Have you ever thought how important the feeling of pleasure from the process of learning is? No? In the group of students where there is a vast discrepancy and variety of personalities, talents or opinions, the need to be relaxed from time to time while learning seems to be common to every student. In order to satisfy your needs for relaxation your teacher can use games, quizzes or jokes. If he/she has not included them in the lesson yet, ask him/her to do it. Games, quizzes, jokes apart from the therapeutic effect, also provide learners with language practice, where students can use new language in different contexts.
As Prodromou suggests “a game is an enjoyable activity involving an objective that is achieved by following certain rules, usually in competition with one or more other people” (1992:120). In addition, games are funny, and if learning can be made enjoyable, you will learn more. Moreover, games can teach and serious work takes place in the context of a game.
Games can provide practice in all the skills you are acquiring (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and can be used at any stage of the lesson. Apart from the language practice, games provide you with the use of language that is task-oriented. That is why games help bring your learning closer to the authentic world.
Another important advantage of using games is the feeling they can give you, namely the feeling of being an independent learner. While playing a game, the teacher’s assistance is limited, students can rely on themselves.
The best games to choose from are card and board games, games that depend on cooperation in analysing problems and searching for solutions to them.
If you want to present your cognizance of other subject than English, ask your teacher for quizzes. Apart from their purely linguistic purposes, they can focus on students’ general knowledge. Tell your teacher what your interests are e.g.: geography, bicycle riding, and ask about quizzes including questions from students’ interests. It can maximize your motivation and the number of correct answers of the questions. If you are a more ambitious student, create your own quizzes for other members of your group.
Another relaxing activity that can provide you with the feeling of pleasure and enjoyment are jokes. We all like jokes, don’t we. Jokes may break down barriers between you and your teacher or between you and other members of your group. However, the problem of jokes is not as simple as it first appears. Humour is often connected with particular culture, so mind you if your group is international. Moreover, in jokes’ comprehension, complex skills are involved. In the attempt to make interferences and establish coherence students may lose the ‘idea’ of the joke and the outburst of laughter does not come at once, or even does not come at all. That is why ask your teacher for jokes with multiple choice exercises, where students have to choose the punch line. They will allow you to look for patterns of surprise and reinterpret a joke.
In conclusion, games quizzes and jokes make learning an enjoyable experience. They are humours and allow you to be familiarized with the material by providing practice in a fun context. In addition, fun activities can be the way of building your confidence and trust in your potential. What is more, they can help you to break the ice with other members of your group and develop cooperation in the pleasant atmosphere.
So, if your teacher is very reluctant to incorporate the above mentioned activities, search for them on your own. There are loads of games, quizzes, jokes on the Internet. Choose the scope you want to practise and make your learning enjoyable.
Bibliography: Prodromou, L. 1992. Mixed Ability Classes, London and Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers LTD
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