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56 Comments

niamhmcnulty · May 16, 2019 at 11:59 am

The activity I have chosen is the caption competition. In pairs, the students are given an image without a caption and they must come up with an idea of the caption.

The advantages of this activity are:
1. The student learns cultural awareness about English speaking countries by viewing images from “the West”
2. The student can use familiar language to caption the image, using slang words and local phrases.
3. The students can use humour to caption their image.

The disadvantage of this activity is that:
1. It can be difficult to caption an image if you are not aware of the cultural references surrounding it or you do not have the vocabulary.

It can be used to promote English language learning by getting the students to think in pairs about the relevant words that can be used even if they cannot form full sentences.

Andrés López Schrader · May 17, 2019 at 11:23 am

The game I chose is a memory game relating words to images. Description: Students are split into groups of 3-5. The teacher reads out a list of items or new vocabulary once to the whole class. Each team is then given 20 pictures, some of which were mentioned in the teacher’s list while others weren’t. Each teams task is to pick out the pictures of words mentioned by the teacher. An alternate game is to ask students to select the images that describe the opposite of the teacher’s list (e.g. selecting a picture of snow if the teacher mentioned summer).

Advantages
1. This is a great warmer to review vocabulary learnt in previous lessons.
2. Point system provides motivation and friendly competition.
3. Very easy to teacher to evaluate words or concepts that have been hard for students to learn.
4. Small modifications can help practice spelling and can adapt the game to all ages and abilities

Disadvantages
1. Can be repetitive if pictures and words lists aren’t heavily modified. Requires time to plan and materials need to be printed (or shown on a screen).
2. Does not focus on language fluency but rather accuracy of vocabulary retrieval.
3. Does not maximise Student-Talking-Time unless students are allowed to discuss their answers with their teams.

This game promotes English language learning because it consolidates vocabulary learnt that can be used later on in the lesson with more fluency-based exercises.

Sneha Lala · June 1, 2019 at 1:45 pm

The game I’ve chose is ‘I went to the shops’ Students will sit in a circle and begin by saying together ‘I went to the shops and I bought a…’ the first student will say an item e.g. I went to the shops and I bought a banana. The next student will repeat the item before and add a new one e.g. I bought a banana and an apple. Each person adds a new item.

The advantages are:
1) The students will be encouraged to think of the vocabulary they have learnt.
2) The students memory will be challenged.
3) It is a communal game so all students can get involved together. They are working in a team rather than competing against each other.
4) The students are encouraged to pronounce the words.

The disadvantages are:
1) The focus on recollection may put some students at a disadvantage
2) It doesn’t focus on language fluency but rather recollection
3) Students going earlier will be less challenged. This can be combated by starting each new round in a different location in the circle.

This would encourage English language learning because it would get children to recollect vocabulary about a specific theme. It can be altered depending on the theme of the class. It also helps young people learn new words. At the end of each round we could go over the vocabulary to ensure everyone becomes familiar with it.

hespa001 · June 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm

I would write a series on words on the board from the previous topic we had studied in the last lesson in order to review the material. I would ask students, in pairs, to make sentences out of the words.
Advantages:
– consolidates material from the previous lesson
– get students to actively engage material in a creative way
– allows students to put material in a context they are interested in
– highlights any words that students may be struggling with to review in future
Disadvantages:
– some students may not be confident with constructing new sentences despite knowing the vocab
– difficult to know how well students are engaging with task in pair work
This game promotes English language learning as it encourages students to use new vocab in a different contexts and to consolidate the learning of that new vocab.

jackmainwaring · June 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm

My chosen activity is the ‘Make and Do’ activity described in a link within the above article. This game is simple: words/phrases are written on a board, as are the words ‘make’ and ‘do’, each circled in a different coloured pen. The students are split into two teams, either ‘make’ or ‘do’ and they have to go up one by one and circle a word/phrase that can be preceded by their ‘make’ or ‘do’, such as ‘make a sandwich’ or ‘do homework’.

Advantages:
1. The students are able to improve their understanding of using the correct word in a certain context; not just for ‘make’ and ‘do’, but hopefully expanding to other words as well.
2. The activities chosen would generally be every-day tasks, and so the activity is applicable to typical conversations.
3. New vocabulary could be incorporated into the game.
4. The students are split into two teams; so all are involved and there wouldn’t be one overall loser.

Disadvantages:
1. The game is only useful for a group of students that aren’t confident with the use of the words ‘make’ or ‘do’.
2. The game is not very adaptable to other aspects of the English language.

The use of ‘make’ and ‘do’ is often easily confused in early English language learners, and so this game could really promote English language learning. It would also encourage learners to think more about choice of words in certain contexts in general, not just when using ‘make’ or ‘do’.

Leandra Thomson · June 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm

The game I have chosen is pictionary. The class is divided into 2-5 teams depending on the class size and will compete against each other to be the first group to correctly guess the word being drawn. Students in each group will take turns being the designated drawer while the rest will guess the word being drawn. The students drawing will be given a vocabulary word from the teacher and will begin drawing at the same time. The first team to guess the correct vocabulary word will score a point and the game will continue until a specific number of points are reached.

Advantages:
1.) Vocabulary words are enforced through the use of visuals.
2.) Improves students’ memory through the use of vocab words.
3.) Students are able to collaborate with their fellow teammates.

Disadvantages:
1.) Students who are quicker to recall vocab words may have an easier time than others.
2.) Teams may have an advantage if all team members have a strong memory.
3.) While this activity encourages the use of vocab words, it does not focus on grammar or sentence structure.

