TEACHING NARRATIVE WRITING USING GAMES

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Introduction
Background
Language is a means of communication. Through language people can communicate one another. They are able to exchange information, news, ideas, or opinion by speech or writing. Language is the basic for great many human activities; it is a system of sound carry on their activities. Language is an arbitrary vocal symbols, human being primarily use language in speech. There two forms of language, spoken and written that should be learned by the students.
Writing, like speaking, is normally intended to communicate something to somebody, it is thus an advantage if writing activities in the classroom result in someone reading the texts that the learners writes and then responding to them in an appropriate way, rather than just you, the teacher, marking the texts for errors of form, if there is a response from a reader, then the writer finds out if the reader was engaged, was able to follow the ideas, and was able to appreciate the points made in the text. You can then help the writer to reflect on his or her communicative success, or lack of success, deriving from the form, i.e. the choice of words and the arrangement of them. In this way form can be related to communication.

Theoretical Foundation
o Reasons for teaching writing
There are many reasons for getting students to write, both in and outside class. Writing gives them more ‘thinking time’ than they get when they attempt spontaneous conversation. This allows them more opportunity for language processing - that is thinking about the language – whether they are involved in study or activation.
“Writing is basically a process of communicating something (content) on paper to an audience. If the writer has nothing to say, writing will not occur.”(adewumi oluwadiya)(121)

Writing, like speaking, is normally intended to communicate something to somebody. It is thus an advantage if writing activities in the classroom result in someone reading the texts that the learners writes and then responding to them in an appropriate way, rather than just you, the teacher, marking the texts for errors of form, if there is a response from a reader, then the writer finds out if the reader was engaged, was able to follow the ideas, and was able to appreciate the points made in the text. You can then help the writer to reflect on his or her communicative success, or lack of success, deriving from the form, i.e. the choice of words and the arrangement of them. In this way form can be related to communication.
Writing can be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying activities for teachers and students to do together in a classroom, especially in a foreign language classroom. Yet it is also one of the more ‘difficult’ things to tackle on a syllabus, and all too often students do not respond in the way that teachers want them to. They often see it as hard work, boring, unrewarding and, perhaps because writing is often given out as a homework activity, not a lot of fun.


o A Narrative Writing
A narrative is a story that is created in a constructive format (as a work of writing, speech, poetry, prose, pictures, song, motion pictures, video games, theatre or dance) that describes a sequence or fictional or non-fictional events.
As a mode of expository writing, the narrative approach, more than any other, offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. We all have experiences lodged in our memories, which are worthy of sharing with readers. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage.

o About games
The word ‘game’ to mean an activity which is entertaining and engaging, often challenging, and an activity in which the learners play and usually interact with others. A testing question might be: ‘Would the learners be happy to do this activity in their own language?’
We believe that games can play an important part in the language learning process generally. When thinking about the teaching of writing, it is important to have a reason for writing, and we believe that games can provide a useful answer to the question Why? As we all know from bitter experience, there are few things more difficult than trying to write a letter when you have no real reason to do so, or trying to answer an exam question when you have nothing really to say! If, in the artificial world of the classroom, we are to encourage our students to write, and expect them to be enthusiastic about this lengthy, tiresome business, we must at the very least provide a motivating reason to start writing.
Games provide a clear short term achievable aim for students, and by incorporating games into the writing process we help them to overcome one of the difficulties mentioned above – Why? If there is a clear aim in sight, students will find the writing process easier (that is not to say they will necessarily write better, but they will find it easier to get the words onto paper) and they will then commence to find it more enjoyable.
Games can also provide an audience for the writer. Classmate and colleagues will often be the readers of the texts produced as part of these activities, and the vital process of feedback is made more immediate. The students are now not simply producing work because Teacher Requires It for Homework, but for their peers. Games can therefore provide an answer to the question – Who?
Lastly, but not least, games of any kind are usually fun. Students who are having fun are usually motivated, so they will find writing made more interesting and more enjoyable, and will begin to improve as a result. Fun is a vital ingredient in the fight against the ‘homework syndrome’.
If it is accepted that games can provide intense and meaningful practice of language, then they must be regarded as central to a language teacher’s repertoire and not merely a way of passing the time.

