The process of acquiring a language Essay

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Chapter II. Literature Review

The procedure of geting a linguistic communication is a difficult word which needs changeless attempt in many phases: apprehension, reiterating, accommodating and using in speech production and composing
( Wright, Betteridge, & A ; Buckby, 1983 ) . Teachers ever seek to happen effectual ways to show new elements of linguistic communication and maintain pupils ‘ enthusiasm in trying to acquire them. To be more specific, in vocabulary instruction, there are legion techniques applied in this procedure. Game is one of them. However, there is much dissension on the effectivity of the technique. For safe usage, instructors frequently use games merely as a time-filler activity. Many research workers suggest that game should be treated as “ cardinal ” in instructor ‘s activity aggregation ( Wright et al. , 1983 ) . Therefore, it is necessary to look into benefits of utilizing games in learning vocabulary. This chapter begins with a reappraisal of surveies on the techniques of vocabulary instruction, followed by a treatment on utilizing games as a vocabulary instruction technique. Finally, it presents the research inquiry examined in the present survey.

Traditional techniques used in learning vocabulary

Harmonizing to Gairns and Redman ( 1986 ) , traditional techniques of learning vocabulary are classified in to three classs: ocular, verbal and interlingual rendition.

Ocular techniques

These techniques concern with ocular memory. They consist of flash cards, exposure, blackboard drawings, wall charts, relia, mummer and gesture. They are employed in showing words ‘ significance. These techniques are particularly helpful in presenting some certain parts of vocabulary such as: existent points, topographic points, professions, descriptions of people, action and activities.

Verbal techniques

These include exemplifying state of affairss, equivalent word and definition, contrasts and antonyms, graduated tables and illustrations. These are the most utile for exemplifying abstract word


This is considered as an effectual manner to convey significance. It helps save clip, particularly in instances of learning low frequence words. However, it is truly a danger if instructors overuse interlingual rendition. Using excessively often mother lingua discourages pupils to develop consciousness of utilizing L2. They tend to utilize L1 “ as a model on which to attach L2 points ” ( Gairns & A ; Redman, 1998, p. 75 )

As Gairns and Redman remark, these techniques are relevant to more teacher-centred attack. The points taught in the lesson are normally chosen by the instructor instead than the scholars.

What are games?

In a wide sense, a game is defined as “ an exercising of voluntary control systems in which there is an resistance between forces, confined by a process and regulations in order to bring forth a disequilibrial result ” ( Avedon & A ; Sutton-Smith, 1971, p.405 ) . Costikyan ( 1994, p.12 ) defined games in comparing with mystifier, plaything and narrative that “ A game is a signifier of art in which participants, termed participants, make determinations in order to pull off resources through game items in the chase of a end ” . In this thesis, the kind of games the author wants to advert is educational game. It is stated that “ Educational games are games that have been specifically designed to learn people about a certain topic, expand constructs, reinforce development, understand an historical event or civilization, or help them in larning a accomplishment as they play ” ( Educational game, 2008 ) . The topic discussed in this authorship is 2nd linguistic communication. Therefore, the term “ game ” used here means the sort of educational game designed to construct or consolidate 2nd linguistic communication scholars ‘ competency.

Features of a game.

Research workers give characteristics of a game in different headers. However, there is an understanding among these writers in following features of a game.

  • Rule: Rule is an recognized rule or direction that states the manner a game are or should be done, and tells participants what they are allowed or are non allowed to make. Lin ( 2002 ) and Klauer ( 1998 ) agree that a game is governed by regulations.
  • Fun: Fun is the feeling of pleasance and amusement that a game brings approximately. Wright et Al. ( 2006, p. I ) province that game is an “ entertaining ” activity. Lin ( 2002 ) besides writes a game is characterized by merriment. Besides, a game should hold a “ ludic component ” ( Klauer, 1998 )
  • Goal: A game is defined as an activity holding a concluding end ( Lin, 2002 ; Klauer, 1998 )

In add-on, Wright et Al. ( 2006 ) maintains that disputing is necessary for a game, but competition is non. Challenging encourages people to affect in the game. Although competition may besides excite battle it causes participants the feelings of being “ victor ” and “ also-ran ” which do non back up acquisition.

Why usage games?

Academic sentiments on effectivity of games in learning 2nd linguistic communication

To speak about the grounds for using games, Wright et Al. ( 1984 ) claim that acquisition is a difficult undertaking which requires keeping changeless attempts over a long period of clip while games motivate pupils to work with involvements. It seems that they do it of course because one of games ‘ features is merriment. Students like this non-stressful manner and make it with enthusiasm. Besides, utilizing games to learn brings lessons a new face. To cite Vernon ( 2006 ) , “ Integrating English games is a great manner to acquire out of the rut of linguistic communication drills, worksheets, tiring repeat and single survey ” . Furthermore, games contribute recreation to the regular schoolroom activities. As a consequence, each lesson becomes interesting because of its varied signifiers. Games besides attract scholars because they are disputing. Players are challenged by the “ ultimate end ” ( Lin, 2002 ) . Furthermore, the kind of motive that games bring pupils is self-motivation which encourages pupils ‘ active partaking ( Prasad, 2003 ) . Ersoz ( 2000 ) concluded that games are “ extremely actuating ” because they bring enjoyment, newness, diverseness and self-motivation to lessons.