This game encourages English learning through the recollection of vocabulary words. This game helps students to be more familiar with visual representations of learned vocab words.

jla2g18 · June 8, 2019 at 9:20 pm

The activity I have chosen is “Last Man Standing” and can be used as a cooler to review information covered in a lesson. A soft ball is thrown from student to student, and the person that catches the ball says a word that they have learned during the day’s lesson – this continues until students cannot think of new words at which point they are out.

Advantages
– Students are encouraged to review vocabulary
– The game is communal so can involve all students
– Encourages students to focus on their own learning progress rather than competition with others

Disadvantages
– Weaker students may feel demoralised if they are ‘out’ early during the game
– Focuses on vocabulary recall rather than conversational application of learning

ear42 · June 10, 2019 at 6:44 pm

I have chosen ‘Taboo words’. In this game the class is split into two and one person from each team is chosen to sit in front of their team and facing them. Each team are shown a word (based on the topic from a previous lesson) and are required to describe it to the chosen team member in order to get them to guess it within a certain time limit.

Advantages
1. If the aim of the lesson was to learn specific words these words could be used as those which are to be described.
2. There is a clear endpoint – either by setting a timer (not competitive) or, have a set of words for each team to go through and the team that finishes first, wins (competition based). Here you have a team wining rather than an individual and the option to make it competitive or not.
3. There is plenty of scope for making variations of this game – for example the students could choose the words, allowing them to be creative with the words they pick or the teacher can pick the words, enabling the teacher to have more control of the vocabulary being learnt.
4. Allows for descriptive and conversational language – you could develop it such that the word guesser is also allowed to ask questions.

Disadvantages
1. It may be difficult to play with those with lower level language skills
2. There might not be time for everyone to have a go at guessing the word
3. If one person it particularly confident they may dominate in giving the description, leaving the less confident students with little practice.

This activity can be used to promote English language learning by reminding and consolidating key words from previous lessons or summarising those from the current lesson. It gives the students an opportunity to understand key words by relating them to other vocabulary they may already know through the use of synonyms.

Evie Burrows · June 11, 2019 at 6:17 pm

My chosen activity is a description task. Students would be given a picture related to the theme of the lesson, so for example a picture of a person wearing certain clothes in different colours for a lesson on clothing and colours. In pairs, one student describes the picture, and the other one tries to draw it without having seen the original.
Advantages:
1. A way of producing simple sentences with the vocabulary of the lesson, without having to worry about complicated structures (template sentences could also be given on the board depending on the level of the students)
2. The game has an aim as the task is to be as accurate and descriptive as possible in production and comprehension – this also encourages more detail and description
3. Doing the activity in pairs ensures that everyone can participate
4. Information from previous lessons could also be incorporated, e.g. body parts. This could be a disadvantage too though in the sense that it would be important to work out which kinds of words students would need for the description which have or haven’t been learnt yet
Disadvantages:
1. Students may be shy or uncomfortable with drawing
2. Sentences may end up being repetitive, although at least the vocabulary would be consolidated. Grammar is not practised that much
3. This may be difficult for less proficient students, although difficulty can probably be altered based on the pictures chosen and on whether or not template sentences are given

caisealbeardow · June 13, 2019 at 7:47 pm

The game I have chosen is ‘Is It True?’ In this activity, students are encouraged to make up imaginative stories whilst their peers guess whether the stories are true or not. The advantages of this game are:
1. Students are encouraged to spontaneously and inventively apply their existing language knowledge.
2. The game has a clear aim – to be as persuasive and imaginative as possible when telling the story, or conversely to listen carefully and understand whether the story is contextually appropriate, and therefore more likely to be true.
3. Doing the activity in a group encourages all students to take an active role – either speaking or listening.

However, there are some disadvantages:
1. Some students may be less confident in using language spontaneously, making the task difficult not only for them but for their peers who need to listen carefully.
2. If students have similar vocabulary, the stories may become repetitive and therefore less engaging for the students overall.
3. If not carefully monitored, some students may dominate conversations or not be given enough time to practice speaking.

The game is a useful tool for promoting English language through its encouragement of spontaneity and conversational, communicative fluency, as opposed to grammatical accuracy.

GeorgiaHarris · June 14, 2019 at 4:41 pm

The tray memory game – put some objects or pictures of key vocabulary on a tray and take one/some of them away. The students then have to remember which objects were taken away recalling the vocabulary they have learnt. A more advanced version of this game depending on the level of the students could focus on the different ways countable and uncountable nouns are incorporated into a sentence. eg. some rice is missing/ an apple is missing. To add a competition element the class can be split into to teams to see who remembers the most missing objects.
Advantages:
1. The game is a fun way of practicing new vocab
2. It can be easily adapted for different level students
3. The team aspect may encourage less confident students to contribute

Disadvantages:
1. It may get quite repetitive
2. Could be more challenging with larger class sizes

On the most simple level this game can test vocab recall, but can also be used by more advanced students to practice sentence structure.

Patricia-Ioana Sfagau · June 16, 2019 at 3:11 pm

‚Back to the board’ game
During this games students divided in groups give hints to one of their group mate who has been delegated to sit with the back to the white board where his/her group mates have written a structure relevant to a topic that has been previously discussed.
Advantages:
1) it can pose as a warm up activity and refresh students‘ memory on previous course material
2) promotes team work
3)stundets learn to collaborate

Disadvantages
1) it could be noisy
2) it can take a long time unless the teacher sets a time limit

When this activity is used as a warmer it engages the students right away to talk in English. Due to the fact that it involves more spontaneous speech students could become more confident and feel at ease using English

Emma Walsh · June 17, 2019 at 11:33 pm

The classroom game I have chosen is hotseat, where the class is split into teams. One person from each team sits in the ‘hot seat’ facing the class, and the teacher writes a word on the board behind them. Another team member must then help the student to guess the word by describing it.

