The role of auditive games in english classroom in primary school

Шнайдер Анастасия Геннадьевна

The role of auditive games in english classroom in primary school


Keywords: audition, listening, auditive game, speech activity, communication, intercultural communication, natural introduction.

Abstract: this article is devoted to studying of auditive games as important means of teaching listening at foreign language lessons in elementary school. In comparison with other speech skills, development of listening is very difficult process in foreign language teaching and learning, moreover, it demands forces and big concentration of attention that often reduces students’ motivation. Therefore, use of game technologies aimed at the development of listening skills is the strongest factor of students’ adaptation in new language space which can solve a problem of natural introduction of the pupil to the world of language.


Шнайдер Анастасия Геннадьевна.,

Учитель английского языка, ГКУ «Гимназия №34»,




Ключевые слова: аудирование, аудитивные игры, языковые навыки, общение, межкультурная коммуникация, естественное внедрение.

Аннотация: данная статья посвящена изучению аудитивных игр как важного средства обучения аудированию на уроках иностранного языка в начальной школе. В сравнении с другими речевыми навыками развитие аудировани, является очень сложным процессом при изучении иностранного языка, и более того, требует сил и большой концентрации внимания, что зачастую снижает мотивацию у учащихся. Поэтому, применение игровых технологий направленных на развитие аудитивных навыков является сильнейший фактором адаптации обучающихся в новом языковом пространстве, который может решить проблему естественного внедрения ученика в мир языка.

Language is the major means of communication without which existence and development of human society is impossible. Socio-political and economic transformation of modern society, the expansion of international relations make foreign language a real need for government, society and personality. Changes taking place today in public relations, communication media (use of new information technologies) require increasing the communicative competence of students, improving their linguistic training. All this raises the status of the subject «foreign language» as general education subject matter. [1, p. 58]

It is known that language is the means of communication in two forms: oral (listening and speaking) and written (reading and writing). These four types of speech activity are also present in sight of the teacher. Let’s stop on listening as integral part of foreign language teaching and learning.

The purpose of teaching foreign language in the main school is possession by pupils of ability to carry out direct communication with native speakers in the most widespread situations of daily communication. And, as we know, communication is not only speaking in a foreign language, but also perception of the speech of the interlocutor aurally. That is, speaking and listening are main types of speech activity in communication with natives. Besides, most of residents of Kazakhstan have now an opportunity to travel all over the world, and in situations of «the announcement at the airports, railways stations» listening gains a bigger value, than speaking. Moreover, the small misunderstanding told by the interlocutor can break all process of communication, so we could not underestimate the role of listening in foreign language education. Thus, the basic purpose of a foreign language teaching and learning consists in formation of communicative competence, i.e. ability and readiness to carry out foreign-language interpersonal and intercultural communication with native speakers. [2, p. 264]

Proceeding from the aforesaid, I consider that the subject of teaching listening is urgent now, but insufficiently studied. And underestimation of audition can have an adverse effect on language teaching and learning of school students extremely. The studying of this type of speech activity in Foreign Language Teaching Methodology is insufficiently deep and the term «audition» is used in methodical literature rather recently. It is opposed to the term «hearing». If «hearing» designates acoustic perception of a sound row, then the concept of audition includes process of perception and understanding of the sounding speech.

It is needless to say that audition – is very difficult type of speech activity. This is one of the hottest topics in a modern Foreign Language Teaching Methodology as without listening any type of communication is impossible. And the fact that modern graduates of schools practically do not own this ability is not a secret at all. Audition has to take the important place already at the initial stage.

It is known that the younger school age (6-10 years) is optimum for assimilation of a foreign language. [3, p. 13] Plasticity of the natural mechanism of assimilation of language by children of early age, imitating abilities, natural inquisitiveness, the need for new knowledge, and also lack of so-called «linguistic barrier» promote the effective solution of the tasks facing both the subject «Foreign language», and primary education in general. In the course of mastering the new means of communication pupils form the correct understanding of language as public phenomenon, their mental, speech and emotional abilities, also personal qualities develop: universal valuable orientations, interests, will. [4, p. 70] Besides, familiarizing of the younger school student by means of a foreign language to other culture allows realizing himself or herself as the personality belonging to a certain sociocultural community of people, on the one hand, and with another – brought up in him or her  the respect and tolerance to other way of life.

Children come to school, having wide experience of hearing in the native language. They are capable to listen carefully long fairy tales or stories, to ask the specifying questions, to ask again. Teaching listening at English is based on maintaining already developed abilities and to gradually develop them. On the first year of learning pupils have to seize an oral form of communication, i.e. learn to understand the foreign speech aurally and to correctly react to it. [5, p. 15] The oral beginning helps to move ahead quicker since children at the age of 6-10 years easily perceive heard, without effort acquire not only separate words, but also the whole speech chains, while skills to reading and writing for them are still not really well developed even in native language.

