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Move, act, speak!
by Jerry Thekes
- 2

In the grammar games described in the article, the term grammar MacNugget is used. This denomination comes from Thornbury (2010), who maintains that "an enthusiasm for compartmentalization, inherited from grammars of classical languages, has given rise to the elaborate architecture of the so-called tense system – including such grammar McNuggets as the future-in-the-past, and the past perfect continuous, not to mention the conditionals, first, second and third – features of the language that have little or no linguistic, let alone psychological, reality." Before the description of games, I will indicate the grammar McNugget that the teacher is supposed to teach with that particular game.
When grammar games facilitating learners' acquisition is at issue, neither Krashen (1982) nor Prabhu (1987) should be left out of consideration who assert –with slight distinction - that language is naturally acquired and explicit rule providing is to be avoided.
In order to motivate students to learn grammar, teachers need to fend off the tension the learners tend to have. If it is proved to them that the acquisition of grammar structures is an enjoyable pastime, they will be more willing to proceed in their TEFL studies. Maffione (2008, 22) also finds students' motivation crucial and she points out to the fact that involving the students and keeping them alert is the right path towards teaching them something new.


Battleship game
Grammar McNugget: phrasal verbs
Level: intermediate
Material: pictures, battleship charts

One student receives two battleship cards (the cards can be seen below): one for his own battleship; the other for radar. They are supposed to draw a battleship of three grids. Students play in pairs as they try to hit each other's battleships. They take turns saying phrasal verbs such as 'take off'; thus indicating that the player-student tries to find his opponent-student's battleship in the 'take off' grid. The winner is the one who finds the opponent's chunk of three grids first. This competitive game is played in order to engage them in the acquisition of phrasal verbs.
Once they are done, the teacher has to make sure that the learners acquire the meanings of the sixteen phrasal verbs. If the teacher finds this amount of vocabulary too much, then they can select the lexical items they want to teach. All of these phrasal verbs can be illustrated with a picture. As it is seen below as well, the verb 'take off' is illustrated. Once the presentation is done, the teacher has the students focus on the white board and hands out pictures illustrating the phrasal verbs. The same battleship chart is drawn on the white board and the teacher has the students put the pictures into the corresponding battleship grids with blue tack.

   up on in off

   up on in off

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