Advantages:
– It encourages clear communication
– It sparks thinking to review a certain topic/area – both of specific vocabulary, and ideas surrounding it e.g. synonyms
– Having teams provides some competition and thus hopefully more engagement

Disadvantages:
– Those who are not having their turn might get bored, and it does not necessarily engage all the students and give them all time to talk
– Some students might not enjoy the competition, or the attention they receive at the front in the ‘hot seat’

This could be used to promote English language learning as it refreshes students on vocabulary, as well as improving their speaking and listening skills to communicate effectively with each other in English

Lizzie Avery · June 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm

The classroom game I have picked from the recommended reading is entitled ‘caption competition.’ This is to be used as part of the production section of the PPP structure. During this game, students must write a short, witty caption (in the TL) for an image, and the funniest caption wins. In their caption they must include certain language structures (in the example given these are: so/such/enough/too). This means that the game still has the lesson’s Learning Objectives and Success Criteria in mind (an advantage). This game can be adapted to any language structure(s) making it reusable and adaptable to all abilities (another advantage). Also, the aim of the game is to make the other students laugh; therefore, it encourages the children to use English creatively as well as interacting with and responding to other classmates. Note, that it is the students who decide which is the funniest, not the teacher, developing this advantage further. According to the author, students are also more likely to make more of an effort because they know what they are writing is for an audience and writing to win.
Another advantage is that it is easy to set up, so lesson time would not be wasted. It can easily be prepared prior to the lesson (simply printing enough images before the class). However, a disadvantage is that it requires online images which could be hard to obtain in the camp. To overcome this, a variation might be to draw the image. For example, I could divide the class up into groups and (in each group) one half draws the image, and the other half comes up with a caption for it, and then swapping the role of each half of the group. It is important that the drawing is done roughly and quickly though (I would set a time limit) since learning is not necessarily taking place in this stage. This also removes one of the main concerns regarding competitive-based activities (which this game is an example of) since students are working in teams rather than individually (note that in the example in the reading they are working in pairs).
This game can be used as an example to promote English language learning since students are encouraged to use structures of English in a creative and fun manner. It also enables them to use certain language structures in context and certain grammatical words (such as too, such etc) in example sentences.

angolanta · June 24, 2019 at 11:35 am

My chosen game is “Name, Place, Animal, Thing” where a letter of the alphabet is chosen and students (in teams or individually) come up with a word for each category starting with that letter in a set time.

Advantages:
-Students can practice team work and communication in english
-They can benefit from some healthy competition
-The game can encourage the use of new vocabulary learnt
-New vocabulary can come up this time driven by students instead of the teacher

Disadvantages:
-Students don’t practice sentence formation (unless the game is extended)
-It could get competitive
-The vocabulary could be poor and repetitive

The game could be altered to revolve around the day’s topic and used as a cooler/ warmer or it could be extended to ask students to present their answers or use them in a sentence.

RebeccaRM · June 24, 2019 at 1:06 pm

My chosen game is stop the bus. There are for example 5 categories and a letter is randomly chosen, students must work in teams to think of a word beginning with that letter for each category. The winning team is the first to think of one in each category.
Advantages: Consolidates vocab, encourages teamwork, students can help choose categories
Disadvantages: Students must know enough english to complete all categories, could get competitive, doesn’t use vocab in a sentence

Ross Moncrieff · June 24, 2019 at 3:41 pm

My chosen game is “Jobs and Personality”. Each student will be assigned a different job (doctor, farmer, actor etc.), with students being able to pick their own as long as there are not too many clashes. We will take it in turns to go round the class and I will reveal a different, random personality trait (funny, lazy, boring etc.) which the student will then have to defend as the most important personality trait for their job. Some of these will work well- being a caring doctor for example- but others will be a less good fit making the game both funny and inventive.

Advantages:
-Allows two sets of vocabulary to be used, jobs and personality traits.
-Encourages inventiveness and thinking on the spot as students must pair jobs with unsuitable character traits.
-Letting students choose their own “job” allows them to pursue and think about their own interests

Disadvantages:
-The creative element puts quite a lot of pressure on the students and may prove too demanding, especially for shy and unconfident students.
-Using two sets of vocabulary might also be too ambitious for one game.
-Playing it on an individual level with a very large class would take time to get round everyone, testing the patience of the other students

SDH · June 24, 2019 at 7:58 pm

A game that could be used would be vocabulary bingo, specific to either that lesson or the few that proceeded it. There would be a grid of
words in English, randomised. Random English words would be called out by the teacher. Students could play individually or in small groups.
A prize for getting bingo could be leaving the class first or a small prize like sweets

Advantages:
1) There is a clear endpoint to the game, success criteria are achieving bingo
2) The time of the game can be highly customised by the size of grid and frequency with which words are called out
3) Students would memorise the vocabulary by focusing on the words in trying to make sure they don’t miss bingo
4) Can have multiple winners or say first/second/third prize

Disadvantages:
1) Other than making sure they don’t miss a word, the game is chance rather than skill based
2) Some students may see it as unfair since its skill based

jsm89 · June 25, 2019 at 12:08 pm

I have chosen a ‘reverse last man standing’ style game, where the students all start on their feet and need to catch a ball (or something related), answer a question (for example I may point to a body part, and they should identify it), and get to sit down if they give a correct answer.
Advantages:
Standing and physical interaction makes it feel less like ‘learning’
They gain the ‘prize’ of being able to sit down early by giving a correct answer first time
There is a clear goal/end-point
Disadvantages:
Some students may find the catching element a problem, in which case the game would be adapted to accommodate this
Some students may feel embarassed/under pressure if they are the last one standing

juliazlot · June 25, 2019 at 2:08 pm

My chosen game is “board race” – the students are divided into two teams which compete in a relay race, writing words they have learnt during the lesson under a given topic on the board until one team cannot think of any others.

