Although usually associated with childhood, there is no age for playing games.
Adding a pinch of fun and competition to the daily routine can make anyone’s life easier and lighter. Don’t you agree?
Many scientific studies support the importance of games in the learning process to boost the main brain functions: memorization, logic, creativity, and problem-solving capacity.
That’s why Gamification (i.e. “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts” - Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, & Nacke 2011) is widespread in every environment - from business to fitness, to design and education.
Gamification in Language Education.
Gamification is currently one of the most popular trends in education. More and more teachers are encouraging language learning through games, which seems to be extremely effective for students, no matter how old they are.
That’s because they feel at the centre of the learning experience, and are constantly stimulated and motivated by game mechanics. Thus, gamification works as a trigger to increase students’ engagement.
How to apply gamification in a language class?
Add sounds, images and quizzes to a traditional lesson to make it interactive, or turn your static grammar lesson into a prize game.
(if you want to know more about this, check our article on gamification in language learning).
But why exactly should you apply gamification in your language lessons?
Here is a list of the top 5 benefits of gamification your language students can take advantage of.
The top 5 benefits of gamification in language learning
1. Make learning fun and effective.
Although students might have a clear objective to achieve, they won’t be effectively successful if not really excited about what they are learning. Gamification has the power to make the learning go beyond the simple transfer of knowledge - it makes studying fun and exciting, too.
Through catchy sounds and images, points gained while practicing and final rewards, students perceive themselves as an integral part of the learning path, and practice effortlessly.
2. Increase learners’ motivation.
Gamification provides opportunities for rewarding students via points and badges when completing a certain task, as well as chances of competition with others via rewards and leaderboard rankings.
That positively affects students’ motivation bar, - that stays high during the whole learning process- and help learners keep going until they achieve their final language goal.
3. Boost students’ engagement.
Very often you witness students being bored and without any passion to what they have to learn - in other words, they are disengaged.
Gamification could be an effective solution to the problem, because it aims to put learners at the centre of the learning path, by creating an experience as personalized as enjoyable. Students, indeed, are more likely to interact with gamified language courses rather than with boring ones, as they are more involved with the content.
4. Stimulate Active Learning.
The reason why active learning should be in the spotlight of every language lesson is that it stimulates and improves the learners’ brain’s functions. And gamification helps students learn new things, get creative and develop problem-solving skills while having fun. In gamified language lessons, students apply what learned in practical scenarios, and immediately experience the outcome of their choices within the game result in consequences or rewards.
5. Provide instant feedback and reinforcement.
When students learn through game-like activities, they receive feedback on their performance in real-time. When the answer is correct they advance to the next level, otherwise they loose points.
The instant feedback allows students to find out how well they are doing, as well as to recognize their skill gaps without waiting for the teacher. This way, they have the chance to identify areas of improvements, and immediately apply techniques to enhance their outcomes, thus achieve their goals quicker.
Dear reader, now that you are aware of the main advantages of gamification for your language students, what are you waiting for to use gamification in your language courses?
Implementing the game mechanics in the language lessons can be easy, if you have the right technology. You can find many tools online to create flashcards or interactive exercises for students - from Quizzlet to Kahoot, to Canva and Quizizz. But this are all tools that you would have to integrate in your own LMS. Why don't you get the complete package with Edugo.AI's LMS, that natively support gamification?
An LMS specific for language teaching and learning
Edugo.AI LMS differs from all other platforms as it is specific for language teaching and learning. Its power is to generate sets of gamified exercises to master any skill in learning a new language - vocabulary, speaking, listening, grammar, reading, writing - starting from some language material (video, audio, ppt or pdf) that you upload on the platform.
The basic game mechanics - points, badges, leaderboards - are automatically integrated in the lessons, that reflect the exact language content you want to teach. Plus, sounds, motivational messages and live mini-games.
The result? Engaged students that learn how to speak a new language while having a great time, and happy trainers that create language lessons easily.