Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Effectiveness of Games as a Supplementary Material in Teaching Selected Grammar Lessons to Grade Two Students of MGC New Life Christian Academy
The problem and its background
In the article “The Traffic Cop Syndrome” by Eric Pollock, published in December 2003 by the Asian EFL Journal, Pollock mentioned that over twenty years ago, Long (1983) suggested that the teacher made very little difference in the development of a student's language ability. When comparing language learning to the time spent on it in class on a whole, it could reasonably be argued that the teacher could do very little in improving a student's ability in a relatively short amount of time. If a student spends more or less three hours a week in class, what do they do with the other 165 hours of the week?
Language learning has come along way since then. The student has become the center of the language classroom (Tudor, 1996), and the role of the teacher has been to one of enabling the student to develop their own language abilities as they see fit (Benson & Voller, 1997). This is a more holistic approach and considers the various aspects of the individual's needs to learn language. This is where the use of games in the classroom comes in. Games have long been advocated for assisting language learning. Games are student-centered in such that students are active in playing the games, and games can often be organized such that students have the leading roles, with teachers as facilitators. This way, students would not realize it immediately, but they are actually learning at the same time that they are playing the game. Play is an integral part of childhood, and as children play together, they’re not only having fun but are learning valuable skills as well. As quoted by Genevieve Roth, “Playing is a child's natural way of learning.” So games should not only be looked at simply as child’s play, but rather a tool that can (and should) be used for teaching English. Games can be a safe opportunity to practice teaching without fear of ridicule. Due to the competitive nature of many games, they can provide a great sense of accomplishment for many students and their teammates as they watch their progression. (Games to Teach English Learners By International Teacher Training Organization).
Background of the Study
The researcher is a rookie in teaching. It is her first time to be in the teaching profession. Although she is an education graduate, it took her years before she finally heeded the calling of being a teacher. In her early days of teaching Grade 2 elementary students, one thing she can be sure of is that these students are still kids and have not overcome their love for games yet. So the researcher has tried several methodologies in teaching just to get the students’ attention to stay on the lesson. One method that seems to work best is the use of games in teaching. But how effective are games and how important is it on improving the teaching methodologies of teachers and the learning strategies of the students?
The article dated Sept 2005 - Volume 7. Issue 3 Article 1 published by Asian EFL Journal, has enumerated quite a number of reasons why games should be used in language teaching. The following are some of the reasons stated. (1) Games add interest to what students might not find very interesting. Sustaining interest can mean sustaining effort (Thiagarajan, 1999; Wright, Betteridge, & Buckby, 2005). After all, learning a language involves long-term effort. (2) Games provide a context for meaningful communication. Even if the game involves discrete language items, such as a spelling game, meaningful communication takes place as students seek to understand how to play the game and as they communicate about the...
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