Advantages: suitable for different ability levels, does not single out weaker students (especially if students are allowed to work as a team) and works even with large class sizes.

Disadvantages: focuses acontextually on words, may take a long time with a larger class size.

gskaza · June 25, 2019 at 3:43 pm

I would choose to offer a game of bingo to the children, but would make sure they are in groups of 2 or 3 to reduce the issues that may arise from performance anxiety in a competition setting. The size of the bingo board could be adapted to account for the age and ability of the children, but in order to keep the game short it would probably be 5×5 in size. If the board was made up of modes of transport for example, I would read out the name of one of the vehicles and the students would communicate with their teammates and then cross off the appropriate image on their bingo board. To extend this game I would encourage the winning students to tell me each of the names of the images that they have crossed off in order to reach bingo (so this would involve repeating 5 words, not the entire board’s worth).

Advantages:
– Encourages communication skills as students must confer with one another to make sure they are crossing off the correct image
-They will be engaged by the element of competition
-Winning is randomised
-Enables the students to recall what vocabulary they had learnt in a previous lesson, consolidating their knowledge

Disadvantages:
-The winning team will not have won because they perform better, it is luck based
-Competition may prove intimidating or stressful for some students
-Students may understand what a word refers to but may find the images on their boards unclear, such as the difference between a bicycle and a motorbike

Gayatri · June 25, 2019 at 3:45 pm

I would use the description game, where I would divide the students into pairs, and give a picture/scene to one student in each pair. This student must describe the picture/scene to the other student, who is drawing/painting it.
The pair with the best replica wins.

Advantages:
– Encourages teamwork
– Interactive
– Encourages spoken language

Disadvantages:
– Puts more pressure on the less confident student
– The picture/scene may be too difficult to describe clearly

mifei99 · June 25, 2019 at 8:02 pm

I have chosen the ‘Is it true?’ game.
Its advantages are:
– It encourages students to pool their language skills to achieve a common aim
– Students engage with new and previously unseen content
– Room for all students to participate by asking questions
– The fact that the class is participating as a group means that students aren’t divided into ‘winners’ and ‘losers’
Its disadvantages are:
– The activity is quite teacher-led
– Student contributions are limited to questions on one specific story, rather than free ranging, creative conversation
– Other students won’t be able to speak whilst others are asking questions, meaning that they will spend a long time listening passively

Stephen Grech · June 25, 2019 at 11:07 pm

I think the ‘Is it true?’ game would be a fun way to get the children speaking creatively.

The Advantages:
– They will have to either invent a story or recall a real past experience they have had. Either way, it requires the use of a decent amount of vocabulary and creativity in recounting their stories.
– They are able to learn more about each other through the stories that are true.
– Requires questioning from the other students and so it has a high level of interaction from everyone.

The Disadvantages:
– Not everyone might get a chance to participate fully, since it is a time consuming game for everyone to tell a story and have the rest question them until they come to a conclusion, with the limited time.
– Encourages lying?

SammyLappage · June 26, 2019 at 12:50 am

“Heads Up” is a game which can be used in the classroom. You can use it through the app or make your own version in which one person cannot see a word and the rest of the class or a team has to give them clues so they can guess the word. For example, if the word is “cat” the team may describe it by saying words such as “animal” “pet” “fluffy” etc.

The advantages of the activity is that it promotes vocabulary use and learning as the team/rest of the class must come up with ways to describe a word without using that word. Meanwhile the person guessing the word has to use the vocabulary they are faced with to work out the right answer which is an important language skill. Therefore it is a great way to promote English language learning because it prompts vocabulary development and usage. It can be used as a competition or just as an activity. One of the disadvantages of the activity is that it can put the individual guessing the word on the spot and may make them feel uncomfortable if they are struggling to find the right answer.

OliviaDaly · June 26, 2019 at 11:19 am

My chosen game is ‘Caption Competition.’ Students compete by writing witty and funny captions for an image with the aim of making each other laugh.
The advantages of this game are:
– Humour is an excellent way to make lessons more engaging and memorable, and we want students to have fun on our camp.
– The game is adaptable for different levels of English and can be used to focus on different types of language, for example question phrases, the words so/that/to/because etc.
– The game can be varied and students can initially work in pairs and not in front of the whole class, which does not disadvantage shy students who prefer smaller groups. More outgoing students may share their captions with the class if they wish.
– It encourages more student speaking time and allows students to use their own language to describe pictures instead of copying phrases from a teacher by rote, thus bringing out their creativity.
– It could make a good lesson warm-up.
Disadvantages:
– A certain base level of vocabulary and sentence structure is required, so this game is perhaps not so suitable for complete beginners or weaker students.

louisajc · June 26, 2019 at 12:06 pm

My chosen game is called ‘hot-seat’, where the class is split into two teams, both facing the blackboard. One member of each team will sit in a chair at the front, with their backs to the blackboard. A vocabulary word will be written on the blackboard behind them, and the other students have to describe the word without saying it, only using synonyms or descriptive words. The first team to get the students to guess the correct word will win a point for their team. The person on the hot-seat will change each turn.

