from A Journey in TEFL
Last week I explained how to reduce relative clauses into phrases to my 11 graders and they were all confused. Then I distributed the handouts I prepared for them to practise and asked them to rewrite the sentences. While doing the exercises they were bored and they couldn’t even get the idea.
The following day I played a game with them and they were more confident in the end.
The game was one of my favourites, noughts and crosses, as I can adapt it to many grammar topic.
I wrote sentences on slips of papers and put them in an envelope. I divided my class into two teams and told them how to play the game. They had to choose a box from the grid all together as a team and one by one in turns, they had to take a slip of paper from the envelope and reduce the relative clause. I allowed them to look at their notes while waiting for their turn and in the end the victory was for all of us.
I gave them pos- it notes and asked them to write feedback. I also asked them to compare doing exercises and playing grammar games.
My students were happy with the game and they explained the pros and cons of playing games in classroom very well.
We focused on the rules.
We were more careful
We tried to learn and remember the rules not to lose the game
We saw our mistakes
We wanted to win
We remember better
We practised the relative clauses
We had fun.
It was more enjoyable than writing on a handout
We did something like competition and it makes you try harder
Losing a game is not good
I get so nervous when I play a game
We could have practised more if I did them on handouts
In every classroom, you will find competitive students who will enjoy playing games and in every classroom you will have students who will become unhappy when s/he loses a game. But life is a game and we should learn how to play, how to survive, how to win and we should also learn how to overcome stress.