About Digital Play
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato
Digital Play is a new blog aimed at language teachers who are interested in using computer games and other digital toys with learners. The main focus will be on English Language Teaching (ELT) as we (the authors of the blog) are both EFL teachers, but we think the ideas and suggestions should be useful and adaptable to all modern foreign language (MFL) teachers too.
For several years now, we have been adapting free online games to use with learners. We both work with young learners and teenagers and hope to share with you the experience we have had in the classroom and computer room when using games with students to practise English. How can the use of online games help learners of a language? Here are just a few brief ideas:
- Motivation. An essential feature of learning a language and probably the hardest part to foreign language learning – every teacher knows that if the learners are motivated, then they will learn more and it will stick.
- Relevance. Teaching a language needs to be relevant to the learners’ interests and lives. Digital gaming has fast become one of the most popular free time activities for many of our learners. And don’t just think games are only played by the young either. The average gamer is now 35 years old – every year this age tends to rise as more and more people continue to play games as part of their entertainment.
- Integrated skills work. Many online games, when adapted for use with language learners, can provide an engaging mix of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills work. We’ll be showing you how to do this on this blog.
We continue to believe that using computer games with language learners is a valid use of classroom time and look forward to sharing our ideas, information, lesson plans and worksheets with you here.
If you’d like to keep up with this blog, then subscribe to the Digital Play mailing list, add us as a friend on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page and we’ll keep you informed of what’s going on.