Classroom English

Classroom English is language that is frequently used in the classroom, and it characterized by its usefulness and practical application. It can be found in the beginning of textbook chapters, and also encompasses basic English expressions that the teacher uses daily in the classroom.

Classroom English, while seemingly simple and straightforward, is an essential part of the language setting. The functions are varied:

  • Gain an understanding of the English Language
  • Enable students to feel comfortable hearing and responding to English instruction
  • Promote unconscious comprehension of simple commands in English
  • React to English instruction and thus gain confidence in their overall ability to function in English

Here are some examples of certain classroom phrases used throughout the class:

Start of the class

“Sit down”

“be quiet please”

“Let’s review…”

“Let’s begin”

During the class

“Repeat after me”

“Read aloud”


“try again”

“Do you understand”

After the class

“Any questions”

“The homework is…”

“Tomorrow, we’ll…”

“Goodbye, have a nice day”

Photo by Yan Krukov on

Classroom English exists in a strange paradigm. Its very nature means the usage is more than other types of English, but often it isn’t taught specifically or focused on during classes. This creates a problem for language teachers as often it requires a different teaching method compared to specific chapter focused English.

Classroom English is predominantly spoken and so the teacher uses this medium to communicate with classroom English, however oral techniques are only a component of teaching classroom English.

Strategies for teaching Classroom English:

Use visuals to reinforce the target language. This is an essential part of the learning and reinforcement process. Students need to be able to see the Classroom English phrases easily and they need access to it at all times.

Use the first part of the first lesson to talk about Classroom English with students. This is an important step to establishing what phrases the students need to listen out for.

For older students, methods for learning Classroom English tend to have a passive rather than active aspect. Student exposure to Classroom English will take place throughout the class, and practical methodology includes repetition and drills.

With younger students, alongside the repetition, more active tasks can be useful, especially games. Before and after the class, games can be a great way to teach Classroom English.  

Using Gamification in the EFL Environment

Outside of the learning environment, gamification is nothing new. Industries and businesses have been using this strategy to incorporate gaming aspects into their businesses for several years with varying degrees of success.

More recently, language learning environments have been tentatively incorporating gamification into their classes, and this trend is increasing yearly.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the use of aspects of gaming and game design techniques in traditionally non-gaming environments, such as finance, marketing, and education.

Why Use Gamification?

Gaming is a popular global pasttime that makes a lot of people happy, transcends age, gender, nationality and language. It also encourages motivation, has easily achievable “goals” and promotes a relaxed environment. All of which are seen by educators as desirable qualities in the classroom.

How to Use Gamification in an Educational Environment

‘But we’ve been using games in the classroom for years. This is nothing new,’ some educators may proclaim.

And indeed this is the case. But it’s important to preface at this point that gamification is not the use of games, it’s the use of gaming techniques and aspects of gaming. 

So how can you use Gamification to enhance your class?

Gamification, as mentioned before, has clear goals, measurable progress, and just as important, requires participation. As any experienced teacher in Korea can attest to, getting students to participate in activities can be a labor of misery, especially as many Korean students don’t like to make mistakes in front of their peers, and so avoiding the activity entirely seems a better choice than trying and failing.

So with a combination of gamification techniques such as badges, leveling up, quest-lines, you not only encourage students to participate in activities, you also create a social element as they can join a group, compete against friends and experience both teamwork and solo.

With the development of technology used in EFL classrooms, gamification can naturally evolve alongside the technology. There are numerous examples of educational gamification being entirely technology-based; Duolingo being a prime example. While the EFL instructor can take advantage of wide-ranging technology advancements, gamification isn’t all about the technology.

If the teacher finds themselves in a technology-barren space, gamification techniques can still be applied. Paper-based points systems, achievement stamps for younger students, all work well in the classroom without the use of technology.


Gamification is a widely used and versatile technique that can enhance any classroom environment. The core components of participation and achievable goals make it a must for any classroom, and the overall style can be adapted for any age group or ability level.