Tải bản đầy đủ

Ảnh hưởng của việc sử dụng trò chơi ngôn ngữ đối với khả năng nói của học sinh trường THPT Nguyễn Huệ (Luận văn thạc sĩ)

THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES

ỨNG THỊ HƯỜNG

THE EFFECTS OF USING LANGUAGE GAMES ON SPEAKING
ABILITY OF STUDENTS AT NGUYEN HUE HIGH SCHOOL
Ảnh hưởng của việc sử dụng trò chơi ngôn ngữ đối với khả năng nói
của học sinh trường THPT Nguyễn Huệ

M.A THESIS

Field:

English Linguistics

Code:

8220201



THAI NGUYEN – 2018


THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES

ỨNG THỊ HƯỜNG

THE EFFECTS OF USING LANGUAGE GAMES ON SPEAKING
ABILITY OF STUDENTS AT NGUYEN HUE HIGH SCHOOL
Ảnh hưởng của việc sử dụng trò chơi ngôn ngữ đối với khả năng nói
của học sinh trường THPT Nguyễn Huệ

M.A THESIS
(APPLICATION ORIENTATION)

Field:

English Linguistics

Code:

8220201

Supervisor:

Dr. Dương Đức Minh


THAI NGUYEN – 2018


STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP
This is to certify that the thesis entitled “The Effects of Using Language
Games on Speaking Ability of Students at Nguyen Hue High School” has been
written by me and the work in it has not previously been submitted for a degree. In
addition, I also certify that all information sources and literature have been indicated
in the thesis.
Thai Nguyen, October 2018

Ứng Thị Hường

i


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

During the process of carrying out this study, I have received a large amount of
contribution and support from many people.
First, I would like to express the deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Dương
Đức Minh, for his invaluable encouragement and useful advice during the whole
process of this master thesis. Without his help, this paper could not have been
completed.
Next, I am thankful to all my lecturers as well as staff at School of Foreign
Languages, Thai Nguyen University for their great supports and suggestions.
Also, I am grateful to the teachers of English and the students at Nguyen Hue
high school for their immense help and participation.
Finally, my special thanks go to my beloved family and friends for their love,
care and support during my MA course, especially on the completion of this thesis.

Thai Nguyen, October 2018

Ứng Thị Hường

ii


ABSTRACT
It goes without saying that speaking plays an important role in learning a
foreign language. However, in the context of learning English in Vietnamese high
schools, students’ speaking is generally far from satisfactory. This study, hence, aims
at investigating the effects of using language games on students’ speaking ability.
The study was guided by two research questions regarding the extent to which the
use of language games impacts students’ speaking skill and how students evaluate
this technique. To answer those questions, an action research in twelve weeks was
carried out. The participants included 40 grade 11th students at Nguyen Hue high
school. The data were collected from observation sheets and questionnaires, and
subsequently were visualized and discussed. The data from observation sheets
indicates that though the use of language games did not result in change in the
students’ ability to use the target language to speak, these activities helped the class
atmosphere to be more enjoyable and the students more motivated. Furthermore, it is
demonstrated from the questionnaires that the students held a positive attitude
towards the use of language games in their speaking lessons.

iii


TABLE OF CONTENTS
STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP......................................................................................... i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................................ ii
ABSTRACT .........................................................................................................................iii
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................... v
LIST OF FIGURES AND CHARTS ................................................................................vii
Chapter I: INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................ 1
1.1. Rationale ..................................................................................................................... 1
1.2. Aims of the study ........................................................................................................ 2
1.3. Scope of the study ....................................................................................................... 2
1.4. Significance of the study............................................................................................. 2
1.5. Outline of the thesis .................................................................................................... 2
Chapter II: LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................... 4
2.1. Speaking teaching ....................................................................................................... 4
2.1.1. Definitions of speaking skill ................................................................................. 4
2.1.2. The teaching of speaking ..................................................................................... 4
2.1.3. Speaking activities ............................................................................................... 8
2.1.4. The teaching of English speaking in Vietnam ...................................................... 6
2.2. Language games ....................................................................................................... 11
2.2.1. Definitions of language games .......................................................................... 11
2.2.2. Reasons for using language games .................................................................... 12
2.2.3. Types of language games ................................................................................... 13
2.2.4. Principles of using language games .................................................................. 15
2.4. Previous studies ........................................................................................................ 16
2.5. Concluding remarks .................................................................................................. 18
Chapter III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ............................................................... 19
3.1. Research questions .................................................................................................... 19
3.2. Research participants ................................................................................................ 19
3.3. Research design ........................................................................................................ 20
3.4. Data collection instruments ...................................................................................... 23
3.4.1. Observation ........................................................................................................ 23
3.4.2. Questionnaires ................................................................................................... 24
3.5. Procedure of data collection ..................................................................................... 24
Chapter IV: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS............................................................... 26
4.1. The effect of language games on students’ speaking ability .................................... 26
4.2. The students’ attitudes towards the use of language games ..................................... 33
4.2.1. Findings from the questionnaires ....................................................................... 33
4.2.2. Findings from the Observation Sheets No.2 ...................................................... 41
iv


