Studiu de specialitate – Teaching English grammar through games

Autor: prof. Chircev Irina-Andreea
Școala Gimnazială ”Gheorghe Șincai” Florești, jud. Cluj

Students often choose English as their favourite school subject. They enjoy studying it both at school and outside the school environment. It is amazing how easily they pick up language from games, films and music! Students bring to school their fondness to the language, their eagerness to learn more about it and their motivation to learn how to use it as a tool for real communication with people from other countries.
As teachers, one should never underestimate the power of motivation and sustain it as much as possible by means of using fun activities, such as: games, songs and other creative activities. In an attempt to teach grammar creatively, we have used many games presented in the specialised literature and some have proven more useful than others. Some of the most effective such activities are presented below:
1. Ask the right question (Harmer, 2007, p. 223)
Level: elementary plus
Language: any
Type of activity: game
Procedure: Students sit in two teams. There is a pile of cards between them. On each card there is a word or phrase. The cards are face down. A member of team A picks up the first card and then has to ask the other team members questions until they give exactly the answer that is written on the card.
2. Putting sentences back together again (Harmer, 2007, p. 223)
Level: intermediate
Language: comparative and superlative
Type of activity: game
Procedure: Word-ordering activities can be used in a more game-like way. The teacher provides two sets of envelopes, each numbered 1-12, for example. In each envelope, there are two words that make up a sentence. Both envelopes marked 1 will have the same word cards, and there will be two envelopes for sentence number 2 and number 3, etc. The teacher then writes the numbers 1-12 on the board twice, once for each team. The two piles of envelopes are put at the front of the class. A student from each team comes up and selects an envelope, and takes it back to the team. When the team have rearranged the sentence and written down on a piece of paper what they think it should be, they cross off the relevant number of the envelope on the board. The first team to finish gets two bonus points. The teacher then looks at the sentences they have written down and each team gets a point for each correct sentence.
3. Present perfect poem (Rinvolucri, 1984, p. 81)
Level: elementary to intermediate
Language: present perfect simple
Type of activity: collaborative sentence-making game (fragment)