Advantages:
1) Excellent use of team-working – students have to use their descriptive skills together to win the game
2) Good way of using competitive spirit to consolidate vocabulary previously learned, can provide a good cooler activity
3) Enable students who are more reserved to take part – can speak up in descriptions without feeling too vulnerable
4) Encourages students to use spoken language

Disadvantages:
1) The students may not practise forming complete sentences
2) The competitive nature of the game may cause choas
3) The game could be dominated by a few confident individuals

AliceKennedy · June 26, 2019 at 2:55 pm

I have chosen the game two truths and a lie. Each student must make 3 statements about themselves/their life – 2 of which are true and one which is false. The other students must guess which statement is false.

Advantages: can be adapted to the topic of the lesson (3 statements about food/ where they live/etc), can be done in smaller or larger groups depending on class size/atmosphere, allows students to get to know each other

Disadvantages: concept may be confusing for younger students, less confident students may feel put on the spot, value of activity could be lessened by students using overly simplistic language eg. I have a cat, I have a dog, I have a fish

serenalhayes · June 26, 2019 at 3:10 pm

A caption competition consists of composing a funny title for a picture. The aim of the game is that the funniest caption wins. This activity relies on humour, which most children and young people enjoy. Generally, humour increases enjoyment and engagement in learning, as well as maintaining rapport and interaction between teacher and student. The use of humour ensures a task is memorable, which additionally enhances engagement and promotes learning. The use of photographs and pictures relevant to the country of language origin also promotes familiarisation of cultural idioms and informal (slang) dialect. This activity can also be altered with the aim to incorporate specific phrases or words such as nouns or adjectives, enabling a caption competition to be multi-functional in addition to memorable. However, the success of the caption competiton relies on an awareness of the context of a particular photo or image, which some students may struggle with. In addition, not all students may enjoy the competitive nature of this task and therefore a caption competition may exclude weaker students.

Laura Fantuzzi · June 26, 2019 at 3:25 pm

When I was taught English in a language school in Malta, we used to do, among others, hangman games. The aspect of competition of this game made the students engaged; another positive side is that it highlights the spelling of the words, which is important too. It is also a good game for beginners as at first, it is just guessing letters. A problem could be that it is too easy, and students get bored – so best not to play that game for too long, rather as a cooler at the end of the lesson to review and fix the words learnt.

keyasajip · June 26, 2019 at 4:11 pm

The game ‘Categories’ is played by choosing 5-6 different categories within a topic. For example in the topic of ‘Holidays’, categories could include: destination, food, drink, activities, famous landmarks. The teacher picks a letter and writes it on the board. The students are given 1-2 minutes to come up with a word for each category beginning with the chosen letter. More points are given to the answers that are unique and fewer students have thought of.
Advantages:
– improves vocabulary
– encourages students to think independently
– allows students to learn vocabulary from each other
Disadvantages:
– may get repetitive (most students may come up with the same word)
– may get too competitive
– doesn’t allow practice of conversation or grammar

sk948 · June 27, 2019 at 5:36 pm

Translation games, last person standing – teacher goes around asking questions until last person standing.
Advantages:
1. Students can learn from each other
2. Students can grow in confidence and show themselves how much they know.
3. Students can learn from their mistakes and push themselves out of their comfort zones.

Disadvantages:
1. Favours the stronger students as they will continue on, weaker students will be eliminated near the start.
2. Students may be discouraged from language learning and decrease in confidence.

Gigi Michie · June 28, 2019 at 3:28 am

My chosen activity is to put two verbs at the top of the whiteboard in opposite corners: ‘I have’ and ‘I stop’. On the rest of the board are either nouns such as ‘a book’, or participles such as ‘running’, with the former verb fitting with the nouns, the latter with the participles. The purpose of the exercise would be to clarify to the students the grammatical distinction of which sort of verbs might govern which objects. I would first ask the pupils individually to match the verbs to the choices on paper for 5 minutes, then I would split them into two groups; each group assigned one of the two verbs and a different coloured pen. A member of each group will take it in turns to come up to the board and circle which word they believe goes with their assigned verb. Once completed, I would count up which group got more answers correct and deem them the winners of the exercise. I would then go through the potential mistakes each group might have made on the board.
Advantages
the exercise offers three different phases to consolidate knowledge; first through individual thought, then through the shared group activity, and finally the correction of any mistakes by the teacher.
The slight competition element of the game would hopefully help keep the children engaged in the exercise and keen to think hard about their answers
The working in a team would perhaps boost the confidence of those children who might lack confidence in their personal speaking ability
The highly interactive nature of the game would encourage actual speaking of the words on the board, and thus encourage greater fluency

Disadvantages
The competition element of the exercise might distract pupils from the main purpose of the exercise, or lead the losing team to feel discouraged and as though they have not fulfilled the objective of the lesson.
The fact that the main part of the activity is in a team might also prevent individual pupils from understanding the lesson well themselves: it is easier to hide lack of understanding or rush into an answer in a group setting

SabrinaA · June 28, 2019 at 1:59 pm

The game I have chosen is “Picture Prompts”, where you provide a number of prompts for your students and have them draw an answer to each (e.g. Draw your favourite animal). Depending on the level of the students, they then either ask deeper questions about each other’s drawings or guess (in English) what the person has drawn.

The advantages of this game are:
1. It is creative and has room for personal expression.
2. It allows the students to get to know each other.
3. It is interactive and helps to reinforce existing vocabulary and introduce new vocabulary.
4. It encourages students to ask questions and develop their English skills further.