4.3. Discussion ................................................................................................................. 41
4.4. Concluding remarks .................................................................................................. 42
Chapter V: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................... 44
5.1. Summary ................................................................................................................... 44
5.2. Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 45
5.3. Limitations of the study ............................................................................................ 46
5.4. Suggestions for further study .................................................................................... 46
REFERENCES................................................................................................................... 47
APPENDICES .......................................................................................................................I

v


LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Comparison between the results of the 1st observation and those of the 2nd
observation ................................................................................................................33
Table 2: Students’ opinion about their speaking skill ...............................................35
Table 3: Students’ preferences of class grouping in language games ......................40

vi


LIST OF FIGURES AND CHARTS
Chart 1: The students’ individual participation in the first observation ...................28
Chart 2: The students’ individual participation in the second observation ...............32
Chart 3: The students’ opinion about learning speaking...........................................34
Chart 4: The students' opinion about the effect of language games on their
speaking

skill......................................................................................................35

Chart 5: The students’ opinions about the benefits of language games ....................36
Chart 6: The students’ attitudes towards the teacher’s instructions to the games ....38
Chart 7: The students’ difficulties when taking part in language games ..................39

vii


Chapter I: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale
Speaking skill is an important part of learning English. Those who learn
English always wish to use this skill as well as they can. Speaking English fluently is
the key that enables people to communicate with foreigners easily, accept the advance
of technology and get success in their jobs. Especially, in the era of globalization,
English oral proficiency has become much more necessary than ever as it is used in
every domain of the world. In Vietnam, English is one of compulsory subjects from
primary to tertiary education and speaking English has been taught for years with the
hope to help students communicate by this language successfully.
However, it is a fact that while many students study English grammar very
well, they cannot master it just because they get difficulties in their speaking. This
problem is really clear at Nguyen Hue high school where students have to face a
number of obstacles. First, geographical and economic conditions have led to limited
educational environment. Some students even do not have sufficient time and
materials to learn. In addition, the traditional approach and examination format
focusing on grammar and vocabulary appear to demotivate students. Most of the
English lesson time is spent on teaching and learning structures and new worlds,
students do not have much opportunity to practice speaking and eventually lose their
interest in learning speaking.
After two years working with mountainous students in English lessons, the
researcher found that more than a half of them have problem with the speaking skill.
They feel difficult to express their ideas and it often takes them long time to make
sentences or speak out the ideas despite the fact that they know the words and
structures. Moreover, their ability of language production is limited, they are not
productive and creative enough in English speaking skill. In many students’ opinion,
learning by heart dialogues and practicing repetition of drills are enough in speaking
classes. Though some techniques have been applied to raise their interests and
improve their oral skill, the results seem not to be acceptable. Students still find
speaking challenging and they are not confident enough to communicate in English.
Those reasons have driven the researcher to carry out the present study to apply
1


