Language Learning: Games, Social Media, and Apps

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Memorize a list of vocabulary words or do a crossword puzzle? Which is more engaging? In “Try this game in your next vocabulary lesson” (Multi Briefs: Exclusive, 14 Oct. 2015), Debra Abrams refers to some recent research that shows the importance of using games and puzzles in the classroom. She goes on to explain a strategy she uses with her English language learners where they identify words they want to learn and create their own crossword puzzles.

In “Getting Started With Game-Based Language Learning” (Edutopia, 16 Oct. 2015), David Dodgson points out that, while GBL (game-based learning) has been receiving quite a bit of attention, little has been written about how it can be used with English language learners. He recommends four resources for GBL with a focus on language learning.

In “New app connects Valley high school students to English learners” (KPHO, 11 Oct. 2015), Erika Flore describes an app that is being used by students at Desert Vista High School to connect with students in other parts of the world to help them learn or improve their English. The Desert High students are volunteers who use a website, mobile app, and/or social media to connect mostly with students in China.

In “New ISU software helps students learn english” (Iowa State Daily, 12 Oct. 2015), Jake Dalbey describes CyWrite, a program “developed by students and professors” that gives specific feedback on writing errors. He explains that this program works better than others like it because the developers started with English linguistics and developed the program around it, unlike most other programs that start with the software and plug linguistic features into it.

One Response

  1. The subtext of these remarks should be noted.

    • Games can impact learning, but they are not the focus of all learning nor should they be.

    • Social learning can improve results, but not if used to the exclusion of individual learning.

    • Companies create most educational software backwards, but this is changing albeit slowly.

    We all must take care in what we introduce into our classrooms.

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