The disadvantages of this game are:
1. It is more beneficial for more advanced students who are able to ask interesting questions about the picture rather than just describe what it is.
2. It could become repetitive if used too often

ioanadiac · June 28, 2019 at 4:04 pm

The classroom game I have chosen from the article is the “Is it true?” game where students try to fool each other by telling a story and inviting others to guess whether it is true or made up.

The advantages of this game are that it allows students to put into practice the vocab and sentence structures they have learnt, and is therefore a useful ‘production’ task to do during the bulk of the lesson as well as an effective review activity at the start of the next lesson. The fact it encourages students to be creative and they have the freedom to tell a story on whatever topic they choose means that this activity is likely to keep them engaged and motivated. The potential to use humour and exaggeration will also enable students to build a more meaningful and memorable connection to the language they are learning.

The disadvantages of this game are that students might easily lose focus on the task at hand and come up with stories that are too ridiculous and that do not concentrate on implementing the language they have learnt during the lesson. This game would also be harder for beginner-level speakers since the process of ‘telling a story’ is quite a complex one that requires knowledge of a lot of different sentence structures and tenses, and is therefore only relevant for intermediate-advanced English learners.

Alec · June 29, 2019 at 9:25 am

My chosen game is “Caption Competition” where students compete to write the funniest caption for a given picture using the target language.
Advantages:
-Encourages creativity and will hopefully get students laughing and having fun
-Some friendly competition can encourage students to be more enthusiastic and come up with good captions
-Pictures can be steered towards a topic and a limited number of rounds can give the game a clear end-point
Disadvantages:
-The emergence of a winner can leave other students demoralised
-Some students might just go for the funny aspect of the game and not stretch their ability in the language
-Requires perhaps a decent hold of the language beforehand to be able to come up with good captions
-Students making each other laugh may get out of control
The game promotes English language learning by making students come up with vocabulary relative to the picture. It also practices sentence structuring and creativity in the target language.

JArmers · June 29, 2019 at 3:18 pm

The activity I have chosen is bingo with descriptions. In this, students select 9 nouns from one subject area covered in the lesson. 3 adjectives are used to describe each noun – for example, ‘orange, round, fruit’ for orange in the topic of food, or ‘2-wheels, sporty, effort’ for bicycle in the topic transport. Each student must identify the noun by the adjectives and cross it off their list.

Adv
– associating description with noun for better memory
– better conversational aid
– more active cognitive element

Disadv
– competitive element may suit more confident pupils better
– speed may result in erroneous identification
– students may only remember 1 adjective and make false identification

improvements
– split the class into 2 teams, so the first team to have 3x ‘bingo’ wins; within teams, pupils work in pairs (makes it less hostile for shy pupils).
– 10-15 seconds per word to think
– adjectives repeated with hand signals (incl drawing in the air)

Issy · June 30, 2019 at 12:02 pm

I have chosen to introduce the game “jobs and personality” . Students match jobs to personality types. Advantages of this game:
No wrong or right answers, so is less competitive and students will feel less anxious. Also allows lots of practice and consolidation of job names and personality traits. Can also be applied to different things, e.g. foods and weather, making it useful for teaching different things, Gives quite a structured practice. The game is not competitive and is more students expressing opinions and so won’t dishearten less strong students.
Disadvantages of this game: Doesn’t require a lot of free talking from the students, and so doesn’t allow them to practice other aspects of language and free speaking. To account for thus students will be asked to explain their choices. For students to have a lot of talkign time from this tasks they would have to work in small groups, so it may be difficult to see how well each student is speaking and understanding the content, and to give helpful feedback

lun3rzhu · June 30, 2019 at 8:45 pm

An example of a classroom game is ‘Hot Potato’. Seated in a circle, a student is given a soft toy/ball and a specific question is asked before the object begins to be passed around. The goal is for the student to come up with a answer before the object reaches them. This game can be played in different groups as teams.

Advantages:
-Encourages students to think on their feet
-Fast paced and exciting
Disadvantages:
-Shyer students may find the time pressure a bit too much
-Arguably doesn’t use application of knowledge as much under timed pressure, may be better as a fun ‘cooler’ activity

ld557 · July 1, 2019 at 6:19 pm

The game I have chosen is ‘is it true’ where students must present either a real or imagined story to the class and ask them to guess whether it was true. This game is advantageous for its fun nature which would maximise student engagement, and for allowing students to express their creativity and tailor the lesson to their interests depending on what story they choose or make up. However, it may cause students to become distracted from their learning if the stories they tell become off-topic. Telling a story may be difficult for students who are not native speakers, and it may be time consuming and impractical to include all students in such a game. It could be applied to English language teaching however if students were asked to recall or create a story which incorporated new vocabulary or topics learnt in the preceding lesson.

h.javaud · July 1, 2019 at 7:10 pm

The activity I chose, “Is it true?”, consists of students trying to fool each other by telling a story and inviting others to guess whether it is true or made up.

The advantages are that the students are not constrained and are free to speak about their own interests, keeping the students who are speaking engaged and actively thinking. All students participate in the game, whether they take the role of coming up with the story or asking the questions to determine whether the story is true. Additionally, it is less of a competition as other games because the students work together for a common goal, so students aren’t demoralised as a result.

