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A Fun Reading Quiz Game

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A Fun Reading Quiz Game
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  12/2/2015 Raman-A Fun Reading Quiz Game (I-TESL-J)file:///H:/publications/EFLJ-languaging-others/Raman-A%20Fun%20Reading%20Quiz%20Game%20(I-TESL-J).htm 1/3 The Internet TESL Journal A Fun Reading Quiz Game Madhavi Gayathri Ramangayathriraman [at] yahoo.comCentral Institute of English and Foreign Languages (Hyderabad, India)Reading is seen as a boring task for most students attending language classes on a professionalcourse. This game shows how reading can be made an exciting activity if it is presented in theform of a quiz. Introduction A lack of interest in attending language courses is a persistent problem that most teachers teaching English tostudents enrolled in professional courses face. And when language classes are attended, the biggest challengelies in motivating students to read. While teaching on a communications course to first year engineeringstudents, we found that one way of motivating students to read, improve their study skills and promote peer teaching/learning and group dynamics was to turn the reading activity into a quiz. Procedure Students were provided with a reading text. They were asked to read the entire text once individually. The students were then divided into two groups. The text was also divided into two sections of approximatelyequal length. Each group was assigned one half of the text. The two groups were instructed to read the passages assigned to them. They then had to frame questions based on the passage that they would pose tomembers of the opposite group. The teacher then laid down a few guidelines that they had to follow while preparing the questions. The questions framed had to include comprehension questions, both global andinferential, vocabulary items and grammar items. The students were told that they could use different exercisetypes such as true/false, yes/no, providing words from the text that matched a particular dictionary meaning,synonyms, antonyms and so on. They were encouraged to use the dictionary while framing questions. Eachmember of the group had to contribute at least two questions. After having prepared the questions they wereasked to read the other half of the passage as they would have to answer questions based on it (they would be asked questions by the opposite group). Once all the questions had been prepared and the groups were ready to begin the quiz, the rules of the gamewere laid down. Each person in a group got a chance to ask a question to a member of the opposite group.This was to ensure that every one got a chance to ask a question and answer one as well. The person whoasked the question would decide if the answer was the correct one. In case of doubt or any disagreement, theteacher would step in and mediate. Each correct answer was worth one point. Each team was given a timelimit of two minutes to answer a question. Prompting a team member was discouraged. All the students weretherefore required to read the text well. The team with the maximum number of points would be declared thewinner. Once the students began working on the specific texts assigned to them we found that:  12/2/2015 Raman-A Fun Reading Quiz Game (I-TESL-J)file:///H:/publications/EFLJ-languaging-others/Raman-A%20Fun%20Reading%20Quiz%20Game%20(I-TESL-J).htm 2/3 they engaged with the text with a degree of intensity and thoroughness that we had not seen earlier.they used their dictionaries to look up meanings of new words. Entries with multiple meanings werelooked at more carefully and clarifications were sought from the teacher about their use. They began to pay more attention to symbols accompanying the entries like PHV, IDM. Usually, the students ignoredthe information conveyed by these symbols.each member of the group participated actively in the preparation of questions. Even those who weregenerally quiet in class took interest in the activity. Possible questions were suggested and while somewere accepted others were rejected on the grounds that they were too easy or direct. At all times, theendeavor was to pose challenging questions to members of the opposite group.one group subdivided itself into smaller groups and each group took up the responsibility of preparinga set of questions for different exercise types. They then got together and compiled the entire set of questions.group members ensured that the weaker members of their group had looked at some of the moreimportant points in the text carefully so that they wouldn’t lose points. In fact, some very covert prompting did occur until members of the opposite group objected! The point we would like to stresshere is that everyone was involved in the activity and more importantly the students themselves did theteaching/learning.due to the nature of the exercise, the students were relaxed. Since it was perceived of as a game,anxiety levels were low and all were motivated to participate. It is in a well-known fact that a learningsituation that has a “low affective filter” (Krashen, 1987) reduces anxiety and makes learners morecomfortable. This encourages them to use language and learning becomes more effective (Littlewood,1995).Finally and most importantly, the students read a text entirely on their own without realizing that they were performing a task that most of them disliked - READING. Conclusion This kind of activity is one way of motivating students to read and sustaining their interest in reading. Whenreading becomes a game it takes away the monotony that they appear to associate with the act of engagingwith the printed page. Instead the game aspect comes to the foreground. The student believes he is playing agame (of course some smart ones realize what is actually happening!) and the teacher succeeds in getting himto read without his getting bored. As the students start reading more complex passages, the teacher can modify the rules of the game to includemore challenging exercise types. Groups can be asked to prepare exercises for their classmates which canthen be exchanged. References Krashen, S.D. (1987). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. New York: Prentice-Hall.Littlewood, W. (1995). Foreign and Second Language Learning. Cambridge:CUP.The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. X, No. 8, August 2004http://iteslj.org/http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Raman-ReadingGame.html  12/2/2015 Raman-A Fun Reading Quiz Game (I-TESL-J)file:///H:/publications/EFLJ-languaging-others/Raman-A%20Fun%20Reading%20Quiz%20Game%20(I-TESL-J).htm 3/3
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