Jeju Chapter - September 2014 Workshop Review

“Games and Communicative Activities: Not Just Entertainment”

September 20, 2014

Do you incorporate games as part of your teaching routine?  Of course you do, we all do in one form or another.  The September workshop welcomed thoughts and ideas about effective strategies for keeping students engaged in all aspects of English Language learning with an emphasis on games and activities.  Presenter, Tory Thorkelson (BA, B.Ed., M.Ed. in TESL/TEFL), who has been a KOTESOL member since 1998, opened up by having us compare games and activities, with regard to the EFL/ESL classroom.

Initially, most everyone thought of games and activities as being one in the same.  However, after completing the activity, it was clear that games (which are activities) are competitive, thus there is a clear winner at the end, whereas activities are a part of the lesson, to be completed by the students within a set time.

We took a short break for some light but delicious refreshments from Stephanie Nixon, who has replaced former president, Erin Williams.  What a treat!

We resumed the day’s presentation fully cognizant of the role of well-thought-of games in the classroom.  After all, if you’re teaching a speaking class, it really makes more sense to re-inforce those skills learned that day with a speaking game.  Furthermore, games can be used as a motivator to get involved, a reward for good behavior or a means to practice newly learned skills.
We wrapped up the day working in pairs to create our own games.  The game requiring the least preparation time and materials—“Dime Bag”, a simple game meant to help students differentiate between counting in years (2001, two thousand one) and counting normally (1,997, one thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven).  The materials needed--coins, a white/black board and marker.  It’s rather simple.  Students guess the year on a coin that’s in the teachers’ hand.  The teacher writes the year down on the board and says “higher” or “lower”.  The next team guesses and the game continues until there is a winner.

We ended the day, thankful for the doubly treat of refreshments provided by our Jeju Chapter president, Stephanie as well at the presentation by Tory.  We introduced newly elected Vice President, Rachel Nickson, Membership and Publicity Chair, Christine Gallagher, Webmaster and EPIK Teacher Representative, Nailah Rivers, and TALK Teacher Representative, . We also welcomed Tony Manoa, Kat Gerthe, and James Budd to the Jeju Chapter KOTESOL. 

By Nailah Victoria Rivers