In add-on to conveying motive, games are recognized that they besides help the instructor to make contexts in which the linguistic communication is utile and meaningful ( Wright et al, 1984 ) . In recent old ages, the demand for meaningfulness in linguistic communication acquisition has been accepted. It means that cognizing a linguistic communication is cognizing how to pass on successfully in that linguistic communication. To make the end of being able to do communicating good in a 2nd linguistic communication, pupils need more than repeat, they should pattern what they have learned in conversation which is like the existent universe ( Vernon, 2007 ) . To run into this demand, Vernon suggested game as an effectual technique. For the ground that to take portion in a game, scholars must negociate to understand what others are stating and do others grok them. “ Therefore the significance of the linguistic communication they listen to, read, talk and compose will be more vividly experient and, hence, better remembered. ” ( Wright et al, 1984, p.3 ) . Further support comes from Prasad ( 2003 ) , using games in linguistic communication lesson “ provides a valuable drift to a purposeful usage of linguistic communication ” . As a consequence, by affecting in games, a pupil “ enhances unconscious acquisition of inputs ” ( Chen, 2005 ) .

Games are indicated that they make larning 2nd linguistic communication easier and better keeping because pupils learn through pattern. There is a celebrated expression: “ Practice makes perfect ” . Students can non get the hang a linguistic communication if they do non utilize it. Games are non merely one pleasant manner of practising but they are besides help pupils retrieve better. There is grounds demoing that games allow pupils to concentrate good plenty to larn better. For case, rewriting a lesson with a narrative context combined with a challenge for the pupil to get the better of ( in other words, doing it into a game ) significantly improves the learning public presentation of kids. Games besides support keeping what pupils have learned. When pupils are holding fun the linguistic communication that they hear and use is more likely to do an feeling on their memory and so be easy to remember in the hereafter.

In learning vocabulary, it seems that this field draws many research workers ‘ attending. Uberman ( 1998 ) proceeded practical illustrations of utilizing games for vocabulary debut and alteration. In the first portion of the research, he evaluated the helpfulness of games in showing vocabulary. He compared two groups which studied the same content but in different ways. He used a presentation game with the first group and with the other interlingual rendition and context guesswork. The consequence is the group which had learned vocabulary through games performed significantly better. However, it is particularly interesting and surprising that the 2nd group besides received high tonss for the game. In the 2nd portion, he compared two groups ; one usage matching and specifying exercisings to revise vocabulary while the 2nd one usage cross-word. After a little trial, the consequence showed that the 2nd group performed somewhat better.

In an action research conducted byA Khuat and Nguyen ( 2003 ) who aim to measure effectivity of larning vocabulary through games, studentsA said that they liked the relaxed atmosphere, the fight, and the motive that games brought to the schoolroom. On the utility of games, instructors who took portion in the research reported that pupils seem to larn more rapidly and retain the erudite stuffs better in a stress-free and comfy environment.

How to take a game?

There are legion of vocabulary games, but to hold a successful game, instructors should take into history many factors. Wright et Al. ( 1984 ) states that games are non limited by age. However, the success of the games depends much on rightness of the games and the function of the participant. To guarantee effectivity of a game, they besides give specific inquiries which instructor should see:

  1. Will the game take you a long clip to fix, compared with the sum of utile work you get from it?
  2. Will it be comparatively easy for you to organize in the schoolroom?
  3. Is it probably to involvement the peculiar group of scholars you have in head?
  4. Is the linguistic communication or is the linguistic communication accomplishment you are concerned to learn intrinsic to the activity? Or are you ( candidly! ) merely coercing it into the game?
  5. Is the sum of linguistic communication and the type of usage adequate to warrant the usage of the game? Or do you hold another good ground for presenting it into the game?

The more “ yes ” replies instructors have for their games the more possible that the games run into the demands of scholars.

In short, to hold a successful game, clip of preparing, compatibleness with the schoolroom, the scholar ‘s penchants, relativeness to the lesson, grounds for taking games should be considered.

When to utilize games?

Harmonizing to Wright et Al. ( 1984 ) games can be used in all phases of the teaching/learning sequence ( presentation, repeat, recombination and free usage of linguistic communication. Rixon ( 1981 ) besides agrees that games are compatible to every phases of the lesson: presentation, controlled pattern and communicative pattern. However, to impart themselves good to learning vocabulary, games should be carefully chosen.

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