English as a foreign language


Table of Contents

Educational Use of Video Games in the ESL Classroom

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With the introduction of the iPad in the classroom many new possibilities on how to actively engage students while they learn English have emerged. Games have always been highly motivating for students and now, with the accessibility of video games on the iPad, teachers have another opportunity to keep their students focused while learning at the same time. However, there are a vast number of games available and it may be difficult to decide which games are suitable. Some with educational value may not be motivating or engaging for the students. Teachers need to find the right balance of entertainment and education. As well, they need to know how to effectively introduce the game so their students can optimise their learning experience. This article reviews several iPad video games in terms of practicality, interest and educational value. It then addresses some of the issues teachers may experience and possible ways to overcome these. It also introduces some activities that could be used to support the learning objectives. Finally, the results of a survey conducted with students before and after using one of the games to determine their effectiveness in learning English and engaging the students is discussed.