and evaluate the impacts of language games on speaking classes. With the title “The
Effects of Using Language Games on Speaking Ability of Students at Nguyen Hue
High School”, the paper is expected to be beneficial to teachers, students and those
who want to improve learners’ speaking skill.
1.2. Aims of the study
The principal purpose of the study is to help Vietnamese leaners improve their
English speaking skill, particularly those in mountainous areas by implementing
language games in speaking classes. In details, the study intends to investigate the
effects of using language games on students’ speaking and to gain understanding of
the students’ opinion and attitudes towards this technique.
Therefore, the research aims at answering two questions:
1. To what extent do language games affect the students’ English speaking
ability?
2. What are the students’ attitudes towards language games in their
English speaking classes?
1.3. Scope of the study
The research focuses on studying how using language games affects speaking
ability of 11th grade students at Nguyen Hue high school and how they evaluate
language games in their classes.
1.4. Significance of the study
The current study is believed to make important contributions in some ways.
First of all, the research results would help teachers and educators of English to
recognize how language games affect their speaking classes and then adjust their
teaching so as to meet the students’ needs. It can also provide teachers with possible
suggestions to improve the use of games in their classrooms. Second, through the
games in the classes, it is hoped that students will be more interested in learning
speaking and become more confident when communicating in English.
1.5. Outline of the thesis
As required, the paper will have such main parts as follows:
Chapter I: INTRODUCTION, presents statement of the problem and
rationale for the study, aims, scope, significance, and outline of the study.
2


Chapter II: LITERATURE REVIEW, clarifies theoretical background and
related studies relevant for the research.
Chapter III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY, elicits information related
to research questions, research methods, data collection, data procedure, coding
scheme, and data analysis.
Chapter IV: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION is the main part of the study
and will be divided into two subsections, correspondent to two research questions.
First, the extent to which language games influence students’ speaking ability is
reported. Subsequently, students’ attitudes towards the use of this strategy are
displayed.
Chapter V: CONCLUSION, summarizes essential findings, provides some
linguistic and pedagogical implications, and gives suggestions for further studies.
Besides, there should be REFERENCES and APPENDICES if any at the
end of the research.

3


Chapter II: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter is to present an overview of the theoretical background, which
consists of three main parts. The first part deals with the teaching speaking in general
and the teaching of this skill in Vietnamese education context in particular. The
second one discusses language games and their application in speaking classes.
Finally, related previous studies are considered to figure out how language games
have been utilized to teach speaking.
2.1. Speaking teaching
2.1.1. Definitions of speaking skill
As a part of daily life that people acquire since they are children, speaking
plays a significant role in communicating, thinking and learning in a language.
Therefore, various linguists and educators have attempted to define it. According to
Chaney (1998, p. 13), speaking is defined as “the process of constructing and sharing
meaning via the use of verbal and non – verbal symbols, in a variety of context.”
Cameron (2001) considers speaking as the active use of language to convey meanings
for other people to understand them. She adds that speaking is more difficult than
listening because it involves not only comprehension but also production. Also,
Hybel (2001) states that speaking is any process in which people share information,
ideas and feeling, and meaning of a message communicated via speaking is added by
body language, mannerism and style.
Speaking is described as a social, multi – sensory speech event, whose topic is
unpredictable (Thornbury & Slade, 2006). The social feature of speaking is typical
since it establishes relationships and mutual agreement, strengthens and changes
social identity and relates interpersonal skills. It is indicated through wishes, feelings,
attitudes, opinions and judgments. Besides, speaking is considered as a multi –
sensory event because speakers employ various paralinguistic features when they
speak such as eye contact, facial expressions, body language, tempo, pauses, voice
quality changes and pitch variation. Furthermore, topics of speaking are said to be
unpredictable but native speakers tend to own regularly used phrases during their talk.

2.1.2. The teaching of speaking
4


Mastering speaking skills is one of requisites when learning a second or
foreign language. Ur (2004) claims that “speaking seems intuitively the most
important: people who know a language are referred to as “speakers” of that
language … many if not most foreign language learners are primarily interested in
learning to speak” (p. 120). Besides, many consider improvement in oral proficiency
as the standard to evaluate the success of language learners or the effectiveness of a
language courses.
However, the concept of teaching and learning speaking has been addressed
differently in different periods. In the early 1970s, speaking was believed to be
“repeating after the teacher, reciting a memorized dialogue, or responding to a
mechanical drill” (Shrum and Glisan, 2000, p. 26). This approach concentrated on
proficiency at sentential level prevailing in Audiolingualism and Situational
Language Teaching. Since the 1980s, speaking has experienced significant shifts due
to the emergence of the constructs of communicative competence and proficiency.
The communicative competence theory has led to the development of communicative
syllabus, notional syllabuses and functional syllabus, as well as proposals of task –
based and text – based approaches. The focus of teaching speaking then was on
fluency that could be developed through various tasks requiring learners to attempt
real communication in spite of their limited proficiency in English.
Today the bottom line in teaching this skill is how to help learners move
beyond the level of linguistic competence (mastery of the linguistic system), to
achieve communicative competence (understanding of how to use English
appropriately for a range of different communicative purposes, particularly social
purposes, educationally – related purposes and work – related purposes) (Richard,
2008). In his paper in 2013, Richard also summarizes principles reflected by current
approaches to the teaching of speaking as follow: (1) Speaking and oral interaction is
seen as the basis for learning; (2) Non – native usage as well as native usage both
serve as models; (3) English for cross – cultural communication is a primary goal; (4)
Models in classroom materials are often informed by corpus analysis; (5) Functional
or other types of communicative syllabus predominate; (6) Both accuracy and fluency
are a primary goal with a greater tolerance of errors; (7) Oral proficiency is viewed
5