Finding Data
Once a child learns to read, the desire for writing creative stories usually follows. Writing comes naturally for many children, but a number of young writers find starting a story difficult. Creative games help children jump-start the creative writing process. The ideas below can help you create additional writing activities that feel less like work and more like fun.
• Organization
The activities can be organizes in different ways:
 Whole Class activities, such as brainstorming for associations, where everyone is thinking and providing ideas for one person to write up on the overhead projector (OHP) or on the board.
 Individual activities, where students are asked to write alone for a set time.
 Pair work, where students write together, or to each other.
 Group work, where a group discusses what they are writing together, helping each other as they go.
To get away from the ‘homework syndrome’ with its possible negative effects, it is important to try to vary these ways of organizing the writing class as much as you can.
• What about mistakes?
The greatest ‘mistake’ (if oral ability is an aim) is for the learner not to speak at all! Thus, although some mistakes of grammar or pronunciation or idiom may be made in pair or group work. The price is worth paying. If the learners are clear about what they have to do and the language is not beyond them, there need be few mistakes.

• The teacher’s role
The teacher’s role, once the groups or pairs are in action, is to go from group to group listening in, contributing and if necessary, correcting.
If you have not organised group work before, then it is advisable to work slowly towards it. First of all, make the learners familiar with work in pairs. Add to this games in which rows of learners (if that is how they are seated) play against you or between themselves. Finally, after perhaps several weeks, ask the rows of learners to group themselves together to play a game between them.
To minimise difficulties, it is essential that the learners are very familiar with the games they are asked to play. (it is helpful if they are familiar with the game in their own language.)
Once the learners are familiar with group work, new games are normally introduced in the following way
1. explanation by the teacher to the class
2. demonstration of parts of the game by the teacher and one or two learners.
3. trial by a group in front of the class
4. any key language and/or instructions written on the board
5. first ‘try out’ of the game, by groups
6. key language, etc., removed from the board
7. the game continues

• Types Of Activity Games
Being aware the essential character of a type of game and the way in which it engages the learner can be helpful in the adaptation of games or the creation of new games.
The games in narrative writing are in variety types. Some examples are mention below:
o Create
The leaner is challenged or invited to make a story, write a poem or produce some other kind of material using their imagination. Here the distinction between ‘challenged’ and ‘invited is worth making. ‘Challenged’ might include those story-making starters in which you stipulate certain features: for example, you stipulate that a certain tense form must occur very often, or that the story must be exactly 50 words long. ‘Invited’, because sometimes the best way to stir the creative forces is to ‘invite’, ‘encourage’, ‘show interest’, and so on. For example game: Bouncing stories, Rewrite a fairy story, Create an Island, Create a soap opera
Others of types of activity games are:
1. Audience and context
Activities where writing develops out of a context or has a clearly defined audience using matching, role-play. Example game: Moral Tales, History/Her story, Art Adventure
2. Imaginative stimulus
Using poems, music, pictures, story, objects as a fuel or stimulus to imaginative work Example game: Moral Tales, Fairytale Update, History/Her story, Freaky Fables, Art Adventure, Dream Dictation, Detective Stimulus
3. Creative gap
Using of random associations of previously unconnected ideas and lucky dips to stimulate bisociative thinking. Example game: Fairytale Update, Dream Dictation, Dream Auction, Detective Stories
4. Describing what you see.. Example game: Cartoon Treasure Hunt, History/Her story
5. Brainstorming
Collecting from a group as many ideas on a topic as possible within a short specified time. Example game: Detective Stories.
These games in narrative writing usually contain about:
 Function practiced
The function of narrative writing using games in practiced are for narrating past events, or to describing places, or to describing scenes, or to describing people, etc.
 Useful language
The useful of narrative writing in language are to learn about past tenses (particularly continuous/ simple), to learn about time clauses, or to learn about adjectives for describing places, people, clothes, etc.
 Lexical areas
Lexical areas in narrative writing using games included about: Everyday Activities, Magic, Adjectives for Describing Landscape; People and Object; Scenery; People’s Appearance; Movement; Clothes; Places; Actions; Materials; also Unspecifiable.

