom by many educators. Most require little preparation and few extra resources, making them particularly convenient teaching/facilitation tools.
We like the activities and we feel many need adaptations to truly promote innovative, communicative methods. We share some here and offer “our take” on them.
Submitted by Huang Shufang, the author proposes to “Give a word and ask a student to spell it. A second student then says a word beginning with the last letter of the previous word. The game continues until someone makes a “mistake” (e.g. pronounces the word incorrectly, misspells it or repeats an earlier word) – he/she is then “out”. The remaining student is the winner. The game can be made more difficult by limiting the words to a certain category; e.g. food, nouns, verbs.
Although this game seems great for vocabulary and spelling learning, we think there is a problem here which is that by correcting students’ mistakes, learner’s expression is hindered. This is exactly what innovative language teachers are trying to avoid… Perhaps it’s best the word ‘mistake’ to be deleted from the instructions.
Submitted by Pablo Ortega Juárez, the author writes “Print out the lyrics of a popular song (one handout for each student), before cutting up and shuffling the lines. Students must then try to put the song lines in order as they listen. Play the song as many times as necessary. The student who finishes first (and has the correct order) is the winner.”
This seems a great activity for fun and learning. Our only comment is that the game is just as much fun without having losers. All participants can win and feel happy! It’s up to educators to give the rights instructions so everyone feels this way.
With more than 100 ideas for fun classroom activities, ITESLJ’s games directory offers educators plenty of ways to inspire and engage students.
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