Learning and Fun go together
In the groups of 2-5, the tip™ learning GAME has been played for 2 hours or more by 470 people as on Nov. 2014. The players or learners are in the age-group of ‘14-47’ years with most learners in the age group of 20-30 (over 300). The median age is 26; over 200 learners are engineering graduates. The learners enrolled for Conversation in English program had some understanding English but were not able to form their sentences correctly while writing or took a lot of time before speaking in broken sentences. Most of them were from Hindi-medium back-ground and not very confident speakers. They were very well primed on the game with some grammar lessons where they understood parts-of-speech and the visual tense chart by Dr. Eli Hinkel was shown as well as explained to them. The trainers also used a slightly different tense-chart on the white-board and a professionally designed poster on 9 key tenses. The focus remained composition and usage instead of mere memorization of the grammar rules (even the tense chart was not given to them). Some quantifiable outcomes have been captured in the feedback forms (L1[i]), pre/post assessments (L2[ii]):
↗ Learning and understanding of Tenses becomes easier for almost everyone (close to 100% -as per learner’s feedback).
↗ Increased motivation and engagement in over 98% cases (checked before/after the game-session that lasted 30-45 min. the extensions to continue to play the game asked by the participants)
↗ Moderate competitive element enhanced effective learning as it kept learners interested in listening before speaking in all cases (~100%).
↗ Helped the learners to understand, learn, remember and apply grammar rules 2x better than the repetitive drilling practice and 3x better than translation sheets. (perception recorded at L1 level)
The qualitative advantages that we got -in over 85% of the cases- are listed herewith, in no particular order; some have been ticked by the 5 trainers/teachers who used this game in their classes:
↗ tip™ Game leads people to do spontaneous practice right after the theoretical overview -in the same session. (Monika, trainer is MA in English)
↗ Consolidation of grammar rules through the learner’s natural desire to apply what he already knows or mix and match the rules of grammar. (Manpreet, senior V&A trainer with British Telecom)
5 People playing Tense GAME and learning to Speak in English.
↗ Students who enjoy the challenge of participating in interactive games: tip™ makes them smarter and more confident as they hit the winning streak. (words picked/summarized from the feedback forms of some trainers observers)
↗ Among other abilities, the game helps develop students’ social capacities (81%), memory (86%), spontaneity (92%) and creativity (88%).
↗ Many usages of a particular verb form are understood and vocabulary of verbs is better applied in real-life situations. Over-usage of present continuous (a typical Indian-ism) is prevented to a very large extent. (Many students confirm this in their feedback)
↗ When offered at the same price point, the Game was preferred over a fully equipped Language Lab with computers and head-phones best in class and interactive content (Ms Ashima Rai – the center manager of T.r.i.c.k.s)
It is obvious that the use of games in a learning environment will not only change the dynamics of the class, but it will also rejuvenate students and help the brain to learn the rest of the material more effectively. Do we have the time and willingness to change for the better?
[i] Level 1: Feedback is taken right after the training session or after every fifteen days within the training programs
[ii] Level 2: Is the difference between pre-post training and is captured through test of understanding
[iii] Most Commonly Used Verbs have been taken from varied sources and word-lists, the regular and irregular verbs are mixed-up well like veggies in a salad bowl.
We have all seen ” To Whomsoever it May Concern’ written on top of our character certificates and some legally written documents that are addressed to no one in particular. What it means is: it does not matter who reads it.
By now, you know the usage of what, when, who, where and which as question framing words and also as linking words. Here is the meaning along with 2-2 examples of Whatever, whenever, wherever, whichever, whoever:
Whatever = anything or everything; regardless of what (thing)
Whenever = every time; at any time; regardless of when (time)
Wherever = everywhere; no matter where; regardless of where (Location)
Whichever = the person or thing which; no matter which; regardless of which (thing or person)
Whoever = the person who; regardless of who (person)
We understood that When we want to emphasize something does not matter we use ‘-ever’ at the end of certain words. Now take this quiz on BBC Learning English. Now, You make 2-3 sentences for each one of the above using examples as above or your own sentence structure. Bring them to me if you are doubtful; Speak-up if you are confident.
Remember, Your promise to yourself “I will learn good English, whatever it takes” !
“Describe The Picture” or DTP is a useful activity for an English Learner at Basic/Intermediate Level. It is asked in many interviews. This easy to understand the natural speech and thinking of a person. Doing this as practice in the class helps you compose simple sentences on what you see and what you interpret. You should generally use ‘Simple present’ and ‘Present Continuous’ tenses… In this series I will post or invite suggestions for 10 pictures of varied nature – to give my students some variety. Here is DTP #1 for the class presentation. Think for 2-3 minutes before you speak!
Typical composition and usage problems I get in my conversation in English classes in INDIA:
I will call them limitations or lack of exposure to ‘right usage’ as they can be learned by speakers given the right environment to practice. The brain needs time to migrate from Hindi Grammar platform to composition and usage in Spoken English. How much time is enough depends on the intensity of your practice and knowing what’s going wrong. Read on for 7 most common grammar limitation faced by us as Indians.
An essay on ‘My Cow’ when I am actually talking about ‘My Company’. Does this Sound familiar? Do you know how to form a question when you are making a request? Learn to make sentences in many different ways.
As long as you can understand Comics and relate with the humor its fine with me 🙂