F. Machì

University of Palermo (ITALY)
The role of gaming as an extremely effective teaching tool with learners at every age has been already well acknowledged by authors from all over the world.

In the FL classroom the fundamental characteristic of the gaming approach is the turn over of the perspective that not only emphasizes the affective relationship that occurs between teacher and student in the teaching/learning process, but also underlines the centrality of the learner as the main actor in the learning process. Games in the classroom help create communicative and significant learning environments where attention to individuals or to special education needs, respect of the rules, cooperation, solidarity, overcoming of difficulties can grow and consolidate.

This kind of teaching method has got an educational worth not only with young learners who generally love playing. Whether it is true that children have their first contact with the world through games by which they learn to know themselves the others and the environments around them, it is also true that motivation, challenge, ease connected to gaming activities, the learning by doing dimension, the freedom of moving and not sitting, etc, are all characteristics that make gaming teaching methods universally and transversally efficacious.

So it is extremely important that teachers, first, learn to make use of games in class that means verifying the feasibility, adapting them to the target of learners and their specific needs and focusing on the goals. It is also important to give teachers enough materials to collect background information in order to draw up methodological strategies that make use of efficacious, supporting and inclusive tools for students with special need means, to teach/learn foreign languages.

On the basis of these considerations, the present work, fruit of an intense workshop activity supported for years in schools and academic courses of the University Palermo, aims to present a grid of evaluation of the game as an inclusive teaching tool to be used in the foreign language classroom. The grid, constructed during the academic years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, has been analysed, used and validated by students attending classes of Special Education and Teaching Methodology for Infant and Primary School, within the degree courses of Social Education and Primary Education at the University of Palermo. The aim is to provide a useful working tool for teachers who want to manage and organize a teaching inclusive course making use of games. Although conceived for the foreign language classroom, the grid is structured in order to fit to other subject areas.