Let’s Gamificate Teaching ! Interactive Educational Games in EFL/ESL Classes
Müfit Şenel, OMU (Turkey)
Deren Başak Akman, OMU (Turkey)
Games help teachers create contexts in which the language is useful and meaningful. They can be used to give practice in all language skills and be used to practice many types of communication. Nothing can be more natural than learning through playing games (Prensky, 2001a); therefore, it is reasonable to assume that integrating games into language courses would benefit students’ learning experiences. In addition, interactive games allow students to achieve practical knowledge as well. In contrast to books and movies, computer games are interactive and allow for socialization and participation in the language learning process (Prensky, 2001a). Using interactive games to facilitate learning in educational settings has a number of recognized benefits. Games provide real-time feedback and built-in goals that can motivate students to improve. In addition, students must make decisions as they play games, and they can see the results of those decisions right away and use that information to inform their next decisions. Nowadays, the use of educational games in learning environments is an increasingly relevant trend. The motivational and immersive traits of game-based learning have been studied, but the systematic design and implementation of educational games remain an elusive topic. In this study some relevant requirements for the design of educational games in online education via technology and web 2.0 softwares will be analyzed, and a general game design method that includes adaptation and assessment features for young learners will be proposed.. A particular implementation of that design will also be described in light of its applicability to other implementations and EFL/ESL class settings depending upon the outcomes of CEFR.
Key words: interactive language games; technology; young learners; language teaching