Jumbled-Letter Game for Vocabulary Teaching

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IMPROVING STUDENT’S VOCABULARY BY USING JUMBLED-LETTER GAME IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING CONTEXTS By: Nora Fudhla
A. Background

For some language teachers, teaching vocabulary is challenging, especially in English Language Teaching classroom. Nowadays, the teacher should provide a vocabulary teaching which avoiding vocabulary list memorization or vocabulary translation. Besides, the teacher also should consider about the students’ different ability to master vocabulary. Some language students may master new vocabulary faster than others and some of them may find many difficulties to master new vocabulary. On the other side, some students may master or memorize some vocabulary but they cannot spell the word correctly.

Although teaching vocabulary is now less emphasized due to communicative approach in language teaching, it can not be neglected that without having a big scope of vocabulary mastery, the language learner would face some obstacles to master the language learned. Vocabulary is one of the components of language that may help language learner acquire the target language. Due to this condition, the teacher should find appropriate methods or techniques to teach vocabulary to the students.

Apparently, there are so many ways to teach vocabulary. In conventional teaching, some teachers usually give a list of vocabulary to be memorized or give a list of vocabulary which uses both native and target language (L2). But, it is assumed that this way of vocabulary teaching method burdens the language students with a list of unused vocabulary memorization. It is because the students only focus on memorizing the vocabulary without knowing appropriately how and when to use the vocabulary in daily speaking. Another way to teach vocabulary that had been proposed by some language teachers is using language games. Language games are kind of games used to help both teacher and learner to teach and learn the target language. It is believed that by applying language games in language teaching, especially in vocabulary teaching, it may improve the students’ ability to acquire the language.

It has been showed that language games have advantages and effectiveness in learning vocabulary in various ways. First, language games bring in relaxation and fun for students, thus help them learn and retain new words more easily. Second, language games usually involve friendly competition and they keep students interested. These create the motivation for students to get involved and participate actively in the learning activities. Third, vocabulary games bring real world context into the classroom, and enhance students' use of English in a flexible, communicative way (Huyen and Nga, 2003).

One of the language games that can be used to teach vocabulary to language learner is Jumbled-Letter Game. Jumbled-Letter Game is a language game that requires the learner to arrange the alphabet letter into specific word in target language which is asked by the teacher. By using this kind of language game, teacher can avoid memorizing list of vocabulary and the students may master vocabulary faster. One of the advantages of Jumbled-Letter Game is it can be applied for any language levels as long as the language teaching requires the students to master vocabulary. In addition, the use of Jumbled-Letter game in teaching vocabulary may overcome the students’ difficulty to arrange the correct word spelling.

The purpose of this article is to discuss about the use of Jumbled-Letter Game in vocabulary teaching in English Language Teaching Classroom. The underlying theories about language game and the application of this game in classroom will be provided later.

B. Discussion
1. Language Games
a. The Concept of Language Games in Language Teaching

There is a common perception that all learning should be serious and solemn in nature, and if one is having fun and there is hilarity and laughter,...
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