Questions of teaching listening are the least developed section of Foreign Language Teaching Methodology. A preliminary survey among pupils of basic school showed that for 60% of them listening is the most difficult aspect of studying foreign language. [6, p. 6] And, therefore, developing the skill was less pleasant in the course of language acquisition. Undoubtedly, if the process of knowledge gives pleasure and brings emotional rise it will lead to the positive and high results in the course of language acquisition. For this purpose there are a variety of techniques aimed at the formation of auditive skills.

When teaching listening the greatest effect brings learning in games, because the game activates mental activity and allows making educational process more attractive and interesting, and the difficulties, that arise when learning, are overcome with the greatest success and ease. These games can help achieve the following objectives of listening:

  • to understand sense of the single statement;
  • to select the main information in a flow of the speech;
  • to distinguish separate speech samples and combinations of words;
  • to develop acoustical memory;
  • to develop acoustical reaction [7, p. 99] at pupils.

Auditive games are generally held by means of the tape recorder. At the same time it is desirable to have professional record (with the native speaker) that increases efficiency of listening. It is important to present the recording once, otherwise a game will lose its meaning and purpose. [8, p. 315] In the absence of recording the teacher him/herself can read authentic texts, but in advance he/she has to address the dictionary to avoid the wrong pronunciation of words.

I want to present the list of auditive games that can be used in FL classroom. Games are listed depending on the purpose which the teacher can pursue at a lesson.

Auditive games:

Game “Play”. The teacher selects the small play corresponding to the level of students, allocates the characters in the text, including animals and inanimate objects. Pupils choose themselves roles. When «actors» remember the roles, the teacher begins to read the text. As each participant of the game will hear a mention of his «hero», he steps «on the stage» and plays his role.

Game “Music Box”. The teacher in advance chooses the song in English and writes out from it sixteen words familiar to students. At the lesson he/she writes down these words on a board in alphabetical order. Then he/she distributes to players sheets of paper of the A4 format with a form for Bingo 4х4 in size. Further the teacher suggests players to fill in cells with words from the board in any order. When all participants of the game are ready, the teacher turns on the song. During its sounding, players delete the heard words in the forms. The student first deleted four cells in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally becomes the winner of a game.

Auditive games + Vocabulary:

Game “Clap – Clap” (Topic “Family”). The teacher tells the words on the studied topic. Pupils have to clap after each word which belongs to the topic. If the word from other theme is called – pupils have to stay silent. Ex: Grandmother, grandfather, uncle, teacher, sister, brother…

Game “Make an identikit” (Topic “Appearance”). The class is divided into three teams, each of which represents the police office. Three leaders are chosen. They appeal to office of police to find the gone friend or relative. The leader describes their appearance, and the children make the appropriate drawings. If the drawing matches the description, it is considered that the missing is found.

Ex: Leader: I cannot find my brother. He is fourteen. He is not tall. His hair is dark brown. His eyes are grey. He has blue shorts and a white t-shirt on.

Auditive games + Speaking:

Game «Mafia”. Teacher prepares questionnaires in advance.


How old are you? _________________________________

What colours are your eyes? ________________________

How many people are there in your family? ____________

Have you got a pet? _______________________________

Can you swim? Skate? Sing? Dance? _________________

At the lesson teacher distributes questionnaires to players and gives time to fill them in. Then the teacher collects the completed questionnaires, well mixes them and puts a pile before him/her. Further he/she takes the first questionnaire and reads, for example: “Mafia’s twelve years old, its eyes are green, there are 5 people in its family, it’s got a pet and it can swim.” After that, players state «suspicions», for example: “I think Mafia is Ann”, “I think Mafia is Paul”, etc. Teacher summarizes all opinions and «pronounces a sentence to the most suspicious» participant of the game, for example: “Ann, are you Mafia”.  Let’s suppose that Ann answers:

“No, I’m not. I have not got a pet”. Then teacher asks Paul. If he agrees, then teacher gives him the questionnaire. Now Paul is «the honest inhabitant», i.e. in next rounds he can state «suspicions», but already nobody can «accuse» him. The game continues until all its participants do not become «honest inhabitants». [9, p. 7]

Game “Direction Finder”. The Player A («direction finder») leaves class, and other participants break into couples. Each couple agrees about a subject of the telephone dialogue. For example, one couple agrees to meet, another discusses the movie, the third shares recipes, etc. When all are ready, players take seats on the chairs made in a circle. Returned Player A stands in the center of a circle. By the teacher’s signal couples at the same time begin their dialogues. The aim of the «direction finder» — to define couples and subjects of their talk. Time limit is 1 minute for each couple. As a result, «direction finder» gets so many points how many couples he has defined. At the same time, he has to call precisely a topic of conversation; otherwise the point is not set off. A game continues until each its participant does not act as a “direction finder”.

