Take Advantage of Computer Games to Help Students Improve Foreign Language Skills (ESL)

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn

When you have foreign language skills, you have the edge in almost any career you choose. Let's face it. Communication is a major aspect in education that has to be given focus by more educational institutions. When students know how to express themselves using a foreign language, they find it easier to get higher marks, pass courses, and land good jobs. Understanding and speaking foreign languages allows students to broaden their horizons. They are not limited to a box wherein they can only be understood by the people in their own country. One effective medium of education these days is playing computer games. If you know how to take advantage of computer games to help students improve foreign language skills, then you will produce more well-rounded citizens and more productive employees. Almost all students love computer games. Why not use them to train students in speaking foreign languages?

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Significance of Computer Games in Foreign Language Education

Educators are now focusing on using language so that the objectives of the speaker can be achieved. This is called "communicative competence", which helps the instructors look for activities that can help their students engage in using language creatively. Computer games are filled with tasks so that the student can have an experience beyond speech correction. They also have the element of fun in an atmosphere that's relaxing for the students. The new language, after being practiced and learned, is used in a way that is not stressful. The message of the computer game is what the learner wants to decipher. They do not strain themselves worrying about the evaluation or judgment that's going to be passed onto their performance during the game. Negative evaluation is one of the factors that inhibit students from learning languages. Through computer games, their fluency is developed and their anxiety is greatly reduced. With this, the students achieve communicative competence.

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Computer games also motivate the students. They make the students compete during their language activities. The competition allows the students to concentrate more when they acquire all that knowledge. The stress-free ambiance, motivation, and competition make the students retain what they learn a lot more quickly. Computer games also encourage teamwork and spontaneity while using language skills. You will also notice that the students tend to participate more when foreign language is learned though computer games.

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How to Take Advantage of Computer Games in Foreign Language Skill Improvement

Below are some of the ways you can take advantage of computer games in foreign language improvement:

  1. 1
    Know your students
    As an educator, you should know your students well. See if they are students who will react better to computer game assisted language education.
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  2. 2
    Evaluate the institution's facilities
    You can only harness the benefits of computer games in foreign language improvement if the educational facility itself has all the tools to make this kind of learning possible. There should be computer laboratories that enable each student to participate in every educational game.
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  3. 3
    Research the most interesting games
    You can only spark interest in your students if you have the right games in your court. There is no sense in choosing boring games. Then you might as well revert to conventional learning. With exciting, challenging computer games, you will be able to bring out what abilities the students already have in them. You will realize that foreign languages are easier for them to learn when the games are worth playing.
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  4. 4
    Come up with contests involving computer games
    This will motivate the students more in learning foreign languages. They can play the games and be grouped in teams. Their accumulated scores will determine who the winner is. Of course, the prize should be worth taking home.
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  5. 5
    Do not stick to the same games
    Eventually, your students will tire of the games, especially if they have already mastered them. Research the latest games so that the students will never lose interest in you as an educator and in foreign language as the subject.
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Learning foreign languages is a challenge for anyone. It is up to you to make the learning fun and engaging. With computer games, you will surely help your students improve their foreign language skills more.

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  • Ask your students to list their interests. This will help you choose the right games for them.
  • See if your educational institution is willing to support foreign language learning through the use of computer games.
  • Make sure that the games encourage spontaneous foreign language use.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Mian Sheilette Ong

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