as dependent upon mastery of lexical phases and conversational routines; (8) Cultural
awareness is addressed; (9) Pair and group activities predominate in the classroom
(Richard, 2013).
Up to the present days, Kroeker (2009) summarizes three principal approaches
in the teaching of speaking a second or foreign language, namely the indirect
approach, the direct approach and indirect approach plus. In the indirect approach,
students develop their speaking skill when they actively take part in interactive
activities such as discussion, role-play, information gaps, and problem-solving
activities. It is expected that if the interactions carried out are meaningful, students
speaking proficiency will improve. Meanwhile, the direct approach is associated with
information about a systematic program of micro skills, communication strategy,
language input, and processes that lead to fluent speaking. The materials for direct
approach are provided by speaking analysis, second language acquisition and
discourse analysis. When students are taught aspects of speaking explicitly and have
opportunities to practice, their speaking ability will grow. This approach involves
recording speaking to recognize student weaknesses in reading real speaking
transcripts, observing good speaker, and identifying the differences between nonnative and native speaking. Finally, the indirect plus approach combines learnercentered training, language exposure, interactional activities and teaching speaking
as a spoken discourse. This approach emphasizes specific language input and
exposure to real speaking in a certain order of activities.
2.1.3. The teaching of English speaking in Vietnam
The considerable growth and expansion of English in Vietnam has been
witnessed since 1986 and was marked by the overall economic reform known as Đổi
mới (Renovation). At present, English is a compulsory subject at both lower and
upper secondary levels and an elective subject at primary level where English is
introduced from Form 3 – 5. At higher education level, English is regarded both as a
discipline and as a subject. Besides, various English courses have been offered by
different centers outside the Formal Educational System. The rapid development of
English is easily seen and the quality of English teaching and learning cannot be
denied. However, the teaching and learning of English in Vietnam are confronting
6


many obstacles. In the scope of this study, some problems in teaching English
speaking are going to be highlighted.
One of the first problems is related to the teaching approach. Although
teaching English has been said to follow communicative trend with the focus on
practical communication skills, the presence of communicative approach is not
clearly seen in classrooms (Hoang, 2010). Teachers of English have had opportunities
to attend training programs with a focus on training communicative teacher and are
interested in the new method; yet they continue teaching in the traditional ways. The
current situations of English classes are that teachers and students work mainly with
reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary exercises. Speaking and listening
are rarely taught though exercises for these two skills are designed in the textbooks.
The reason for this lies in the fact that the major motivation for teaching and learning
English is bound to examinations which do not test their speaking skill.
Secondly, according to Hoang (2010), the teaching and testing are not in
parallel. While communicative approach has been adopted as mentioned above, most
of the exams, including end – of – school and university entrance exams – focus on
reading comprehension, vocabulary and structural patterns. Furthermore, such
international exams as TOEFL, TOEIC or IELTS, which are suitable for measuring
the knowledge and skills of English of those who intend to study in an English –
speaking country, are adopted to assess the students’ English capacity at universities.
This appears to make matters more complex (Hoang, 2010). Nguyen et al (2015) adds
that the paradox between the policy of applying communicative trend and the absence
of oral skills in exams results from financial and time concerns. Clearly, the skills
which are not covered in the testing systems will not draw teachers’ and learners’
attention.
Another point to consider is associated with class time allocated for teaching
speaking. Many teachers claim that they do not have enough time to teach their
students speaking and communication although they wish to carry out these activities.
The time allocated for English in each semester was only enough for teaching
grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, and listening. The teachers will run out of
time if they include speaking and communication activities (Nguyen et al, 2015).
7


