Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Power of Bingo and ESL

Teaching English can get a little redundant, especially if you are using the same books for a long time. One way to break up the boredom for both teachers and students is to regularly play some games. Bingo is probably one of the best listening games you can find. It really helps the listeners pay attention as they are usually pretty competitive, especially here in China as the whole of their educational experience is pitted against all other students at their level. So they take to it likes ducks to water. The best place I have found for resources for bingo is Mark's Esl Pages. I have plugged his site before in general but he can never get enough credit for the sites he has put together. Here is what I suggest. Use the flashcards in classes, make some bingo cards, and hand out the handout pages to build the vocabulary, familiarize the class with the word and the image. They will be begging you to play. This is what you aim for. Get them excited and involved in their learning process. It is such a change from their traditional style of class in their Chinese schools that it is sure to be a winner.

Another great game that you can use to improve their listening is the old tried and true "Simon Says" game. I'm not sure which one my students like best but both can really energize and create a lot of excitement in the classroom. You can use Simon Says for the really young kids or the older higher level classes. You may want to do it in coordination with the introduction of commands. These lessons usually come pretty early at least they do in the books I use. The Cambridge for young learners introduces open your books, raise your hand, open the window in the first 10 lessons. You want to try and trick them too as you physically do the action or command without the Simon Says. I also make a buzzer noise vocally which always gets a laugh or two. This game always gets the parents laughing and they pay attention to the class too. It's a great way to demonstrate that their children are learning the language as they respond to your commands.

I just wanted to say a few more words of praise for Mark and his teaching skills and dedication to sharing his work with others, thanks Mark!

worldtour aka Larry Rhoe

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At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I play bingo a lot and I have found I have to ask for numbers to be repeated often, I thought I just had a bad memory but its apparently because I’m dyslexic and my mind struggles to take in what I have heard! But apparently this in not a rare problem as this is a mild symptom of dyslexia and a lot of people have it! I find it easier using a Bingo Game Online. Anybody else have this problem?

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