• Example of game in narrative writing:
Freaky Fables/Rewrite a Fairy Story
Type of activity
Imaginative stimulus: poem
Function Practised
Narrating past events
Useful language
Past tense; time clause
Lexical areas
Everyday activities; magic

How to use the activity
 This activity probably works best in small groups of three or four, but students can also work individually or in pairs if they or you prefer.
 Copy the pages of pictures so that there is one complete set per group/pair/student.
 To initiate this activity use the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ story or the cartoon story ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ in the Games material section.
 If the students know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, or The Boy Who Cried Wolf, ask them to tell them to you. If some students know them and some don’t, put them in groups so that those who know the stories can tell those who don’t.
 Then read them Roald Dahl’s ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf (below).
 Now give out the first page of pictures and read ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ with the students.
 Then discuss the ‘Cinderella story with the whole class. Fairy stories usually have happy – and predictable – endings. But what would happen if something went wrong? If, for example, the Fairy Godmother forgot her spell? Or if Cinderella joined a union? How would the story end? Ask the students for more suggestions of things that could go wrong, and for new endings for the fairy tale.
 Then ask them, in their groups, to brainstorm suggestions for endings for the other two fairy tales: The Sleeping Beauty or The Frog Prince. (Suggestions students have come up with in the past: the prince was even uglier than the frog; the princess was a nature lover who hated men; the prince preferred being a frog; the Fairy Godmother was a feminist who raised Cinderella’s consciousness; the shoe fitted someone else; Cinderella sprained her ankle on the way back from the ball so the shoe didn’t fit her; the Sleeping Beauty preferred dreams to reality and got her doctor to give her a prescription for sleeping pills, when she woke up the room was full of reporters and TV cameras, and the prince was just an actor hired by a TV programme; she didn’t marry the prince but earned a lot of money giving exclusive interviews and writing a book called My 100 Years of Sleep.)
 Collect suggestions from the whole class, and then ask the groups to choose the idea they like best and write the new version of the fairy story.
 Note: if your students are not familiar with the fairy tales on the picture sheet, you could substitute fairy tales from their own culture.
Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
As soon as Wolf began to feel that he would like a decent meal, he went and knocked on Grandma’s door. When Grandma opened it, she saw the sharp white teeth, the horrid grin, and Wolfie said, ‘May I come in?
Poor Grandmamma was terrified, ‘He’s going to eat me up!’ she cried.
And she was absolutely right. He ate her up in one big bite. But Grandmamma wa small and tough, and Wolfie wailed, ‘That’s not enough! I haven’t yet begun to feel that I have had a decent meal!’
He ran around the kitchen yelping, ‘I’ve got to have another helping!’
Then added with a frightful leer,
‘I’m therefore going to wait tight here till Little Miss Red Riding Hood comes home from walking in the wood.’
He quickly put on Grandma’s clothes, (of course he hadn’t eaten those.) He dressed himself in coat and hat. He put on shoes and after that he even brushed and curled his hair. Then sat himself in Grandma’s chair.
In came the little girl in red. She stopped. She stared. And then she said,
‘What great big ears you have, Grandma.’
‘All the better to hear you with,’ the Wolf replied.
‘What great big eyes you have, Grandma,’ said Little Red Riding Hood.
‘All the better to see you with,’ the Wolf replied.
He sat there watching her and smiled. He thought, ‘I’m going to eat this child. Compared with her old Grandmamma she’s going to taste like caviar.’
Then Little Riding Hood said, ‘But Grandma, what a lovely great big furry coat you have on’.
‘That’s wrong!’ cried Wolf. ‘Have you forgotten to tell me what BIG TEETH I’ve got? Ah well, no matter what you say, I’m going to eat you anyway.’
The small girl smiles, one eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers. She aims it at the creature’s head and bang… bang… bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood, I came across Miss Riding Hood. But what a change! No cloak of red, no silly hood upon her head.
She said, ‘Hello, and do please note “My lovely furry WOLFSKIN COAT.”

Conclusion
Writing, like speaking, is normally intended to communicate something to somebody. Writing can be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying activities for teachers and students to do together in a classroom, especially in a foreign language classroom. Yet it is also one of the more ‘difficult’ things to tackle on a syllabus, and all too often students do not respond in the way that teachers want them to. Some of the difficulties associated with the teaching of writing in foreign language classes some from the nature of writing itself. When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story. Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author’s, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story. Language learning is hard work. One must make an effort to understand, to repeat accurately, to adapt and to use newly understood language in conversation and in written composition. Effort is required at every moment and must be maintained over a long period of time. Games help and encourage many learners to sustain their interest and work. Games also help the teacher to create contexts in which the language is useful and meaningful. The learners want to take part, and in order to do so must understand what others are saying or have written, and they must speak and write in order to express their own point of view or give information. Games provide one way of helping the learners to experience language rather than merely study it.

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