Teachers’ speaking ability also raises much concern. Not all teachers of
English are able to speak this language fluently, particularly those who work at lower
levels of education. A lot of teachers have never spoken English to a native speaker
and they mainly use Vietnamese in their classes. It is clear that many teachers cannot
help their students practice English speaking effectively when they are not competent
speakers themselves.
With reference to the problems in speaking classes, Dao (2017) summarizes
ten major findings: (1) Teachers let students use much Vietnamese to express the
ideas; (2) Teachers do not emphasise English as the medium of instruction; (3)
Students’ background knowledge of English is low; (4) Students are shy and afraid
of making mistakes and speaking in public; (5) Students lack motivation to speak
English; (6) The curriculum and textbooks do not contain sufficient amount of
exercise for speaking skills; (7) Students are not given enough time for speaking
practice; (8) Teachers do not frequently organize communicative task to enhance
students’ speaking skills like role-plays, discussion, debates; (9) The environment in
speaking class is not really exciting and motivating; and (10) The large class size
impede the efficacy of students’ speaking performance.
Above are some of various problems that Vietnamese teachers and learners
have to face when it comes to English speaking. Obviously, more attention should be
paid to improve the quality of teaching and learning English speaking.
2.1.4. Speaking activities
According to Brown (2000), teaching speaking includes showing the details
of how to communicate and negotiate the ever elusive meaning of language. In
speaking classes, teachers should be aware of various speech activities as they are
quite distinct in form as well as function and require different teaching approaches.
Harmer (1993) distinguishes two kinds of speaking activities: practice
activities and communicative activities. Practice activities are further divided five
into groups: oral drills, information gap activities, games, personalization and
localization, and oral interactions. Meanwhile, communicative activities are
composed

of

reaching

a

consensus,

discussion,

replaying

instruction,

communication games, problem solving, talking about yourself, simulation and
8


role play.
In Ur’s taxonomy, there are three main types of oral activities (Ur, 2004). The
first one is brainstorming activities, including guessing games, finding connections,
ideas from a central theme, and implications and interpretations. The second kind is
organizing activities with comparing, detecting differences, putting in order,
priorities, choosing candidates, layout problems, and combining versions. The last
ones are compound activities like composing letters, debates, publicity campaigns,
surveys, and planning projects.
Brown (2000) suggests a model of classroom speaking performance with six
major types, including imitative, intensive, responsive, transactional, interpersonal
and extensive. In the first type, learners imitate “human tape recorder” speech, for
example to practice an intonation contour or to try to pinpoint a certain vowel sound.
Imitation accounts for a very limited portion of classroom speaking time and is
conducted not for the purpose of meaningful interaction but for focusing on certain
element of language form. The second type, intensive speaking, includes any
speaking performance that is designed to practice some phonological or grammatical
aspect of language. It can be self – initiated or form part of some pair work activity
where learners are going over certain forms of language. Next, responsive speaking
refers to sort replies to teacher or students – initiated questions or comments. These
replies are usually sufficient and do not extend into dialogues. Transactional speaking
performance goes one step beyond responsive language. It is carried out for the
purpose of conveying or exchanging specific information, which may have more of
a negotiable nature. Interpersonal speaking (or dialogue) is carried out more for the
purpose of maintaining social relationships than for the transmission of facts and
information. Finally, extensive performance (or monologue) may include oral
reports, summaries or perhaps short speeches. This kind of speaking is often
conducted by intermediate or advanced students.
Whatever the activity is, the successful speaking activities share certain
characteristics. Ur (2004) identifies four criteria for assessing the success of students’
speaking. First, the more learners talk, the better the speaking result is. Second, every
student has equal chance and time to speak and classroom speaking is not dominated
9


