Why should it be boring?
In general people think that studying is boring and, in fact, it should not be. The great challenge is to make a class a fun experience to make motivation flourish, pleasant to engage students, and enjoyable to favour the emotional response in learning and thus develop memory. For more information, read The Challenge.
In this recipe there are no exact ingredients but there are some that cannot be missing: dynamics, diversity, movement, entertainment and a dash, at least, of culture to achieve a most serious objective: learning English.
There are hundreds of games we know and can be adapted to teach.
It is definitely not the same to practise numbers by repeating them in order or writing them dozens of times than by playing Yatzee. There are people who think playing is a waste of time. But what do we do when we play Yatzee? We USE numbers and thus we learn them.
Games make us use the target language for a purpose different from practice itself. They catch our attention so naturally that students make a bigger effort to concentrate and memorize because they want to win. Is this bad? Dr Gwen Bailey Moore says “Winning produces a feeling of success. Success and winning in games can be transferred to getting an A, B, or C in the next test in school. For example, a child´s thought pattern might be as follows: Paying attention helps me to win. Winning makes me feel good about myself. I am not so bad. Better grades make me feel good about myself. Paying attention can help me achieve better grades and have better feelings about myself.” Not bad at all! Games provide marvelous ways for students to improve their ability to attend. “Strategies, to be developed through the thought processes and manual manipulation of games, are the framework on which attention spans expand.”
To be continued…