The disadvantages are that the weaker or more shy students may find it a lot more difficult to come up with sentences on the spot, and may be demotivated. Also, the more confident speakers may overshadow the quieter students while asking the questions, so not all the students may not gain much practice from the activity. It might not be particularly engaging for students to listen and they may switch off as well.

ciaran duncan · July 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

An example of a game is ‘jobs and personality’ where in groups of 4-6 students, each round one player takes a card with a personality trait and the other are dealt a number of cards with professions. They have to pick the job they thing is best suited to that personality trait and explain why to the group. The ‘judge’ chooses a winner each round. The game finishes when a player has won three rounds

Advantages- there is a clear end-goal (one player winning three rounds ends the game) meaning it won’t be overly extended.
Small groups means everyone will get more of a chance to speak.
There are many different jobs and personalities so there will be variety each time.
The competitive element encourages students to come up with innovative and engaging justifications for their choices.

Disadvantages- the competitive element could demoralise some students if they keep on not winning. (I would try to praise interesting or apt answers by all to combat this)
Depending on the level of the students the personality words might be unfamiliar or overly-complex.

laiq.nagi · July 2, 2019 at 3:47 pm

My chosen game would be ‘name place animal thing’, a game we would play in school when we were much younger. I would split the class into groups of 4 or 5. How it works is, a random letter from the alphabet is chosen and then the groups will have a certain time limit (e.g. 2 mins) to come up with a name, a place, an animal and an object beginning with that letter. If you teams had the same animal for example then their points would half. You get more points if you had an original word.
Advantages:
– Makes the students think quickly and on the spot
– Pushes them to think of more adventurous vocabulary to get more points
– Fast paced and fun
Disadvantages:
– Potentially only limits them to these certain parameters (name, place, animal, thing) however this could easily be fixed by introducing other sections
– Could get repetitive
– Only works if they already have some prior vocabulary
This promotes learning of the English Language as it would consolidate what the students hve already learned.

Francesca Smith · July 3, 2019 at 1:57 pm

Running diction!
Can be done in pairs or even small groups in a competitive or non-competitive format. Stick some words or phrases outside in the corridor, in another room etc (whatever is convenient) and get one member of the pair/group to go outside and remember it, come back in and say it aloud for the other person to write down.
This allows the development of pronunciation, memorising vocab, listening skills for the person acting as a scribe etc.
Disadvantage is that it can be impractical in certain classroom set-ups and works best when students already have a basic understanding of English so that they can pick up the phrases relatively easily.

AhmedImam · July 3, 2019 at 11:00 pm

It involves the students being given a picture and having the task of writing a caption for said picture and then some sort judgement on which caption is the best, however comparing all the captions every time seems quite unnecessary.
It could be useful as: you can necessitate the inclusion of the content you have taught into each caption to make sure there is application for knowledge, there is an easy way to track when to stop (after a certain number of rounds), it’s easier to see which students are more knowledgeable without making the game awkward for less able students (a funny caption doesn’t need to be long or grammatically correct)
It may fall short in some aspects: a basic understanding of descriptive English is necessary to participate, it may become quite repetitive to some students if the pictures are not engaging, students may copy each other more easily.

dkatsanos · July 4, 2019 at 8:27 am

I chose the “Make and Do” game from the link above. In this game, the students need to decide whether a word goes after “make” or “do”. This is initially done on the board with two big teams with the students taking turns for each word. One team represents the words after “make” and the other team the words after “do”. Then, the students need to do the exact same thing individually on a piece of paper but without looking on the board. Then, the students work in pairs in order to come with 5 sentences with a gap using the phrases above. Then each pair starts talking to other pairs and asking them to figure out which word is missing. After this is done, pairs exchange papers and each pair needs to come up with a sentence related to the missing word.

Advantages:
-Students get to test themselves in the 2nd part of the game where they work individually and this usually helps students learn a concept more easily.
-Students get to work in pairs and be interactive which would most likely result in a more engaging lesson
-Teacher does not participate as much as he/she would, in an old-fashioned lesson which gives the chance to the students to be creative and explore new ideas.

Disadvantages:
– Lesson might take a lot of time.
– Students might get confused with the game.

JasminSahota · July 6, 2019 at 12:06 am

I have previously used a game of a ‘music and film’ quiz to teach English using film and music as the content. The class is split up into pairs and each pair has a quiz sheet to fill their answers in on. The questions either concern identifying the song/film clip or completing a lyric or quotation from a film based on a sound clip.
Advantages: encourages communication between the students in English and interaction, the focus is on the students, it uses popular culture and so is more engaging and topical than traditional content, it incorporates listening skills as well as speaking and writing skills and a variety of English from around the world (when songs/films are a mixture of English, American, Australian in origin)
Disadvantages: requires knowledge of English popular culture which may not be suitable for very young students, is an activity that can only last 15-20 mins rather than a whole hour lesson, requires basic knowledge of vocabulary already

mustafaazhar30 · July 6, 2019 at 11:57 pm

The game I have chosen is “Is it true?” where students come up with real or imaginary stories and their classmates have to guess if these stories are true events or made up fables. A set time will be given to the class to come up with the story and a set time limit will be placed to make sure we are on track. Potentially, the class could be split into groups of 3 or 4 with each group coming up with a story and presenting it to the rest of the class. Then each group will get allotted time to come up with and ask one question each to deduce wether the story is true or false

Advantages:
-students speak about their own interests is its engaging and actively thinking
– promotes creativity in all students and helps develop their listening and speaking skills in English
– makes sure their is active participation by all students

Disadvantages:
– students may struggle coming up with stories
– need to ensure time is kept well for each step so that there is total focus

philippakirby · July 7, 2019 at 1:43 pm

My chosen game is pass the ball where a student is given a task such as “name 5 different fruits” and when the teacher shouts go the ball is passed around the circle. The student keeps the ball if it gets back to them before they have completed the task and otherwise the ball stays with whoever has it when the task is completed. The goal is to get rid of the ball and pass it onto someone else.

