Thursday, May 10, 2007

Adult ESL and Games

Are games effective for teaching ESL to adults? There are thousands of websites with ESL games for adults, so there must be a demand. During my TESOL certification class, I was taught a few games to use for teaching adults English as a Second Language. And when we asked our instructor about using games to teach ESL to adults, the instructors were adamant about the use of games. But how do adult learners feel about using games to learn ESL?

Every ESL student that I’ve spoken to about using games for ESL learning have told me that they do not appreciate games in the classroom. They are almost adamant about games being a waste of time. Yet, ESL teachers insist on using them. Perhaps there is a balance or a limit to how many games (or what type should be used in the classroom).

As a private one-on-one tutor, I don’t use games to teach my students. I probably would occasionally use some games if I taught more than one student at time. Depending on the personality of the students, I may use games employing competition or games using cooperation. In either case, I would use them very sparingly.



Richard Edwards said...

Hi Debra - I used games with my adult learners (they were Burmese, early 20s) and they loved it. Especially the more competitive games.

In fact, they enjoyed one so much it inspired me to create an online grammar test based on one, Grammar Gambling. (Hope you like it).

Maybe it was because they were in a group - with dedicated, individual learners it might have been different. It would feel strange to do it, now that I think about it. I think they'd feel like it was 'below' them.

- Richard

Name: Debra Garcia, M.A. said...

Interesting concept, Richard. I'm guessing that in the future you might develop your site for "real" gambling, i.e., with real money?

For now, it seems like a fun thing for English Language Learners to try.