There is no doubt that language is the source of communication. If only English is taken into consideration, it can be seen that it is one of the most common ways for people to get in touch on the international level. As English has an international standard, it became the lingua franca global language of today’s world. That is to say, it became very important part of the people’s lives. In other words, as English is used for not only educational purposes but also business, political and social purposes, it became a contact language all over the world. As it was stated above, English has an impact also on education beside other fields; therefore, throughout the history new language teaching methods have been developed or proposed by the prominent scholars in order to provide better understanding of how language is used within educational and its social context. It is important to be equipped with the knowledge of how language is used in certain contexts because in today’s world English is used more for communicative purposes as it is the most widely used language all over the world. As a result of this development and need for communication with others to a be part of the world, language teaching methods have changed from rule-based, which do not give adequate insight about the authenticity of the language, to communicative approach, which provides discourse and genuine use of the language. Some methods have been used until the new ones were born; the recent ones and the some of them becoming more popular because of the demand like communicative language teaching approach have replaced some of them. Considering these reasons, this study aims to discover the role of using games, which are educational tools, with teenagers in English language teaching. It was aimed to examine how games are effective or ineffective to provide learners high motivation to learn a new language especially to learn English. Therefore, the scope of this lesson remains limited with English Language Teaching field as the study conducted with the intention to show how much new educational tools like “game” used with teenager in ELT provided meaningful language input for the users of the target language.
On one hand, there are teachers support the use of games in English language teaching, but; on the other hand, there are teachers who see games as a waste of time. It can be said to some extend that there is an importance of using games in language teaching because playing a game already exists in human nature. The more people get older the more they hide their childish sides because of biases of others towards them although they still want to be at those ages; in contrast, children learn through playing games because this is the easiest way for them to imagine and contact with the objects and the world around them so whenever a game is established in language classes, the students’ motivation is believed to increase based on the common sense. However, this situation can change from context to context, from students to students, who have different learning styles, from teachers to teacher and finally from materials to materials, which either maybe interesting or boring. Based on this, it will be beneficial to first know the definition of game. In Prodromou’s study (as quoted in Palánová, 2010, p.8), “What is a game? One working definition is that of an enjoyable activity involving an objective that is achieved by following certain rules, usually in competition with one or more other people.” In other words, games establish an entertaining and challenging atmosphere in which a task has certain boundaries that the opponents should follow. Another definition that adds richness to this study was proposed by Wang (2010), as it was stated above the new methods developed and put the importance of communication as the primary goal of language learning especially in Communicative Language Teaching. The communicative skills of the learners are aimed to be improved by providing learners meaningful and variable input as much as it is possible by engaging them with an activity, which gives them opportunity to use the target language. In that sense this techniques give students the freedom to use their own communicative skills, which shows that they are active during the learning process while exploring the meanings. Considering these factors, it can be said based on the source that some of the effective means of teaching English in CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) are “song”, “role playing”, “dramas”, and “games”. Shortly, according to Wang (2010), it can be stated that games are one of the influential tools that establish a learning environment in which the learners are expected to fulfill the tasks that leads them to both be exposed by the meaningful input and given opportunity to develop their productive skill, which is communicative skill. Furthermore, it can be observed that the use of game has impact on the learners’ self-realization like “self-confidence”; consequently, this results in changes in terms of the potential of the students (Fuscard, 2001 as cited in Boyle, 2011, p.3). For instance, there are not only successful learners but also unsuccessful learners in a class; as a result, the difference between these learners decreases.
Lastly, the definition, which will be a kind of recap of all above was proposed by Collins Cobuild, (1987:598, as cited in Sánchez, Morfín and Campos, 2007) game is defined as a kind of task that embeds integrated skills in with source of knowledge or chance factors that players should obey some rules that are settled so that they can compete with each other to reach to the end point. Taken all these factors above can be evidence that the use of game has big role in education especially for the English language teaching, which opened new ways of seeing teaching more than grammar teaching. Although, these definitions can give you partly insight about how much the use of game can be effective or not in ELT, these are still not enough for you to reach a comprehensive conclusion about this study; therefore, you need to know what type of games are used for which purposes because this analysis will help you gain more insight about this study and its scope.
Teaching is a process in which teachers need to be reflective and adopt an eclectic way of teaching by which they use mixture of methods instead of relying only on one method, which may be monotonous after a while and inhibit learning. Similarly, games are seen as educational tools since they provide opportunities for teachers to change the methodology in order to break the monotony of the lesson and bring some fun during the teaching and the learning process with different kinds of implementations. This dynamic phenomenon brings many numerous means of establishing games. Because of this dynamic interplay, game categories have been identified for different traits of instruction. According to a study which brings up the term called “four dimensional framework” stated by Freitas (Learning in Immersive Worlds, 2006) that is:“ ... picks out four generic principles: context, mode of representation, pedagogic approach used and the specific about the learners...”. It is obvious that it is not only enough to focus on the game itself, it is necessary to consider in which context the game is used in what ways with whom because there are many parameters within this interplay. Based on Freitas’four-dimensional frameworks stated above, there are different categories of games that are used as educational tools, which are taken from this book below are: Educational games, Online games, Serious games, Simulations”
As the scope of this study focuses on the educational side of the adapted material, which was Jenga game, only serious games and educational games were taking into consideration during the whole study. In order not to lead misunderstandings, it is important to be aware of the distinctions between these two terms. The first one called educational games refer to “rule-based play” (Wittgenstein, 1958 as cited in Freitas (Learning in Immersive Worlds, 2006). In addition to this, the second one called serious games refer to games “...in which the primary goal is education rather than entertainment” (Michael and Chen, 2006 as cited in Freitas (Learning in Immersive Worlds, 2006).