Teaching children English may be an arduous effort if we stick to the obsolete methods. However, there is an abundance of new ideas which help form incentives that encourage younger students to learn, taking advantage of their eagerness to be involved in rewarding games. This is strongly connected to the gamification trend we may see at many places.
Using games in education provides astonishingly good effects, and children often find it very engaging to play games which reward them in an immersive way.
Video games and proper incentives
Playing games requires abiding by rules. Most children are not very happy when asked to do so, unless it results in getting a reward. This is where games enter the stage.
Using proper incentives, in the form of rewards provided by such games, may encourage children to learn English without any need to persuade, to convince or to compel them to take part in lessons.
Gamification technologies allow teachers to ensure kids are being educated by playing. A well-designed video game incentivises a student to play by the rules to get the rewards included in the game which, in turn, release a portion of dopamine which is a hormone related to feeling pleasure. This, of course, works the same way whether we are children or adults.
However, children are naturally engaging in any play they might think of, and video games provide an excellent platform to ensure such play is followed by proper education.
Digitalisation and online platforms
Some time ago, video games were much harder to access. Rapid development of the market of digital devices, combined with broadband Internet getting cheaper and cheaper, allow the producers to provide online games which may be used as educational platforms.
Game mechanisms enable children to learn faster as they are much more involved in the process, and better motivated to get positive results. Better access to digital devices is also a factor that enables educators to provide children with proper educational tools.
Telling stories is education
Taking into account that humankind always relied upon the adults telling stories to the kids, a good storyline is also a key to success. It is not, however, that easy to tell a good story, let alone the one which engages children in each aspect. Yet, if we succeed in this, the incentive to play will be much stronger.
A good story is something that engages most senses, and compels a listener to follow and to reflect upon it.
As the story goes, it brings more and more thoughts which require to be processed, thus encouraging to get to conclusions. And it is quite important for the kids to find their own conclusions as they are more inclined to follow them.
Being engaged in a story is the best way to ensure the children are educated about whatever we want them to hear and to remember.
Gamification as the way to results
Combining a good story with a video game as a platform may bring exceptionally good results. With a good game designer, this is an excellent way to provide a platform where children may get entertainment and education at the same time.
One of the researches conducted by Novakid has shown that a narrative and gamified environment positively affects the students’ motivation to complete homework and additional ESL activities: the students enrolled in story-based curriculum tend to spend 24% more time completing their homework tasks and dedicate 20% more time to games than the students who are not.
Learning English by video games is now really easy, and the access to the Internet allows you to get results frequently, with less effort than ever required. Children using digital devices are more often provided with a chance to get better and better with each day while having fun. These opportunities should be welcome, and any online platforms that use video games to learn, specifically English, are an excellent way to make sure our children get the most of their fun.
Gaming is certainly the future of education, as these two are definitely going to be combined with each other more often than not.
Teachers committed to providing access to video games, specifically online platforms for educational video games, are giving themselves an easier way to help their students learn English in a friendly environment that brings a lot of fun!
Read more about the research “Benefits of the story-based curriculum and gamification to young ESL students’ learning outcomes” in this article.
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