by a group of participants. Third, learners are highly motivated and interested in the
speaking activity. Finally, the language level is acceptable in the sense that what they
speak is relevant and understandable to the other with an acceptable level of language
accuracy.
The choice and implementation of speaking activities are dependent on a
number of factors. Brown (2000) suggests some principles for designing speaking
techniques as follow:
(1) Use techniques that cover the spectrum of learners’ needs, from language
– based focus on accuracy to message – based focus on interaction, meaning, and
fluency. Make sure that our tasks include techniques designed to help students to
perceive and use the building blocks of language. Do not bore your students to death
with lifeless, repetitious drills.
(2) Provide intrinsically motivating techniques. Help the students to see how
the activity will benefit them. Often students do not know why we ask them to do
certain things; it usually pays to tell them.
(3) Encourage the use of authentic language in meaningful contexts. It takes
energy and creativity to devise authentic contexts and meaningful interaction, but
with the help of a storehouse of teacher resource material, it can be done.
(4) Provide appropriate feedback and correction. It is important to take
advantage of teachers’ knowledge of English to inject the kinds of corrective
feedback that are appropriate for the moment.
(5) Capitalize on the natural link between speaking and listening. When
teachers focus on speaking goals, listening goals may naturally coincide, and the two
skills can reinforce each other. Skills in producing language are often initiated
through comprehension.
(6) Give students opportunities to initiate oral communication. Part of oral
communication competence is the ability to initiate conversations, to nominate topics,
to ask questions, to control conversations, and to change the subject.
(7) Encourage the development of speaking strategies. Students have a chance
to practice such strategies like asking for clarification (what?), asking someone to
repeat something (Huh? Excuse me?), using fillers (Uh, I mean, well) in order to gain
10


time to process, and so on.
In conducting these activities, teachers play a significant role as instructor and
facilitators. Praneetponkran & Phaiboonnugulkij (2014) claim that English teachers
have at least four roles in a speaking lesson. First, when carrying out the
communication activities, teachers have a role of a prompter in helping students
because they may get stuck in expressing ideas or forgetting ideas. Second, teachers
are the participants. Next, teachers can be the judgers to give feedback to students’
performance. Then teachers finish doing the role in teaching when they make
evaluation on students’ progress in learning speaking skill. A speaking test might be
designed in the end of communication course.
2.2. Language games
In language teaching, students’ engagement is the decisive factor for the
success of the course. Nevertheless, many teachers fail to get students’ involved in
their lessons because they are bored with just sitting and listening to what the teachers
say. Teachers, therefore, are advised to apply various techniques to have students
engage their lessons. Using language games is one of the techniques that help to
increase students’ interests and involvement. This second major part of literature
review is to discuss the nature, the reasons for using its in classrooms, and types of
language games. Besides, principles to employ them are going to be presented.
2.2.1. Definitions of games
Games have been applied in classes of English as a tool to create a stress – free
atmosphere for the class. In language teaching and learning, games are regarded as a
significant teachers’ equipment which can be employed at any class stage and provide
learners an amusing break from formal schooling. Toth (1995) proposes an expansive
definition of game as follows:
“A game is an activity with rules, a goal and an element of fun. There are two
kinds of games: Competitive games, in which players or teams race to be the first to
reach the goal, and co – operative games, in which players or teams work together
towards a common goal. The emphasis in the games is on successful communication
rather than on correctness of language.” (Toth, 1995: 5).
Researchers also try to define games by identifying their typical features. For
11


example, Juul (2003) provides basic characteristics of games such as rule – based
nature, quantifiable outcomes (positive or negative value), a degree of challenge,
students’ involvement, and negotiable consequences. It can be seen that though
games are characterized by rules, they can often be modified in order to adjust a game
to learners’ characteristics, needs or skills so as to be exploited to the full.
2.2.2. Reasons for using language games
There are a number of reasons for employing language games in foreign
language lessons. The first point to consider is its element of fun nature. Currently,
many classes in general, and language classes in particular, cannot attract students. It
has been found that when learners are motivated and interested in the lessons, they
are more eager to take part in what they are learning. Therefore, creating an enjoyable
context is of great necessity to help learners absorb knowledge easily. Games are one
of the best choices to activate students because they can establish a stress free
environment for students to learn when they follow the rules to achieve the defined
goals. It is a fact that “language and play complement and enrich each other”
(Rooyackers, 2002: Preface). They are regarded as a background context provided so
that leaners can develop their lexicon, grammar knowledge or a habit of using
particular patterns in the second language. Ersoz (2000) stresses that teaching English
is not completely dependent on method and the best lesson may not successful due to
lack of fun and interest. When learners take part in enjoyable activities like games,
they will hold positive attitudes towards the target language, which motivates them
to pay more attention to the language lessons.
Secondly, that language games provide a link between school and real life
makes it deserve a place in the classroom. One of the main reasons for learning a
language is to use it in real life situations and games are a great way to practice using
the language. Games can reenact various situations from real life and as a result,
students have chances to be exposed to the target language in these situations. Clearly,
when schooling attaches to their real life, learners feel more comfortable with what
they are learning. Using games in classes, teachers are empowering students and they
are stepping out of the frontline to take more responsibility. “Games provide one way
for the learners to experience language rather than merely study it” (Wright et al,
12


