A game is a natural way for a child to learn. The game process with corresponding rules and interaction represents a mini-society where a child is gradually being prepared to enter real society. A game helps children learn how to follow the rules (for example, not to cheat), interact with others and behave adequately (for example, in case of a failure) – and all this happens in a friendly and pleasant atmosphere. Games also facilitate a child’s spontaneous use of language, coordination, memory, alertness, thinking, etc.
How can games help children learn a foreign language?
As for the English language, it is important that the game imitates the conditions of the natural language environment – a child is focused on the process, so the language is used spontaneously. Games are a perfect tool for teaching English to children due to the following reasons:
How to choose games for learning English
A game for preschool children should meet the following criteria:
Tips for organising games when learning English with children
Presenting a new game to children, even the simplest one, can cause certain difficulties. The following life hacks will help you organise the game right:
How to teach a child to play a game in English
Here are some ways to explain to children what to do in the game. Choose the most suitable one for the game you want to play.
Use counting rhymes
Before you start a game, choose who is “it” by using a short counting rhyme. Rhymes are really helpful – they train both memory and phonetics. Here are 2 examples (the stressed syllable is marked with ?):
?one potato, ?two potatoes, ?three potatoes, ?four,
?five potatoes, ?six potatoes, ?seven potatoes, ?more!
Hippy, – hipper-da-tion,
How – many – people – are – at -the-sta-tion?
A child needs to quickly touch the other child’s hand on each word or syllable. The one whose hand is touched on the last syllable of the word station, says a number, for example, 6. Count the children. The sixth person becomes the “it” of the game.
A simple counting rhyme will help a child understand that it is time for games in English. Read more about ESL games and their description in the Let’s play! section. ESL games with children.
If you want to learn more about English lessons for children through games, take a look at the video lessons at Novakid online English language school. Our English speaking teachers love to use games in their lessons and use game techniques in classes with all children aged 4 to 12 years. Free trial lesson!