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1.1 Background of the Research

Language learning is not an easy thing for children. As young language

learners, they must make efforts to understand, adapt, and to use a new language.

The effort should be maintained at every moment and over a long period.

The fun way of teaching is needed to help children in language learning. We

expect children to enjoy the learning process through play. As stated by Paul

(2003), a child who encounters a new English word, expression, or pattern

through games is far motivated to learn and to internalize the new English word,

expression, and pattern than a child who receives the new knowledge before the

game. In line with this condition, games are needed to help and encourage learners

to sustain their interest and work. Games also help teachers to create contexts in

which the language is useful and meaningful. It is also supported by Paul's (2003)

statement that games are not simply for practicing language targets. He also added

that the most effective learning can be achieved through games.

Games are often used as short warm-up activities or when there is some

time left at the end of a lesson. However, as Lee (1979, p.3) observes, a game

should not be regarded as a marginal activity filling in odd moments when the

teacher and class have nothing better to do. Games ought to be at the heart of

teaching foreign languages. Rixon (1981) suggests that games be used at all stages

of the lesson, provided that they are suitable and carefully chosen.

Games also help learners recall material in a pleasant, entertaining way. All

authors referred to in this article agree that even if games resulted only in noise

and entertained students. They are still worth paying attention to and

implementing in the classroom since they motivate learners, promote

communicative up activities. What is presented here is expected to give some

contributions to the field of language learning, such as the use of games in the

learning process and the better way to learn a language through games.

According to Paul (2003), games are one of the best ways to make children

feel deeply involved in the lesson. It is also suitable for one of the characteristics

of young learners provided by Scott and Ytreberd (2004), that young children love

to play and learn best when they are having fun through the play. Children will be

engaged in doing something that makes them enjoyed it.

The use of games in the teaching process is important to achieve effective

learning. The teaching process usually consists of several phases. Sheils (1988, as

cited in Errey's articles (2012) in TEFL Boot camp articles 2011) mentions phases

in communicative teaching called three-phases framework. In the three-phase

framework, the teaching process is divided into three phases named pre-activity,

whilst activity, and post-activity.

Sheils (1988) explains that the pre-activity is the first phase of teaching in

which the teacher can build a learning environment to raise the interest of learners

in the lesson, to activate the prior knowledge of learners and to prepare learners

for the language that can be necessary to perform the main task. The next phase is

whilst activity which is the main phase of delivering teaching materials. In this

phase, the teacher can engage learners in the main tasks including oral or written

tasks. The last phase is the post-activity. This phase includes the reflection of the

ideas and language produced during the main activity and language drill.

Learners usually try to judge the first impression of the lesson in the pre-

activity phase. They will be engaged in the lesson when the teacher can raise their

interest. The teacher can use games itself as proposed by Evans (1979), that games

are entertaining and exciting for learners by the competition and suspense of the

outcome and the winner of the game. Games may be designed to activate prior

knowledge and to prepare the language needed in the main task.

According to Wright, Betterridge, and Buckby (2006), games have several

advantages in language teaching. Games help teachers to build a context in which

learners should take part to understand what others say or write and also force

learners to express their point of view or give information. In this case, games

give a chance for learners to experience the language rather than to study the

language. The other advantage of using games is that they provide repeated

occurrence and use of a particular language form. In other words, games provide

meaningful drills that allow learners to have better absorbency in receiving the

lesson. It is because meaningful drills allow the learners to involve the emotion

and the meaning of the language. In line with the importance of learners'

comfortable feeling to each other and also to improve their self-confidence which

can make them focus on the language lesson, Wright, Betteridge, and Buckby

(2006) claim that games are considered as a way of warming people and help

them to focus their minds to the lesson.

Based on the description above, the researcher interested in investigating

Games as Warming-up Activities to Young Learners' at an English Course (A

Descriptive Qualitative Research at Junior High School in Bandung Barat).

