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How To Teach Using Songs & Games

It‘s great to use songs and games in class if only to do something a little different but beyond using them solely to give your students light relief, there are many other things songs and games can be used for in EFL classes. Simply they can be used to consolidate what students have already learnt.

How to Teach Songs

  • Set the scene for the song (picture, discussion, ..)
  • Play the song twice from beginning to end.
  • Have the class sing the song. You may have to pause after each stanza especially if the song is too long or has some new lexical items.

How To Teach Songs In A Creative Way

  • Use alternate groups in singing.
  • Encourage students to draw pictures that illustrate or are related somehow to the topic.
  • Ask students to move along with the rhythm or simply dance.
  • Ask students to fill in gaps, but be careful when you choose words to blank out. It depends on what lexical area you want your students to work on.

Teaching with games

Games should:

  • Reinforce a specific skill.
  • Be appropriate to the learners‘ level.
  • Not be just time-consuming.
  • Be enjoyable and interesting.


  • Offer a break or a release from the usual routine of the language class.
  • Motivate and challenge students.
  • Provide interesting learning in every lesson.
  • Help to prolong or maintain the effort required to learn.
  • Help to recycle the previously taught material.
  • Encourage interaction and communication.
  • Enhance the spirit of co-operation as they involve all students.
  • Invite shy or slow learners to take part in activities.

Getting Ready

  • Be interested and enthusiastic about the game yourself.
  • Know the game well before attempting to teach it. Identify the safety hazards, anticipate the difficulties, and adapt the game to the group and situation.
  • Devise a method(s) for organizing teams or formations quickly.
  • Know your playing area. Make sure to have a safe area and easily recognized boundaries.
  • Have the equipment together beforehand.

Ready, Set, Go!

  • When starting a game, gather the group together so they can see and hear you well.
  • Give the name of the game and some interesting facts about it to help motivate interest.
  • Explain the game briefly, giving the basic rules. If needed, demonstrate the game with a small group of students.
  • After explanations, allow the group to get into the desired formation or team positions to start the activity.
  • Ask questions before you start to play.
  • Decide on a starting signal, such as “Ready, set, go!” or “On your mark, get set, go!”
  • If you decide to change rules during the game, try only one change at a time.
  • Allow the group to help suggest rules as well. You might say to the group, “Let’s try playing the game this way.”
  • Stop the game when the enthusiasm is still high. Don’t let it drag on.
  • Arrange for total participation. Devise a plan for rotation. Minimize waiting and maximize playing time.

How To Teach With Games

  • Explain how the game is played in full (use the mother tongue if necessary) before allowing students to play.
  • Demonstrate it with one student, with pairs or groups and check their understanding.
  • Don’t leave them to play all by themselves. Teachers must supervise the game all the time making sure that students are actively participating.
  • Don’t insist on correcting students’ mistakes. Students should feel at ease and free to express their happiness. Over-correction leads to hesitation and frustration.
  • Be flexible and adapt the game to suit the level of your students.
  • Stop the game when they start losing interest. The game could be played later.
  • Repeat the game whenever you feel it will benefit your students.

A Few Pointers For Teaching With Games

  • Establish a warm, positive atmosphere that’s fun for everyone.
  • Encourage everyone to participate and do her / his best.
  • Be patient.
  • Be fair in your judgments.
  • Show respect for each student.
  • Encourage fair play and safety at all times.
  • Be flexible and prepared to vary or change the game.
  • Emphasize cooperation and playing for fun rather than winning.

Thanks For Reading

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