One of the most important teaching tools the teacher has in the EFL-classroom is the teaching of a foreign language through games. Playing games is not only the most natural way children learn a language, but authors like Hadfield and Rixon point out that games should have a central place in language teaching because of their several beneficial effects: they create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom, they are fun and relaxing. Penny Ur thinks that it is necessary to play games in EFL lessons because games provide a meaningful context for the learner. Rinvolucri is of the opinion that games help enhance students´ activity and involvement in language learning.
Despite all the described advantages of playing games in the EFL-classroom, teaching grammar through games is often frowned upon, as most people are of the opinion that grammar is the most important and difficult part of the foreign language. It follows that grammar should be taught in a ´serious, academic´ way and playing games in grammar lessons is a waste of time or games should only be used at the end of a lesson or as so-called time-fillers. Nevertheless, research in this field has shown that acquiring grammar well means to put emphasis on fluency and speaking activities whereby grammar structures are repeated and practised abundantly. Games are a great help for students to practise and to revise any kind of grammar structure and for teachers to complete the usual textbook with meaningful and efficient grammar exercises.
2. How to use grammar games in the EFL-classroom
I would like to describe here how children can be taught three important and difficult grammar structures by games: