José Luis Morales, 2009.

Same people – Different contexts Pre-PersonalComputer/Internet times

Little Jenny dear: Mom, can I go out now? Mommy dearest: You can go out when you´ve finished your homework.

Same people – Different contexts PersonalComputer/Internet times

Mommy dearest: Are you really working in there? Little Johnny dear: Uh Huh. (msn, facebook, twitter, youtube, wikipedia, google, blogspot are

Multimedi a Interactivi ty Variety of input Freedom of choice Control

Why do we have to do one thing at a time?

What can we do while we wait for more technology to reach our classrooms?

Classroom Play deserves a central role in language teaching …or does it? AGAINST:
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Most youngsters crave it. Promotes ‘Flow’ (Csiksentmihalyi ,1975, 2000) Experiencing rather than merely studying. Encourages learners to sustain interest and work (Wright, 2006) Replicates the world outside the classroom (including the adult world).

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Some youngsters don’t care to play. Youngsters have a strong sense of justice/fairness that may lead to long arguments and distraction during games. It can get noisy and disruptive. It may go against school policy (explicitly or implicitly). It can place a strain on

‘Playing’ in class can be consistent with all 12 principles (H. Douglas Brown 1994,2001) around which there is agreement in the ELT community.  Automaticity.  Self Confidence  Meaningfulness.  Risk taking  Anticipation of  Language-culture reward. connection  Intrinsic motivation.  Native language effect  Strategic  Interlanguage investment.  Language ego  Communicative Competence


can lead into great research and writing tasks involving use of computers and the internet = PLAY with

POPULAR QUIZZES Teens take them

online all the time. Transferred to the classroom they make excellent PLAY opportunities.

THEME-RELATED JOKES can be useful attention pointers. A PLAY pill a day, keeps boredom away.

THEME-RELATED JOKES Provide some compact comic relief as well as realistic contexts

INDIVIDUAL PLAY can have a very calming effect when the going gets tough. It can make use of technology available to the learners, e.g. calculator

INDIVIDUAL PLAY can relate to pop

culture themes the learners encounter outside the classroom and identify with PLAY. PLAY

INDIVIDUAL PLAY can take the form of riddles, crossword puzzles, graphic games, etc.

PAIRS OR SMALL GROUP PLAY can be easily engaged when young learners play around with songs they choose.

Download list of current top ten hits:

WHOLE CLASS PLAY is sure to be engaged when there is guided discussion of the learners musical interests in general.
Lots of sound files will be exchanged after class (or even

Choosing PLAY activities. A checklist:
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‘Upper’ or ‘Downer’? Individuals, Pairs or Small Groups? Competitive, Cooperative or Coopetitive? Digital native appeal? Input to Output ratio? Language and/or Communication focus? Length/Complexity of instructions? Potential Pitfalls (PPs)?


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Brown, H. Douglas.2001. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. Second Edition. Pearson Longman, White Plains NY . Csiksentmihalyi, M. 1975. Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: The Experience of Work and Play in Games. San Francisco: Jossey Bass Publishers. Morales, J.L et al 2008. Hey There! 1 to 4. Pearson Longman, White Plains NY . Seligman, M.E.F., & Csiksentmihalyi, M. 2000. Positive Psychology: An Introduction. American Psychologist 55 5-14. Wright, A. et al. 2006.Games for Language Learning. Cambridge University Press.

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