There are a lot of advantages of using games in teaching English (ESL/EFL). Using games in class can make students be fun and motivated, using games also reduce their stress, the more important is in playing games students use the language they learn. It builds communicative experience on the students. Learning second language or foreign language without using it is nonsense. Therefore, it is good to teach English using games in class.
One useful strategy to encourage language acquisition is using language games. When using games in the classroom, it is beneficial for teachers to have a complete understanding of the definitions of games, which usually are defined as a form of play concerning rules, competition, and an element of fun. Teachers should also consider the advantages of games: the ability to capture students' attention; lower students' stress; and give students the chance for real communication. (Angkana Deesri, Khon Kaen University, Thailand: The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VIII, No. 9, September 2002).There are a lot of Teaching English Games available online or in English teaching books. However, not all of those games can immediately be used in your class. You should recognize the condition of your class, the character of your students, and their learning styles. It sometimes happens in English class, the condition of the class suddenly turns not suitable to the game or activity the teachers prepared. If it happens on your class, it can make you stress to find another activities or game to use.
Here are several teaching English games I use to teach The Eight Parts of Speech.
The major activities of these games are only finding and matching words, but I modify into several forms. By finding and matching the words, they will understand and be able to distinguish nouns from verbs, nouns from adjectives, nouns from adverbs, etc.
There are 10 students in the class. They are beginners.
1) Finding words and read aloud
This game is used in the first meeting or second meeting. Teachers explain about all "part of speech" in general and examples: Noun, Pronoun, Adjective, Verb, Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction, and Interjection. Make sure each word given in example very distinct to one another. Teachers can ask them to mention another example.
Give them 50 words with the translation to be distinguished. It is also to increase their vocabulary. Guide them to read the English words properly. Teachers can ask them to repeat after the teachers.
Put scattered piece of papers with those 50 words on the floor or on the table. Put aside the desks. The students should run from certain distance to reach the scattered papers in certain minutes. Ask them to find words based on the classes: Nouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, etc. It is a race. After two minutes, stop the race. Ask them to mention the words they found. They get scores if they found the right words and can read properly.
2) Finding friends
All students round up and hold piece of papers with words printed on. The words on those pieces of papers are nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, and adverbs. The teachers ask students who hold nouns to read loudly and step away of the others. The teachers count up to 4 and the students who hold adjectives and verbs should reach the students who hold nouns in proper order: Adjectives-nouns-verbs. It is also to make them familiar with English words order.
The words written on the piece of papers can be 'little/a little/much and uncountable nouns', 'few/a few/many and countable nouns'.
The teachers can also divide the students into two groups based on the matching words: nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs, many and countable nouns, etc. One groups read loudly, students in another group find the pairs.
Teachers can also ask students to close their eyes. So they can focus to train their listening skills.
3) Guessing Words
Divide students into two groups. Students in group one mention the words, students in another group guess the classes of the words. Or assign students in pairs. Ask them in turns to do so.
4) Describing with proper adjectives
It is for the next level. Teachers should choose the very distinct adjectives such as delicious food, handsome actor, beautiful girl, etc.
5) Quick post on the board
Provide several pieces of papers with words printed on. Then ask students to post them on the board in order. For very beginner, no need to put the proper words. What they need to do is just post adjective in front of noun, verb after noun, etc.