Play and Games in the Primary Classroom
by Anna Sawa
"Play is the work of childchood."
Children learn a foreign language through play and games. Active learning presuposses a lot of advantages, however teachers can meet some problems. What take into consideration to make sure your students get all the profits?
Advantages of play and games
Lessons including games are fun and provide meaningful situations to practise and improve a foreign language. Games help to form a positive attitude to learning and develope teamwork skills. Children foster co-operation and participation as well.
Play and games add variety to lessons and valuable way to reenergise young learners. They provide not only secure learning environment but also they are highly motivated. Children play and they do not even know that they practise hidden language items and fluency of speech.
Disadvantages of play and games
Playing games can cause hustle and bustle in the classroom. In such a situation, it is easy to lose control of the class. Sometimes children are as involved in the game that they start to talk in their mother tongue. What is more, game can be too competitive and can cause arguments about scored points. Teachers can also face parents' opinion that games are waste time in the classroom.
Taking into consideration all the pros and cons of play and games in the classroom, plan the activities to avoid all the 'cons'. First of all activities should be well-matched to your students, neither too simple nor too complicated. What is more, they should be fitted to your classroom - make sure there is enough space to play safely. Brief thought-out instructions are crucial to avoid boredom befor the game begins. Moreover, teachers should plan carefuly lexical aspect and introduce language which will be used. As children playing monitor if all the students are involved and interested in the game. Remember to be vigiliant and defuse the problems at the start.
Initially playing games in the classroom can be hard, especially in big classes. However, if you scrape through the beginning, children learn co-operate in groups. Using the same activity with different language elements students will play the game without any introductions.