Auditive games + Grammar:

Game «Hubbub». Pupils choose one person — Player A, who leaves a class. The remained participants of the game make the sentence in which the number of words corresponds to their number. Further they distribute all words among themselves, but not in an order! Then, teacher asks Player A to return to a class. When the player enters the class participants in unison utter their words. The Player A from several attempts restores the sentence and writes it down on a board. If the sentence is written grammatically correct, the Player A earns so many points how many times pupils repeated the words. If the sentence is incorrect, the Player A does not receive any point. Then there comes the turn of the Player B to leave a class, etc. The player who correctly made the sentence from the smallest number of attempts becomes the winner. [9, p.8]

Auditive games + Writing + Reading:

Game «Backwards». The teacher selects the small story which corresponds to the level of students. He/she rewrites the text on the contrary, from the last word and observing punctuation marks. Ex.: Ended holiday his when sad very felt she. Time great a had they…. Then the teacher in a class reads the turned-out text at slow speed. Pupils have to restore the story. When all are ready, participants of a game in turn read their stories. After that, teacher reads the original. The participant whose story will be the closest to the original becomes the winner of the game.

Game «Typesetter».  The game does not require prior preparation. In the class, teacher selects long word on the topic and writes it on the board, for example:

a r c h a e o l o g i s t

Next, the teacher invites each participant in the game to find words beginning with all letters of the given word. When everyone has finished, the Player A starts to read his list, for instance “apple, road, cap, heart, ant, east, often, letter, open, garden, ice, short, taxi”. Other participants try to remember these words. Then the Player B reads his list, etc. After all lists will be announced, the teacher offers each participant of the game to make a story using all the words from his/her set. Of course verbs can be modified according the tenses! When everyone finishes, the Player A reads his essay. Other players in the game try to fix words in memory. After Player A finishes reading the story, the contestants take turns asking him questions, like this:

Player: Is there a ‘garden’ in your list?

Player a: Yes, there is.

Player earns 1 point.

Player: Is there a ‘send’ in your list?

Player a: No, there isn’t.

The player gets nothing.

In parallel, Player A crosses out named words from his/her list. When all options are exhausted, the Player A reads the remaining words and gets a suitable number of points. Then his essay reads Player B, etc. Finally one who has more points wins! [9, p. 10]

Teaching listening is a fairly urgent process in foreign language teaching and learning as without listening the speech communication is impossible. The communicative feature of listening as a form of speech activity plays a major role in the first stage of learning English. This is because the process of perception and comprehension involves the remembering of different kinds of texts that improves memory and develops the mind; the use of metaphorical expressions trains the attention, and finally the ability to listen and understand what pupils hear brings attention to the interlocutor.

It is probable that one of best technique to teaching and learning listening successfully is a game. Use of games, in particular auditive, in foreign language classrooms has huge value for acquisition new knowledge and formation of new skills. The pedagogical potential of a game consists in motivating and interesting pupils, in stimulation their intellectual and speech activity directed to fixing of new lexical units, in creation the atmosphere of rivalry and cooperation during the task.

Thus, all aforesaid allows to fully appreciating the benefits of learning listening through games in English classroom in elementary school.



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[2] Кунанбаева С.С. Современное иноязычное образование: методология и теории. — Алматы, 2005.-264с.

[3] Littlewood W.T. Foreign Language Teaching Methods: From Past Prescriptions to Present Principles // Foreign Language Teaching in Schools. – 2008. – №11(4). –p.13

[4] Бим И.Л. О преподавании иностранного языка на современном этапе // ИЯШ, №3, 1995. – 70 c.

[5] Грызулина А., Павловский Д. Ещё 2 приёма обучения аудированию // Учитель, №6, 2000. – 15 c.

[6] Celce-Marcia, M. (2001). Teaching English as a second or foreign language, (3rd ed.). Dewey Publishing Services: NY. – 6 c.

[7] Стронин, М. Ф. Обучающие игры на уроке английского языка / М. Ф. Стронин — М.: Просвещение, 1984. – 99 c.

[8] Avedon, M.E. and B.S.Brian. 1971. Learning through Games. The Study of Games. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc: pp 315-321.

[9] Website:

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