2005, p. 2).
Another justification for using language games is that they inspire learners
emotionally. When students take part in a game, they experience a number of strong
emotions such as happiness, excitement and surprise, and these emotions help them
feel positively about their learning context and then likely to have a positive effect on
language learning. Learners’ feelings while they are working with the language are
important; therefore, teachers need to create situations to have students experience
these emotions.
Games are believed to beneficial for shy students and students with low
confidence. For instance, when games are implemented in smaller groups rather than
the whole class, students have chances to speak in front of fewer audiences and it is
easier for them to express themselves. It has been thought that games can encourage
students’ participation and remove the hesitations of those who feel intimidated by
formal classroom situations. Also, playing games enables students to lower their
anxiety because they have chance to comunicate their opinions and feelings (Fromme,
2003).
A considerable advantage of games is associated with the shift in roles of
teachers and learners in classroom. On one hand, games can change the role of the
teacher from a formal instructor to a manager or organizer of activities that students
enjoy participating in. therefore, games can be helpful in reducing teacher – student
gap or conflict. They can increase student – student communication and so decrease
the domination of the classroom by the teacher. On the other hand, games stimulate
learners to take more active role in their learning process by giving them more
opportunities to communicate in the language and placing more responsibility on
learning to direct their study. It can be said that learner – centeredness is an important
characteristic of language games that makes them valuable in classroom (Chen,
2005).
2.2.3. Types of language games
Games can be classified in many different ways. Depending on the focus and
functions, some researchers list a number of categories of games: structure games
(focused on syntax and technical aspects of language, vocabulary games (focused on
13


developing learners’ L2 lexicon), spelling, pronunciation or number games, listenand-go games, games and writing, miming and role-play, as well as discussion games.
On the basis of language skills, there are two main kinds of games: listening
and speaking games. It is often the case that reading and writing skills are entailed by
these two kinds. In listening games, also called receptive games, learners are exposed
to auditory input so their task might be to order the lines of a song or provide missing
words to a song lyric. Speaking games, or productive games, focus on oral production
and depend on learners’ age, proficiency level and speaking skills they have.
Examples of speaking games are taboo or “find someone who” (Sugar, 1998).
Hadfield (1998) also offers a classification of games including both linguistic
and communicative aspects. These games are sorting, ordering, or arranging games;
information gap games in which one or more people have information that other
people need to complete a task; guessing games; search games – a variant of
information gap games; matching games in which participants need to find a match
for a word, picture, or card; labeling games – a form of matching; exchanging games
in which students barter cards, objects, or ideas; board games like scrabble; and role
play games which involve students playing role that they do not play in real life.
Considering the tools and physical materials to play, Lewis and Bedson (1999)
divide games into six groups: board games, card games, drawing games, guessing
games, role-play games, and movement games. Board games refer to all kinds of
games which require moving pawns or markers along a board. Card games are
flexible games based on assembling cards which can have a gist or clearly serve as
symbols for actions or objects, disclosing, exchanging, sorting, and counting them.
Drawing games show a relatively specific feature since they traverse a gap between
the fundamental functions of the brain by stirring inventiveness and susceptibility
towards the world and raising their confidence. Guessing games may be used to
practice the use of particular linguistic forms such as “do you”, “are you”, or “is it”.
Role – play games trigger learners’ imagination and constitute tests of real
communication and simulation. Finally, movement games allow students to be
physically active to learn through the application of their natural predispositions and
inclinations.
14


Tài liệu bạn tìm kiếm đã sẵn sàng tải về

Tải bản đầy đủ ngay

×

×