ELTon Award Nominee

Truth or Dare for English Language Learners was nominated for the 2012 ELTon Award for Innovation in Learner Resources. The ELTon Awards is a program of the British Council designed to "recognise and celebrate innovation in the field of English language teaching," Nominated ESL and EFL learning resources are assessed on the basis of three criteria: innovation, practicality and effectiveness.

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Designed especially for Adult ESL and EFL Learners
Truth or Dare for English Language Learners

Opinions 4: A Variety of Insights

Curiosity Killed the Cat

The final three general opinion questions are all over the map thematically and simply represent topics I was curious about. The first one involves whether instructors are deploying games in the classroom as often as they would like. One of the reasons for getting into the business of designing games in the first place was the observation that devising effective classroom materials is a time consuming process often precluded by the demands of lesson planning, administrative duties and, of course, the instructional role. Teachers need access to highly presentable, high quality, reusable materials, games included, to take some of the pressure off. That 65% agree with the statement "I should probably use games more often" seems to support that long-held belief. One of the barriers that teachers are up against is simply a matter of time constraints. Using games is fine but not always possible when you have to make them yourself.

The Elements of Lingo

The second of the miscellaneous opinion questions concerns the perceived effectiveness of game-like activities vis-à-vis different attributes of language learning. I was surprised to see that oral production ranked as high as it did in both the global conversation practice and the speaking categories. In the numerous games that I've designed I've always aimed to foster uninhibited oral output and recognize how hard it is to achieve.

Recognition Runs Deep

The final question in this section is related to the dynamics of bringing materials to the classroom. I recognize a lot of the people I have met over the years in the numbers. In how many other industries would 21% of the employees go out and purchase essential matériel? Teachers do it all the time. That 26% would try bypassing the limitations of personal budgets and parsimonious administrators by knocking off commercial offerings is no surprise either when I recall the countless times I've seen teachers chopping up little bits of paper, gluing or taping other bits in a rush to beat the clock. I've been fortunate that I've never had a request for resources turned down by a school. The roughly 40% who would go that route are equally fortunate. Forty percent is a good number but administrators need to be more supportive still.

Comments:

I don't know of many commercial ESL games.
I think we should incorporate the use of games in classrooms. But I don't know where to get those commercial games for ESL. :-(
I am not at all aware of where to get good games for the adult ESL classroom. I'd love to know!
Make them more affordable!
I have much more trouble using games with classes with behavior problems because they cannot stay on task in groups. It also takes a lot of time to make any games, which limits the games I can play with my students. I think games are great, but those are some of my challenges.
I appreciate most the commercial materials that provide a game idea that I can apply in various ways to my own particular class.

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