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English learning games are ideal for students having different learning styles


Methods of learning have been deeply analyzed for the past few decades, and several innovative and amazing models have been proposed in due course of time by different researchers. Till date the finer aspects of the same are still debated, most of the experts in the field in principle agree on 4 basic learning styles such as auditory learners, visual learners, kinesthetic learners, & tactile learners. In fact there seems to be a huge overlap between the tactile & kinesthetic format of learning, and the same would be applied here.

Being a teacher, do you give due importance to the learning styles? At the very outset you need to analyze and figure out your primary teaching style, and if you are inclined to lectures or indulge in worksheets or role-plays, it is imperative that you work out your very own style so that it syncs well and complements your students learning styles. The process to supplement your learning style needs material and activities and a flexible approach to bring in the fun element, and this is the point where English games play a very pivotal role. The varied games as well as their unique combination of different modes of learning makes them most ideal supplements to add up to your teaching skills.

Auditory Learners 

Students who tend to gain a lot from lectures, tapes, verbal explanations, & oral instructions are normally classified as auditory learners and language games based on listening are ideal for these category of learners and the process involved is dictation, repetition, & hearing for clues.

Recitation games: Such games are tuned to involve students to indulge in repeating the language that has been shown or penned for them. Some of the interesting examples of such games are Jazz Chants, Chinese Whispers, & Karaoke Night. In Japan, Karaoke Night is very popular game, whereby most of the students participate in singing for the workmates, and students may often seek your assistance to prepare a song in English which they can use for a business party.

If you are imparting lessons to adults, and people who are from the old school of thought and have a conservative attitude towards life, you may use a Jazz chants variation accompanied by a short rhythmic dialog & a metronome, or hand clapping, and stress on the fluency practice. The historical facts about Jazz in the US could be an interesting topic for students who are learning English as a hobby or for travel purposes.

Listening Games: It has observed that EFL students studying English in their native country tend to get bogged down and express fears and concerns that they are able to understand their teacher but fail to comprehend the other native speakers. For the language classroom it is idealistic to practice listening by making use of videos or tapes with brief dialogs for listening games like Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt, which is focused in locating the relevant vocabulary words on several tapes at numerous listening stations.

You may even make apt use of Cloze Passages, a format where the students can listen to some prepared tape while reading the transcription and at the same time filling in blanks with appropriate words that they have just listened.

Also ,Jigsaw listening is another excellent process for team building game, where the teams send their representatives to varied listening stations, after which they try reconstructing the story while all the listeners have returned to provide the feedback. Such games have the potential to help students to learn and optimize the use of TV & radio broadcasts in English to perform by themselves.

Quiz & Story building games: Auditory learners of any level who are on the transition journey from basic questions such as spelling & definitions to more difficult ones such as asking a word to be used in a phrase, grammar rules explanation or cultural trivia, can make use of the innovative Quiz games such as grammar knockout kind of games, Jeopardy, listening memory games to make their transition period interesting and enriching.

Auditory learners have the other option to opt for story & sentence building games such as Madlibs, which may be purchased from the store or made at home, where the students undertake to fill in words to fabricate funny & nonsensical stories. Such formats of games need excellent and exceptional listening skills as the students are tuned to keep track of what would be required in the next turn, moreover they may be left up with verbal recap of their finished story or phrase allowing students to evaluate their understanding.

Visual Learners 

Visual learners have a different strategy, they like to read silently and subsequently making good use of any illustrations that come with the text. They prefer to learn with written instructions and would want you to enact the situations or watch a demo or watch presenting scenarios in the videos. If you happen to encounter a student who is more apt in retaining what he reads rather than what he hears, you have a fit case for visual learning. There are tons of freely available language games which work as a complete package for these students, and at the same time help non-visual learners optimize the use of cues to horn their learning and using language skills.

Board Games: You will find numerous commercial board games for classrooms are found in plenty, and even you can design your own ones. “Folder Games” is a process of making game boards often based upon commercial boards and can be used to practice grammar, phonics, spelling &vocabulary. The boards can be laminated out in to a manila folder and the pieces & cards of the game can be stuck in a baggies stapled towards the inside.

Picture games: Picture games means playing anything while focusing on the picture, and this may include picture flashcards, or adapting Jeopardy to make use of picture prompts. Picture captioning and comic strip re-writes is another innovative method of learning for advanced students. If you choose to make use of comics from various countries you may get involved in a fruitful exercise and make a platform to discuss what constitutes humor in various countries. Most of the students reach a specific level of advanced English & then plateau, and one of the causes for this could be that they have a tough time to transit their English skills outside of basic or academic survival situations. The study of humor with the aid of visual games can help to cover up the distance.

Reading Games: Reading is a very important skill for all students and visual learners can optimize this skill to upgrade themselves. Some of the excellent and enriching reading games are Reading treasure hunts with color coded pencils, and involves students to seek for particular parts of speech or vocabulary, makes you skilled in skimming and reviewing grammar and or vocabulary.

Tactile & Kinesthetic Learners 

Tactile & kinesthetic learners can be classified as students who have no skills to comprehend and analyze what you may teach them in a conventional lecture or by worksheet lesson. These learners have a different mindset and are more tuned to a different way of learning. For instance, kinesthetic learners are at their best when they can use their whole body to finish practice exercises, while tactile learners are also physical learners, though they prefer learning from model building & hands on instructions format.

An extensive research conducted in the late 1980s (Reid, 1987) concluded that self-reported preference among English language learners for language lessons was Tactile/Kinesthetic by overwhelming majority and hug margin. This proves that it is imperative to try and put together more physical and experimental elements in to the English lessons.

How do you define whether a game is Kinesthetic or tactile? You may explore games that tend to involve entire body responses, or indulges the students to touching or moving the things around as a part of game activity. Games combined and packaged with such elements are associating physical activity & touch with particular purposes. They can be duly classified in three categories: Touch games, Spatial Games & Craft Games.

Touch games are very simple in format and basically involves like real items in a bag, as enabling students to touch the contents in the bag and perform specific tasks, and these tasks differentiate the level of complexity. The simplest format involves the student to identify the objects they touch in the bag, and this is a vocabulary format of game. In order to make it more complex, the students are assigned to describe their inner feelings, while the remaining class indulges in making a guess of the same.

Spatial games: Spatial games could be both kinesthetic & tactile and involves rearranging or repositioning objects or individuals and comprise of conventional games such as charades & less traditional ones such as Population Punctuation, and this format stipulates that one individual in class has a card with words or punctuations on it and he or she tries to arrange people at the front of the class making a correctly punctuated sentence according to the cards and using as many people as is possible in the process.

Craft Games:

The craft games are formatted and structured in such a way that any game where students have to actually assemble something, for instance in a game like Lego Negotiations, students will have to enter in to negotiations for certain pieces with other teams which will enable them to create their Lego creature as per the directions provided to them. This task can even be accomplished with homemade tangrams if you have no access to Legos. Besides this the map drawing is another innovative example, and it could be packaged with elements of auditory learning, as the students would be advised by the teacher as what needs to be drawn on the map.

Variety brings Success Language games that are equipped to address various learning styles in the classroom in the easy and simple format. You have the potential to make a wealth of learning prospects by putting students at ease and then stimulating their creativity and senses. Such opportunities are not only for learning language, but to broaden the learning styles of the students and to include those that are not on priority.

The above article is written by Native English Tutor Wonderland. No copyright infringement is allowed. Please respect copyright and show the URL and source of the article if you want to make use of the above article. Thanks

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