What are the Benefits of Language Games?
Gone are the days when children loved to play outdoor activities. Some parents still encourage their kids to play outdoor games. Due to technological advancements, mobile and the internet have become a basic necessity of life. The instinct of the children is to explore things and play games.
With time, video games have taken the place of outdoor games. At present, games are not the only source of entertainment and fun but they also improve the learner’s language skills. According to some scholars,
games are a very appropriate teaching skill for the young-learners. Whether it is a video game or a class activity, students can learn while playing. They will enjoy the teaching and learning process.
With a happy mind, their brain can retain more information and it will result in improving their language skills. Moreover, playing games is a natural part of growing up and learning.
Traditional and Modern Learning Practices
Students are fed up with traditional learning practices. It burdens the learners and they don’t learn quickly. Games provide fun activities to learners that make them learn things in an enjoyable and relaxed manner. Playing games is a better option than doing boring exercises from the textbook.
In games, teachers don’t have to enforce the learners so they learn by themselves without putting much effort. Students usually come across two types of games. The first is a competitive game with different individuals playing to win the game.
The second is a cooperative game in which teams and pairs work together to win such as by solving a puzzle and drawing pictures.
At present, learning-centered approaches and activity-based learning are given more preferences. Language classes are no exception. Learning a new language, at least one or two, is very important to communicate with the global world.
Moreover, it helps to gain more knowledge, increase proficiency and enhance employability. In addition to it, by learning a new language, you can grow both in your professional and personal life.
Learning a new language looks like a very tedious task but gaming has made this task much easier. It is one of the effective tools for learning a new language. Learning through games resonates with the temperament of present-day learners.
If they are planned and used appropriately. They can cater to the psychological and learning needs of the day. In the learning process, the learner is the basic center of attention. Moreover, to make the learning experience easier, you should include effective factors.
It is important for the language teacher to provide comfortable, enjoyable, and engaging content to the language learner. Therefore, language games have become an important part of language classes.
The language games aim at using the target language to negotiate and persuade the other party. This requires motor skills simultaneously.
Nowadays, language practitioners and researchers have changed their paradigm from developing individual linguistic skills to the use of language to achieve the objective of the speaker. This new change is called communicative competence.
It guides the teachers to use task-orientated activities that make the learners use the language in its creative form. Besides developing the correct use of language, task-based games act as excellent communicative activities.
Games provide the students with a relaxed and pleasant learning atmosphere. In this way, students can use language in a stress-free environment. While playing the games the learner’s attention is on game instructions rather than language.
They do all things to win the game rather than focusing on the correctness of language. This helps them to overcome the fear of being negatively changed in the crowd. Because of this, children can confidently talk in public.
In the game-oriented context, anxiety is reduced and the gamer can become fluent in the language by achieving communicative competence.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that students may not realize the amount of time and effort utilized for developing the game. They also don’t have any idea about the academic worth of the games. Therefore, it is important to explain the motive behind the game.
Motivation Behind the Game Learning: How it can Help
Games have become learning platforms. They place the teacher in the role of moderator.
- It develops the sense of team building and makes the learners feel equal.
- Games create a positive and friendly environment
- It motivates the students to participate in classroom activities and speeds up the process of learning.
- When learners are involved in the game, it helps in increasing their attention span.
- Games can enhance the mood of the learner by proving different learning alternatives.
- It also creates competition in language-learning activities.
- Games provide a valuable stimulus for the purposeful use of language.
- The competitive environment can make learners focus and think comprehensively during the activities of the game and it increases their productive inputs
- The games create an environment for language use. The students try to speak a new language to express themselves.
- Language learners can think with creativity while using the target language to win the game. They can communicate before, during, and after the game.
- It reduces the anxiety of learning a new language and making mistakes
- It supports the spontaneous use of the English language.
- It makes the players provide intelligible input to clarify the rules of the games.
- Games also teach learners to learn how to develop winning strategies.
- By gaming, you can learn a language in a variety of ways.
- Gaming makes the monotonous learning process entertaining.
- Games provide opportunities to learn different patterns of language like vocabulary and pronunciation.
When to go for Language Games?
Games can be used at the start of the lecture or at the end in a very provoking way. You can also use games to bring punctuation in long learning lessons. In this way, the motivation of the learner is increased before going for formal studies. Moreover, games can also be used to find weak areas in language proficiency. Teachers can also use games to release tension after a test or a language practice.
How Swedish Children Learn the English Language Through Gaming
English is an international language. Parents from around the world want their children to learn English. This is because the English language can open the door for opportunities for their children. Do you wonder what a 10- or 11-year-old boy does when he comes back from school in the evening? Instead of opening his textbooks, he starts playing online computer games.
Children living in Sweden are learning the English language through computer games. They prefer English rather than their native Swedish language. The study was conducted on 76 children and the final result was that playing games can have an appositive effect on their English-speaking skills.
Another research was conducted in Finland and Turkey to know how children learn languages through computer games. In that study, children answered different questions like how they came in contact with English outside their schools.
Moreover, whether they like English or not and how can they learn this language. These children also fill the diary to depict how much time, they will spend in other language learning activities like reading books and playing computer games, and watching TV.
The main objective of the study was to investigate language-related computer use in Swedish and English and also to co-relate playing a video game and a child’s motivation to learn a language.
The study that was conducted at 12 years old concluded that gaming is positively linked to learning vocabulary and English comprehension.
Massive Use of Computer Games
Another research was conducted between Swedish boys and girls that how much time they spend on computers in English outside the school. The estimate is that boys spent a total of 11.5 hours a week doing tasks in English. Out of this time, they spent 3.5 hours playing computer games.
On the contrary, girls spent 5.1 hours on the computer in English and played English video games for only 0.4 hours per week. Girls use more Swedish than boys, probably because they use Facebook more than a boy. Boys in Sweden play video games massively in English which helps in increasing their language proficiency.
Learning the English Language
To check, how people can learn a language through games, the sample of three groups is taken into consideration. The first group is the people that don’t play any computer games, the second is that group which played a bit and the third group is that played a lot. The first group consists of girls, the second group is mixed and the third group is avid gamers.
The result that is concluded from these samples is that English-speaking motivation is high among all the groups. The first two groups use a more native language which is Swedish. The speculation is that frequent players have developed more English proficiency than gamers that play games less frequently.
In this experiment, it was observed that young Swedes are multiplayer online gamers. To understand the game well, they need to know the content of the game. They can also have the know-how of language through playing video games. This experiment was done with the control group. Gamers pick the words from the games through gameplay.
Will you prefer learning a language through games or want to enroll in boring linguistic classes? It depends upon you. Students prefer to learn language through video games whereas adults like to enroll in language classes. You should select the option according to your interest. Don’t make learning a language burden on yourself. Choose the method you enjoy the most. Happy Learning!
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