Communicative Language Games

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ABSTRACT
The main purpose of this research was to examine the teachers’ perspectives in Henry Cort Community College on the use of communicative language games for teaching and learning English. The participants for this study were eight English teachers in the college. A survey using an 18-item questionnaire was designed in order to analyse the participants’ views on the use of communicative language games in English lessons. Results showed that English teachers from Henry Cort Community College generally appreciated the benefits and value of communicative game activities in teaching English language. The findings also suggested that teachers should be aware to take learners’ individual variations into account and be more flexible in the use of communicative game when facing students with different backgrounds, learning styles, needs and expectations in order to maximise the educational effect.

INTRODUCTION
The ever growing need for good communication skills in English has created a huge demand for an appropriate teaching methodology. Language teaching has seem many changes in ideas about syllabus design and methodology in the last 50 years and communicative language teaching (CLT) prompted a rethinking of approaches to syllabus design and methodology. According to Nunam (1989), traditional approaches to language teaching gave priority to grammatical competence as the basis of language proficiency. They were based on the belief that grammar could be learned through direct instruction and through a methodology that made much use repetitive practice and drilling. Most researchers seem to agree that the new communicative approach to teaching prompted a rethinking of a classroom teaching methodology. Wright, Betteridge, and Buckby (2005) stated that learners learn a language through the process of communicating in it, and that meaningful communication provides a better opportunity for learning than through a grammar based approach. On top of that, Langeveldt (n.d.) stresses that one of the major advantages of communicative language games is that a teacher can integrate all four the language skills into a curriculum, and even into one lesson, rather than relying solely on activities designed to develop speaking proficiency. There are different perceptions or ideas in the use of communicative language games for teaching and learning English. Belchamber (2007) pointed out that communicative activities in the form of games do not just boost the motivation of the learners but can also be used as a method to teach new items and as revisions on previous lessons in order to enhance the learners’ pace of language development. On the other hand, Richards & Rodgers (2007), stated that the weakness of communicative language games is the large size of the classes and the levels of proficiency vary from intermediate to false beginner to non-existent. The intermediate students will lose interest when they are not ‘challenged’ while the lower level students will become demotivated when they are unable to participate in the communicative activity. Failure in creating meaningful activities that will hold the attention and interest all of the students will cause difficulties in controlling the class. Although much work has been done, more studies need to be conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of communicative language games in teaching and learning English. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of communicative language games for teaching and learning English based on the teachers’ perspectives in Henry Cort Community College. Therefore an 18-item questionnaire was carried out, and five research questions were proposed in order to guide this research. 1. To what extent do communicative language games motivate students to learn in English lessons? 2. How useful are communicative language games as learning activities in English lessons? 3. What are the attitudes of students and parents towards the use of...
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