Games and Language Learning

This week, our school celebrated Language Week through games, reading activities, movies, and a book exchange.  I wish to thank the English teachers for organising such an enriching event for our students.  These are all memorable and fun ways to engage children in language learning.  My favourite activity, however is games.

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Learning a new language is enjoyable when the approach to learning is geared towards having fun!  Nowadays, we can learn languages through social media, movies or even by playing games, either board, paper or word games, or on a computer or mobile device!

There is an old Chinese proverb that perfectly describes the advantage of learning languages through games:

“Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.”

Effective language games are designed to involve us in different ways of using the language.

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Language games help children, as well as adults hone their speaking, listening, writing, reading, vocabulary, and understanding of the target language. It should also have longevity so their motivation is maintained each time they play the game.  Game apps are well-known for this design element to automatically adjust its level of difficulty with each successful engagement.

Today’s skillful educator’s role is knowing the necessary balance of games and a variety of traditional methods to provide accountability and enjoyment.  They need to be active in their monitoring of student progress and participation to diagnose the effectiveness of the choice of games, timing, and the assessment of the desired skills.

 

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