There are many effective ways to teach English Second Language students. One of these is the use of games. All students, young and old, love games and everyone, no matter where they live, loves to win! This article will feature two types of Bingo Games.
There are many aspects to any good ESL program. Although games do not cover all of these they do facilitate the learning of vocabulary, listening and understanding. They introduce an energy and enthusiasm into a task that can otherwise put them to sleep.
Students often find memorizing vocabulary confusing and boring. Some words have several meanings and there is often no direct translation into their own language. Therefore the students need to learn to think in English, as trying to translate into their own language leads to confusion and inhibits progress.
Understanding is another challenge. The English language is spoken with a great variety of accents. All of these are valid because, as stated by the United Nations many years ago, English doesn’t belong to any one group. If you can make yourself understood then your accent is acceptable. Although this allows students to feel more confident about their speech it makes understanding more difficult.
Let’s look at Picture Bingo
This game teaches listening, understanding and sentence structure. The teacher calls each caption that is always a complete sentence, while the students find and mark the picture that is described. Although during the first games the students will have difficulty, they will soon learn the relationship between the caption and the pictures. The picture makes the caption meaningful and easier to remember.
What about Word Bingo?
This game facilitates learning vocabulary in a very different way. The students are introduced to the words when they print them onto their Bingo card. Hopefully they have encountered the words previously in a meaningful context. During the game they listen to a definition and find the word on their card that it tells the meaning of or defines.
Both types of Bingo provide competition and laughter. Everyone has an almost equal chance of winning depending on the makeup of their card. It’s always fun so it’s good to save the games for the latter part of the lesson when the students are tired. If you send them home laughing then you know you’ve had a good lesson.