The Internet TESL Journal

Three "Co" Games: Collocation, Cooperation and Communication in EFL Classes

Sinan Misirli
sinan3040 }at{
Teacher Trainee at Gazi University (Ankara, Turkey)

Games let students feel relaxed and learn in a natural process. That's why it would be best to take the advantage of games as they are fun, and also motivating and relaxing tools.


The overall aim of an English teacher is to make the language learning process closer to the language acquisition process. So, when the natural development of a child is taken into consideration, games stand as a group of tools of language learning in real life. That's why it would be best to take the advantages of games as they are fun, and also motivating and relaxing tools. As Deesri stated ''it is a quite good idea to incorporate games in daily classes (cited in Atake in 2003 from Deesri 2002)''. However, ''the whole syllabus should not be based on games only -- even for young learners (Ersoz, 2000)''.

Before Starting

 While choosing a game don't forget:

Game 1: Collocation Order

  1. Play this game, before starting the lesson in every session.
  2. Have a collocation written on a paper (e.g. to make a promise) but don't show this to the students.
  3. Cut the chunk to leave each word alone in the sentence (to / make / a / promise).
  4. Pin each word / piece to a student's sweater casually and these (e.g. four students for to/make/a/promise) students are to find their right place in the order of the idiom hidden.
  5. Then the rest of the students try to guess the meaning of the collocation.
  6. Every week, another group of collocations can be used (collocations with take, have, break, get, make etc.).
Some examples of collocations:

Game 2: The Rest of the Story

  1. Give the students a sentence from a story.
  2. Let the students guess the rest of the story.
  3. Then give another sentence and let them guess again.
  4. Continue until the story is finished.
  5. Let the one who guesses the right ending read the original story aloud in the classroom.                   

Game 3: Odd Dreams

  1. Write different kinds of dreams on little pieces of papers and put them in a hat.
  2. Choose a student to be the "dream juror."
  3. Divide the rest of the class into the groups of three or four.
  4. Let each group take one dream from the hat.
  5. Let the groups interpret the dreams they have.
  6. After 5 minutes each group will tell their interpretations to the dream juror aloud.
  7. The dream juor says whether he/she likes the interpretation or not.
  8. After all the groups interpreted their dreams, the dream juror chooses the best three groups (so as to avoid a strict competition).

Some examples of dreams to write on the papers for groups to interpret.


Students love games if their level of English, their age group, their needs are covered and also if they play it in a more cooperative way rather than a very strict competitive way which leaves many students frustrated after the game. However, games are fun and they make the learning process closer to the acquisition process, which makes students learn in a more natural way. Therefore, the games should take place in the syllabus of EFL classes like co-pilots to accelerate learning.


The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. XIII, No. 8, August 2007