1.2 Purpose of The Research

The aim of the research to investigate the types of games used by the teacher

as warming-up activities in young learners' classrooms. besides, the researcher is

conducted to find out the advantages of implementing those games and this

research has the aim to know difficulties in implementing the games as warming-

up activities in young learners' classrooms.

1.3 Research Questions

Based on the background of this study, the research is focused on the

following questions.

1. What types of games are used by the teacher as warming-up activities in

young learners' classroom?

2. What are the advantages of implementing those games as warming up

activities in young learners' classroom?

3. What are the difficulties of implementing those games as warming up

activities in young learners' classroom?

1.4 Significant of the Research

Educational practitioners such as teachers, students, and other researchers

hopefully can get some good impact of this research. For the teacher, this research

may give them more information about the use of games in the learning process

and the advantages of the games. The students are more interested in learning

English using games, there is some information that the teacher will get, namely,

teachers are more creative in making and using new games, then the lessons are

easier to apply using games. And other researchers are finding new information

about the advantages and difficulties of using the game itself.

1.5 The Limitation of the Research

In line with the identification of the significance, the focus of the research

was on teaching English using Games activity. The decision was taken by

considering the importance of the Games technique as one of Learning's strategies

that were useful to increase students' learning English achievement. The

researcher assumed that there should be some suitable techniques in teaching

English which could motivate the students to learn English so they could

understand the information.

1.6 Research Methodology

1.6.1 Research Design

The research used a qualitative approach and applied a case-study design.

The qualitative approach was used because it allowed the researcher to study

games in a natural setting and interpret its advantages and difficulties.

Furthermore, it explored the activities in a classroom without interfering with the

teaching process. In line with this, Creswell (2007) stated that the natural setting

in collecting data is one of the characteristics of the qualitative approach. Case-

study was selected as the research design by investigating the types of games used

by the teacher as warming-up activities. The research also involved multiple

sources of information such as observation and interview and reported the result

in a case description.

1.6.2 Participant

The Participant involved in this study were one of the English classes in

junior high school and an English teacher. The selection of participants is based

on the claim of a teacher who uses several types of games in his teaching as a

warming-up activity. Then the researcher will observe and interview the teacher

and students.

1.6.3 The Data Collecting Technique

Classroom observation and interviews are the research instruments

employed to collect the data. Classroom observation was used to get in a brief

description of the kinds of games occurred in the warming-up activities stage of

language learning. the observation was recorded in a form of video and

observational notes. Observation video was a transcript and coded according to

the kind of games that occurred. Observational notes were compiled to support the

data gained from observation video. The instruments were used to answer the first

research question. The second instrument is an interview. the interview was used

to get information from the teacher to find out the advantages and difficulties that

were faced by the teacher. This instrument was done to complete the information

gap during observation.

1.6.4 The Data Analysis

After collecting data from observation and interviews, those data were

analyzed in three steps, namely (1) identification, (2) categorization, and (3)

interpretation. The data gained from observation sheets and observation videos

were identified by identifying the characteristics of games that were used by the

teacher as warming up activities for the students. After the identification step, the

data were interpreted to answer the research question about the types of games

that were used by the teacher as warming-up activities in young learners'


1.7 The Clarification of Term

To comprehend underlying the title of this paper, some terms had been

clarified as follows:

1.7.1 Game in the EFL is a natural means for children to understand the world
around them. Therefore, it should be part and parcel of their learning,
including the learning of foreign languages (Rooyackers, 2002).

1.7.2 Warming-up activities are opening activities in the pre-activity phase to

warm up classroom situations. something to prepare yourself for an
activity, especially gentle exercises before an activity (Cambridge

1.7.3 Young Learners are students who are studying in Elementary or Senior
High School aging 7-15 and they are studying English as a second
language for about one up to four years. In other words, we may say that
Young Learners are English foreign language learners, aging 9- 17.
(Purmaningsih 2011, Etty Maryati Hossein )