Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What? Why? How? When?

     Here are Some of the key ideas that were discussed and presented by both Irene McKay and Tina Intini. I am grateful to both of them for presenting such an outstanding workshop. What is forever engraved in my memory is the collaborative spirit they showed. While presenting the workshop , they taught us indirectly how two teachers could orchestrate well such an eye-catching workshop. It was obvious for everyone that they had worked in tandem for a long time. The workshop was well conceived . While the first presenter was responsible for presenting the theoretical background of the games, the second put them into practice. It was easy on the eye and ear. We were perfectly tuned in.

   What is a game? 
" A game is a competitive activity in which players contend with each other according to a set of rules"- dictionary.com
A language game is similar. It's a game in which students practice certain language structures while engaged in a competitive activity.
    Why do we play grammar games?
"It  is necessary to  provide students with an opportunity to use grammar structures in meaningful and engaging activities." Diane Larsen Freeman
 Benefits: 
*Affective: lowers anxiety ,develops learner confidence and independence, fosters creative and spontaneous language use
*Cognitive: context for meaningful communication, grammar reviewed and extended, fluency and automaticity, grammar reinforced communicatively, natural language use
*Strategic: learner centered, responsibility and independence facilitated. Class becomes cohesive, supportive. Games encourage participation of class, teams, individuals.
*Usefulness of games: adaptable for age, level, interest, practice all language skills.
     Why do we play Games?
* Make language learning easier, fun, encourage learners to take responsibility.
*Add variety, learners get a break from routine.
*Motivating
*Provide a reason for using language- learners want to get their ideas and messages across and need to understand others' messages.
*Provide meaningful contexts for language use.
*Foster interaction, cooperation, cohesiveness.
*Practice all language skills.
*Create an atmosphere conducive to language acquisition.
     How do we choose a game?
*The game must be appropriate to the lesson
*Keep students engaged, involved and interested.
*Games should be more just than fun.
*Games should focus on language use.
*Games provide an opportunity to practice, review and learn.
*Games should be chosen based on the teacher's knowledge of the class' strengths and weaknesses.
     When do we use games? 
*Any stage of the lesson
*Review, introduce, follow-up, practice or extend
*Should not be relegated to the beginning or end of class
*Should not be used as a time filler

    Eventually , I would like to share this quote with you  "The network is opening up some amazing possibilities for us to reinvent content, reinvent collaboration." Tim O'Reilly