Why Computer Games?

Learners need to be engaged in the tasks they do and as teachers we can do this by appealing to their interests and providing tasks that are relevant within their world. “The new generation (of learners) are growing up on computer games" (Stephen Johnson 2006) and we need to adapt our teaching methods to take this into account. The reasons why we should be using computer games in the classroom for teaching purposes:

  • · The use of computer games is widely applicable as it is engaging to learners of all ages and backgrounds.

  • · Because learners are striving to express what they want to say, they are more motivated to acquire the language needed, either new language that they ask you for, or language that they have already been exposed to, but have not fully acquired.

  • · The language in focus arises from the needs of the learner. This need drives the lesson activities rather than decisions made by the teacher or from the coursebook.

  • · Computer games are seen as fun and both mentally and visually engaging.

  • · Tasks provide a natural opportunity for revision and recycling and give teachers the opportunity to assess learners’ progress.

  • · A computer game provides clear objectives in terms of what participants need to do to complete a task. That is, each task has a clearly defined set of objectives, which participants may intuitively grasp from their personal experience of games.

  • · Using native English speakers’ walkthroughs the learners will have a much more varied exposure to language. They will be exposed to a whole range of lexical phrases, collocations, patterns and language forms.

  • · Tasks contribute to progress by encouraging students to plan and be more ambitious in the language they use, rather than just saying the first thing that comes into their heads.