As part of my weekly ECA (Extra Curricular Activity) with my Grade One classes, I use games to promote language learning.
App developers are latching onto the ‘Fun Factor’ for their educational games seeing the demand and success from students, parents, and educators around the globe. In sync with this trend, Apple has added a new category in their App Store, Education – Kid’s category, so both parents and educators can keep afloat in the sea of Apps that are available. There is also a new category, Apps for Teachers. You can browse new categories that contain apps grouped for Subject and Grade Level.
Games are another useful strategy to promote students’ language proficiency, since they involve many factors: rules, competition, relaxation, and most importantly, personal engagement with group dynamics. The main focus of using games in ECA is to help students develop interactive and collaborative skills using a multilingual approach. Through playful exploration, problem solving and a variety of communication skills, many students thrive in this play environment. Games are also a valuable part of my lessons. Variety, movement, and pacing are my key recommendations to other educators and parents.
It is important that rules are kept to a minimum, modeling game procedures in a playful manner, with student involvement in demonstrating basic game rules. This can be achieved by simple drama techniques in a expressive, exaggerated fashion allowing students to interact/engage using simple language, gestures, and miming.