February 4, 2024

Learning English with the power of games

When you think about the impact of computer games, PlayStation or apps on girls and children, what comes to mind? There is a high chance that you will first think of negative effects such as laziness, addiction, or impaired attention and concentration. There is probably some truth to these effects, but what if we told you that there are also positive effects to video games, which are even backed up by data?

Learning English with the power of games

Sleek v2.0 public release is here

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What has changed in our latest release?

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All new features available for all public channel users

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Coding collaboration with over 200 users at once

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Real-time code save every 0.1 seconds

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The Power of Video Games for Learning English

Research shows that video games play a vital role as a means of improving children's English reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. In addition, video games offer unique opportunities for children to master English grammar and expand their vocabulary. Here are some examples of the power of games for learning English:

Games Create Context - A Strong Narrative

Context is the glue that helps us connect new information in the brain to what we already know about the world. This is why when we learn a language, we learn by topic, such as family or hobbies, rather than learning all the words in alphabetical order. Without proper context, new information has nowhere to connect to in the brain, and remembering it becomes impossible.

Video games provide excellent context by providing a strong and engaging narrative, i.e., a story. Stories evoke an emotional response in us, which makes them memorable. This is why stories are such a powerful tool in marketing, politics, business, and media. In English learning as well, children remember facts and events they experienced in the context of the learning process. Video games provide a strong and engaging narrative in which the child has a natural motivation to participate and explore.

Learning Authentic English - Purposeful Interactions

We all know that the ability to use English is more important than knowing the theory of the language. How often will you need to explain to a waiter in a foreign country what verb tense you are going to use when ordering a cup of coffee? Never - what matters is communication and meaning. In real life, we speak, write, read, or listen when we have a need or reason to do so - we call this 'intrinsic motivation'.

Video games provide similar intrinsic motivation for communication with meaning. The interactions of children in video games do not require them to mark the correct words as they do in the classroom, but to act according to requests or text in English. As in life, they understand and communicate in English authentically in the context of performing an action and progressing.

Games are Motivating

There is a direct link between children's motivation and their learning outcomes in and out of the classroom. Motivated children are focused and curious, and generally succeed more than students who are uninterested in the lesson or distracted. Video games are very good at leveraging the story, challenges, and rewards within the game to motivate players.

Understanding English and solving puzzles ensure their progress in the game. They are encouraged to persevere in their learning, both by the environment and the characters they meet. The language is built into the interactions within the game. To progress, players have no choice but to communicate in English!

Learning English in Games Gives the Freedom to Fail

It may seem counterintuitive, but when learning a language, mistakes can be beneficial when children have the opportunity to notice them and learn from them in a comfortable environment. Video games are excellent at providing a wealth of safe opportunities to practice. This freedom to experiment and fail in video games is key to language practice where mistakes do not humiliate you but rather advance you.

Autonomy - Making Independent Decisions

Finally, in many aspects of education, the child's autonomy is an important ingredient for success. The more involved the child is in their learning process, the more fruitful the results. In a classroom English lesson, children are encouraged to develop learning skills alongside listening, writing, speaking, and reading. In video games, the child becomes an independent decision-maker. They need to find ways to get out of difficult situations, often going back to the starting point and starting over. In doing so, players not only develop their curiosity, but also other important life skills such as perseverance, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence.