Everyone loves a game!
People in every country participate in games, watch games and talk about games. They stimulate the economies of the world and foster international friendship and understanding. Why don’t we use more games in our educational systems? Why do the students spend so much time memorizing basic facts when a game would foster enthusiasm and facilitate learning?
Games can make the classrooms of any culture an exciting place to learn. When games are a part of the lesson the children arrive with smiling faces and before they take off their coats they ask, “Can we play Bingo?” This gives the teacher a big advantage. He or she can say, “Yes, we’ll play Bingo but we have to finish other things first. Universally children accept this as being fair and are ready to begin on the more difficult content of the lesson.
What can an ESL Bingo Game teach?
Let’s look at what English Second Language students need to learn. They need to learn: vocabulary, grammar, to listen, to speak in sentences, and to understand sentence structure. Click on the images below to see how these can all be taught using Picture Bingo or Word Bingo.
Games can keep them coming back to class.
Your class attendance will improve if you introduce some games. While we were teaching in Budapest we taught English as volunteers in one of the city’s schools. After the first couple of classes we told the administration that the classes were too large. They said not to worry because some students would drop out as the attendance was voluntary. By the end of the first week the children were asking if their friends could come to class too. So, our classes grew, we dealt with the numbers and had a lot of fun.
Children love to play tricks for the prizes.
The winner of a game is given a simple prize that can be a sticker, stamp, or even just a star drawn on the back of his or her book. They compete with each other to have the most stamps, stickers or stars. During one game with a group of children of about nine eight years old, I saw that something funny was taking place. The game went on and on and no one was getting Bingo. Finally they all called BINGO at once. Now everyone got a prize! They went home happy and very pleased with the trick they had played on me!
There are many games that can be played in an ESL class although Bingo is certainly the most successful. Picture Bingo teaches the students to listen and understand while Word Bingo emphasizes learning the vocabulary. Try using games. They make teaching a lot more fun.