Scratch My Back ESL Card Game

japanese flag 

Why Use ESL Games In The Classroom?

Learning a language is difficult, and the effort and time required substantial. Thousands of words, phrases and grammar rules have to be learned and assymilated. Clearly, a carefully balanced approach that sustains interest for the long journey is crucial. This is where good ESL games can really help. An experienced ESL teacher knows how to effectively use ESL/EFL games to motivate students, get them speaking and using new grammar naturally, improve speaking confidence and making steady progress.

Games break up a lesson, and make the time spent studying seem like fun rather than work. It's no secret that the human mind functions much more effectively when it is focused and motivated towards a goal. Topical and well devised ESL games provide this; they use our natural competitiveness and desire to win as motivating, all the while  making learning fun.

Games also help to create new contexts in which language is useful and meaningful. They allow students the satisfaction of getting use out of the new words and concepts that they have learned, and provide an incentive for players to strive to use them correctly. The immediate pay off is clear: master the set of words and phrases contained in a game, and you can win. This is far more tangible and meaningful than many of the promises that come associated with the mastering of a foreign language: being able to watch foreign movies, get a job overseas, or travel with confidence. As stirring as these promises are, they remains very distant objectives for a long part of the journey.

Well chosen ESL games also give students a well needed break from serious concentrated study, whilst still allowing them to practice and apply the language skills and vocabulary they have been studying. They encourage students to interact, communicate and perhaps experiment with the language. They also provide another angle to attack a learning problem. Remember that each of us learns in our own unique way and have different learning strengths and different areas of intelligence. Playing games can target these different intelligences, allowing different students to shine, and making the classroom experience overall more well rounded and satisfying.


Back to Scratch My Back ESL card game home.

Using Roleplays effectively in ESL lessons.

ESL card games playable with the Scratch My Back deck: