Question #1: Would you rather learn or play?
The answer is... easy, isn’t it?!
Question #2: What if you could do both at the same time?
The answer is... you can!
The word "gamification" is new, but the idea is actually very old. Comenius, the Czech hero of modern language teachers, promoted the idea of learning through play back in the 17th century!
Comenius believed that learning, especially languages, must be connected with our daily lives, and that learning should be enjoyable.
Games in English Club
The games we play in English Club are fun, and highly motivating. And games are perfect for speaking practice.
At school students learn lots of grammar and vocabulary, but they never have enough opportunity to speak and get feedback from their busy teachers.
I've been that busy teacher, so I know!!
Listening is Key
In our local school there are 17 kids just in grade 6! English Club is limited to 5 (smaller groups) or 8 (larger groups).
With fewer students, I can listen carefully to each one, and give them individual attention.
During games, students show me what they already know, and also what they don’t know yet. That helps me plan for the next lessons.
What kinds of games?
We have a collection of card and board games designed for English language acquisition. We also use some familiar games that you might have at home.
Uno is a hit, and we've now got more than 20 variations of it!
Pictionary Air is always a popular way to review vocabulary
Blended games combine online activities with rewards and recognition
English Club members enjoy premium
access to Quizlet, an online flashcard app.
Click "I Accept" in the box to play!
What can kids learn?
Learning the rules of the game is part of the lesson. Key language includes: you have to, you can, you can't, you needn't.
Playing by the rules adds complexity and motivation.
It strengthens memory by giving context.
And a right answer gives an unbeatable dose of dopamine, that same feel-good hormone we get from treats like chocolate!
It's good for the future!!
Kids learn polite conversational phrases in context, so they will remember them. We want them to make new friends wherever they go!
The Lasting Benefits of Fun
I spoke with an Englishman recently, a long-term expat living in Prague like me. He is a music festival organizer here, and his Czech is amazing! It's SO much better than mine! I asked him how he managed to get so fluent. He told me with a big smile, "I made it a hobby to learn the language!"
(Now I understand what I’ve been doing wrong all these years!!!)
At English Club, teens can leave their textbooks in their bags and discover fun ways to develop their English language skills.