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The Benefits of Learning a Language Through Games


How Games Can Really Help Learn a Language
There is an old Chinese proverb that describes the beauty of learning languages through games: “Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” The best language games are designed to involve you in different ways of using the language.
These games offer a dynamic learning atmosphere, so it really comes down to you—the game player—to benefit from playing the game. You can choose to play when the time works best for you and enjoy the time you spend learning your target language. The best part is that while you’re absorbed in the game, you’re actually learning. So rather than pay attention to standard learning, you simply focus on doing well in the game (which also requires strategic thinking, by the way, which can further improve your proficiency).
Games also provide a great personal way to learn the language without any fear of making mistakes with the language in public. You can refine your skills with pronunciation, spelling, grammar and syntax all at your leisure. In the game-orientated context, you engage with the language in several ways by writing, listening, speaking and understanding—which all help generate speech fluency.
Furthermore, learning through games actually motivates you to learn more of the language! When you love playing the game in your free time, that element of enjoyable competitiveness works as a catalyst to get you practicing the language more frequently. To progress in the game involves learning more of the language, so as you reach higher levels in the game, you also reach higher skill levels in your target language.
 
The Benefits of Learning a Language Through Games
Research was conducted in 2003 by the language acquisition experts, Asian EFL Journal. The research considered the effectiveness of game-based education methods on students when learning a new language. The students commented that they enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere the games provided, as well as the competitiveness and motivation that games brought to the learning environment.
It was further observed by the teachers that the students actually seemed to learn at an increased pace and retain the information gained through playing games compared to learning through rote methods. The research confirmed that games are a highly effective tool to language acquisition.
Thus far, we’ve already seen numerous benefits of playing language games, so here’s a brief summary:
Time effective
A welcome break from the usual method of education
Fun and enjoyable
Provides meaningful context for language use
Increases learning motivation
Promotes communicative competence
Reduces anxiety of making errors
Integrates numerous linguistic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
Encourages players to use the language
Creates positive attitudes towards learning
The results of education through gamification speak for themselves. Games are used extensively in the United States for education and training purposes. In 2008, nearly 170 million Americans played computer games to achieve multiple learning goals, spending almost $12 billion.
Just by playing a game, your brain becomes heavily stimulated while learning, and you simultaneously improve on other useful cognitive skills such as problem solving, memory, focus, mental agility and—of course—language.
 

Related Topics:
The Benefits of Learning a Language Throu
How Games Can Really Help Learn a Languag
Learning While Having Fun: The Ultimate C
The Best Way to Learn a Language: Playing
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