An Evaluation of Game Types
A number of game types were evaluated from the standpoint of four attributes: frequency of use, effectiveness, adaptation required and overall quality. The game types evaluated include:
- Old Standards1
- Card games2
- Self-Designed Games
- Games from ESL resource books
- Commercial table-top games3
- Computer games
- Commercial ESL/EFL Games
1Includes such classroom favorites as “Twenty Questions”, “I Spy” and so on.
2Includes such games as poker, fish, rummy, tarot and so on.
3Includes commercial games such as Monopoly, trivia games, Pictionary, and so on.
Evaluation was conducted on a ten point Likert scale. Though most responses cluster around the midpoint, results were subjected to the Friedman analysis of variance to determine whether the results were significant or not. They were.
A word about card games
Since most card games require a great deal of adaptation before making it in the language learning classroom, it is likely that such resources were accounted for under the Self-Designed Games category. As a consequence card games, though popular among teachers, were rated somewhat poorly in each and every question in Speekeezy Game Use Survey.
Though I’ve long felt that there’s a lot of potential in computer games, especially in the realm of teacherless teaching, the marketplace has yet to provide much in the way of dedicated ESL resources probably due to the extreme development costs up front. Adapting existing computer games can also be challenging with perhaps limited payback.