Advantages:
– A good warmer task as you can make the tasks relevant to vocab topic areas learnt in previous lessons
– fast paced and friendly element of competition which encourages active and quick thinking
– memory of vocab will be consolidated as students will have to recall many words from the same topic area
– A game that limits teacher interaction as the student comes up with the words by themselves
– may help students to grow in confidence

Disadvantages:
– There is no ultimate end goal to this game as you could keep playing it forever
– the competitive element could become unhealthy- a student could become upset if they do not manage to complete the challenge before the ball is passed back to them
– only one student gets to talk at a time and a lot of who gets to contribute is based on luck- some people may end up being left out
– maybe focus more on memory recall than ability to speak the language

christianmadla · July 7, 2019 at 8:53 pm

The game I have chosen is “Jobs and Personality”

Advantages:
– Small groups, meaning greater involvement by each student is required
– Repetition of adjectives, which enables the students to utilise and improve their memory
– Creates a link between the ‘personality’ and the ‘job’, which requires the student to make a convincing argument in order to win the game. Consequently, the competition involved in the game can aid in encouraging the development of an individuals English ability
– Can be adapted to many different situations, meaning that the students’ vocabulary can be widened (the game can be applied to other scenarios, not necessarily ‘jobs’ and ‘personality’

Disadvantages:
– This game is likely to suit a more advanced English speaker, cannot be used well at a beginners level
– Explaining how the game works may initially be tedious

Hayley Hilson · July 8, 2019 at 10:13 am

The game I have chosen is ‘Caption Competition’, which was suggested in the further reading. In this game, students are presented with pictures, and are asked to come up with funny captions or explanations for the pictures.

Advantages:
-Encourages creativity with language
-Able to adapt to include specific structures or vocabulary
-Uses humour, which encourages students to interact with each other and makes the lesson more memorable
-The game can be done on a more competitive basis with the whole class, which according to the author makes the students put in more effort as they know their work will have an audience

Disadvantages
-The game assumes a base level of language – the students may not yet be at this level and may consequently struggle to describe the images
-The competitive nature of the game may not favour all students, however it can be adapted to be used with smaller groups or pairs to ensure more shy students aren’t left out
-Difficult to find relevant images to what is being learnt, and difficult to ensure the students understand their cultural context

cbourne · July 8, 2019 at 5:52 pm

The game I have chosen to describe, and used previously in Ukraine, is Pictionary. I divide the class into two teams and have a selection of cards with vocabulary I want students to learn written on them. One person from Team A come up to the front and draws a card/word. The student must convey the word to his or her team using only drawings. . Each student should have a time limit of 3 minutes. The first team to get 10 points is the winning team.

Advantages: Although it is a competition, weaker students do not feel embarrassed or humiliated by having a small number of points compared to their peers since the groups are so large. It also allows students who are more artistic to express their creativity and increase enjoyment during English lessons.
Disadvantages: This game is good for assessing how well students have retained new vocabulary, but it would not be appropriate for assessing knowledge of English grammar, or use of more complex sentences.

It can be used to promote English language learning as an end-of-topic vocabulary assessment game.

leahparry · July 27, 2019 at 1:37 am

WORD BOMB
– New vocabulary learnt in the lesson is written on the board
– One word is circled, which the kids cannot say (the ‘bomb’ word)
– Kids vs teacher: teacher says a word, and the kids repeat. If the kids repeat the bomb word, the teacher gets a point. If they’re all quiet, they get a point

ADVANTAGES: involves all the class, kids seem to enjoy, promotes correct pronunciation
DISADVANTAGES: doesn’t promote understanding, limited number of words, difficult to challenge range of abilities

Nefeli Angelidaki · September 26, 2019 at 12:21 pm

The classic game of Pictionary has proved to be rather useful inside a classroom. The class is split into two groups: group1 and group2. One person of group2 is selected and the people from group1 assign a word to them. Now the person from group2 needs to draw the word on the board without talking or acting and they need to make their group guess the word by their drawing. If they guess in less than a minute, group2 gets a point. If they don’t, then group1 wins.
Advantages: Kids get to practice their vocabulary, it incorporates drawing and kids love drawing, it enhances creativity as some words are rather difficult to draw, it promotes healthy competition in a classroom setting
Disadvantages: time consuming so it rarely leaves time for different activities

Adilah Hameed · October 2, 2019 at 1:21 pm

The game hot seat for the topic of animals. This involved students being in two groups.
Advantages:
Teamwork and Communication – students had to describe the animal in English and one student had to say the name of the animal in English. Would swap the ‘drawer’ after a few turns.
Visual – one student would be drawing the picture on the board so it makes it interactive
Disadvantages:
Not all students remembered the animals name in English and would shout it in Chinese
not all students would want to get involved in describing – especially weaker or shyer students (best to get them to draw)

englert.franciska · October 3, 2019 at 10:38 am

The classroom game I have chosen is ‘Caption competition’: Students have to come up with funny captions to pictures so that they make their classmates laugh.
Advantages:
– Highly creative game, so can encourage students to use the language more freely, creatively
– Humour is a good tool to make the lesson more memorable
-There are many variations to the game. Pupils can work in groups instead, coming up with the caption together and using English while discussing their ideas. For lower level classes the game can be modified (for example ‘caption’ is limitied to 1 or 2 words)

Disadvantages:
– Competitions have only 1 winner, so others may feel disappointed.

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