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Contextual Vocabulary Games

What is Contextual Vocabulary, and how does it work?

First read the passage about Sea Turtles. Try and decide what the highlighted words mean. Then test your powers of deduction and memory with the exercises.

Words are the building blocks of every language and using English vocabulary game to teach English language is one of the most effective methods of doing so. In fact, English language game happens to be a far more productive method of learning the subject, compared to the age-old classroom techniques. No wonder, more and more teachers all over the world are taking resort to vocabulary games to make their students learn the alphabets effectively.

More on vocabulary games

Active participation of the whole class in acquiring, understanding and using English can be achieved to a great extent through interactive English language games, which give the pupil a reason to communicate and a context for speaking practice. As you all know, repetition is essential for developing skill but not in a parrot-like fashion. Thus, if you can present the required repetition to your students in an attractive package then their focus will remain on the fun-environment of the game and unknowingly they will learn using the language.

Actually, learning English through vocabulary games form a part of the contextual approach of teaching whereby the students themselves ascertain the meaning of the words through reading and related activities. The teachers and the parents can indulge in ESL games like innovative and interesting puzzles, fill in the blanks, word finds and true / false game. Interactive exercises in varying levels of difficulty are also apt for increasing students' vocab skills and are found over the Internet.

Merits of vocabulary games

As Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Khuat Thi Tha Nga (authors of "learning vocabulary through games") puts it, students tend to learn and retain new vocabulary better, when it is applied in a relaxed environment like playing vocab games. In fact it has been proved that an interested and involved class, learning through several fun-filled English language games takes in 100% of the lesson and retains 80% of it.

Secondly, healthy competition that forms an elementary part of the English games encourages player discovery, examination and a voluntary involvement of the child in the learning process. Thirdly it leads to a better bonding between the teacher and the students. Most importantly, these games usher in the real world context into the classroom and thus increase the students' capacity to speak English in a practical and flexible manner.

Therefore it's no wonder that the vocabulary games are fast becoming invincible tools for mastering the English language.

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