CRITICAL READING RESPONSE Communicative Game-Based Learning in EFL Grammar Class: Suggested Activities

CRITICAL READING RESPONSE Communicative Game-Based Learning in EFL Grammar Class: Suggested Activities
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  CRITICAL READING RESPONSE “ Communicative Game-Based Learning in EFL Grammar Class: Suggested Activities and Students’ Perception”  Siti Aisyah PBI-1/7 th  Semester State Islamic University of North Sumatera Introduction As we know that grammar is one of the important things in English. But many students complain and don't like learning grammar because they think that grammar is difficult, just like math. For this reason, teachers should apply interesting methods so that students are not bored and interested in learning grammar. I hold the same opinion with this article because we know that games provide language teachers with many advantages when they are used in the classroom. Gülin (2011) states that one of these advantages is that learners are motivated to learn the language when they are in a game. McCallum (1980, p. Ix) in Gülin, emphasizes this point by suggesting that "games automatically stimulate student interest, a properly introduced game can be one of the highest motivating techniques." Avedon (1971; Quoted in Deesri, 2002, p. 2) in Gülin further argues that "games spur motivation and students get very absorbed in the competitive aspects of the games; moreover, they try harder at games than in other courses ". In other words, games stimulate students' interest in classroom activities and as a result, students become motivated and willing to learn. Summary The journal by Rahmah Fithriani entitled Communicative Game-Based Learning in EFL Grammar Class: Suggested Activities and Students’ Perceptio n explained that grammar has an important role to provide the basis of four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Most English teachers in Indonesia still apply the traditional method of teaching grammar, where the teacher focuses on explaining the formulas and examples of questions then students are required to memorize each formula and give examples of other sentences by the formulas that have been memorized. This method makes students feel bored and complain  because they think learning grammar is difficult. In this case, they are asked to memorize formulas and then work on the problems. The traditional method is also considered  ineffective in developing learner's communicative competence. This article provides alternative solutions in teaching grammar with the game method, which can help students to encourage their communicative competence. This research was conducted with 30 adult EFL learners by giving them a pre and post questionnaires study and also doing an interview. The findings indicated that this method can change students' perceptions that learning grammar is not difficult and fun and by learning grammar can improve their perceived communicative skills. In the article explained that the writer applies three types of game-based grammar activity, namely Guessing the Word, Board & Dice Game, and Run & Guess. The article also explained how to implement the three types of game-based grammar activity in learning grammar. The results show that there are differences in students' perceptions about learning grammar before and after applying game-based activity. The finding indicating game helps make grammar lessons entertaining, relaxing, enjoyable, and can provide more opportunities for students to practice their communicatively and can help them to improve their communicative skills. Critique  In the teaching and learning process, teachers should be able to apply interesting methods so that students do not get bored in following the learning. One of them is implementing games in the learning process. In this journal, the author attaches 3 types of game-based grammar activity and how to apply it in grammar learning. I hold the same opinion to this article to apply the game to make the learning more entertaining because the students will feel interesting and enjoy. Zhu (2012) state that “ using games in English class can get students relaxed and enjoying using the language. Game playing is effective in developing students’  communicative ability in that it is a dynamic process of communication in which students as thinking beings, emotional beings and communicators instead of knowledge receptacles, try to get their ideas, concepts, thoughts, emotions and feelings expressed, based on their own life experiences .” In addition, in Zhu (2012) stated that games may help and encourage many learners to support their interest and work (Wright 2006). Games can increase motivation to learn the language as students, especially the weaker ones, feel a real sense of achievement when they manipulate a game (Hubbard 1987). Games can  provide quite extensive knowledge input. Games can increase students' communication and co-operation with each other. And games can act as a testing mechanism through which they will expose areas of weakness and the need for remedial work. So games is an effective method to improve student’s communicating ability.    But in the article, the author did not write about the suggestion of using games in English class. I mean that the author did not write the advantages and disadvantages of the game and which is the best to apply. Nedomová in Yolageldili (2011) underlines the fact that we “should consider whether the game -like activity is for children only to make the lesson more attractive and protect them from being bored or whether we tend to revise and practise some particular part of grammar, vocabulary, etc.” Zhu (2012) states that there are four elements which should be taken into consideration when playing games in English class. Teachers should keep them in mind and apply the above-discussed games to the practical situation appropriately to achieve the best results. 1.   Time The amount of teaching time devoted to games depends on the individual teaching content, but it will probably be a relatively small proportion of the total teaching time. They can be used to open or close a lesson in a stimulation way, to  punctuate a lesson, to relieve tension after a test or concentrated practice session, or at any time that the teacher feels appropriate. They must be used positively, to give students enjoyment and useful practice. 2.   Choice In each category of the game mentioned above, there are different kinds of games. So the teacher must take many factors into account when deciding which game would be most appropriate and most successful with his or her students at any time. He or she should consider the level of the students, the main aim of having a game, the interest of the students, the appropriate time to use a game and the availability of aids and materials. 3.   Preparation Games maybe good fun but they need to be carefully prepared and organized. Firstly, the teacher should find a good game in a book or invent one. Then he or she must be sure that the necessary facilities are available. An overhead projector can be very useful if one is available. If not, a typewriter and cards and the objects needed should be prepared in advance. Also, the teacher should ensure clear handwriting on  paper or cards so that the students will take the teacher's intentions seriously. Finally, the teacher must work out how the game is to proceed, what the students will need to  do and how they will be instructed on what to do. It is important to try to anticipate any logistic or linguistic problems that may occur to be able to deal with them effectively. 4.   Management The teacher must decide in advance how to organize the students and the classroom so that the setting up of a game can be carried out as quickly and smoothly as possible. It is advisable to encourage pair and group work where possible, as this will increase student participation and the amount of language practice offered to each student will be much greater. While the students are working, it is useful for the teacher to keep a close eye on pairs or groups to help, correct or stimulate less active students. The teacher should stop a game and change to something else before the students become tired of it. In this way, their willingness and concentration are retained. Conclusion Game-based learning is one of the effective methods of grammar learning. because traditional methods are enough to make students bored because they are required to memorize formulas and make examples of new sentences based on the formulas given. It also does not improve students' communicative abilities. So we as prospective teachers should choose an appropriate method in presenting learning for students. References  Fithriani, R. (2018a). Communicative game-based learning in EFL grammar class: Some suggested activities and students’ perceptions.  Journal of English Education and  Linguistics Studies , 5(2), 171-188. Yolageldili, G., & Arikan, A. (2011). Effectiveness of using games in teaching grammar to young learners.  Elementary Education Online , 10(1), 219-229. Zhu, Deguang. (2012). Using Games to Improve Students' Communicative Ability.  Journal of Language Teaching and Research , 3(4), 801-805.
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