What do you know about gamification? It is possible to learn and enjoy at the same time

The game is present in our lives since childhood, bringing joy and entertainment, so, what about using this resource in the education field?

Gamification is understood as the use of techniques or tools from games and leisure activities in a purely educative area, whose objetive is making students learn while enjoying.

Gamification is based on a system of points, rewards and objetives used to motivate and trigger their competences and skills, both social and cultural. That is, it is proved that during game activities students are more encouraged to fulfill the tasks and that there is an increase in their predisposition, motivation and attention.

Although in many occasions the terms “game”, “competition”, “reward” can make us think about a children activity, the truth is that it is completely the opposite, as the game is something inherent to the human being and adults also like learning while playing. The learning process based on games allows the student to grasp knowledge and generate a positive and, at the same time, formative experience.

Nowadays we have a great amount of information, materials, games and strategies to bring gamification into the classroom, mostly in a technological way. However, even today, we can provide our students with game activities without the need of ICT.

In our school, we use not only games previously designed to learn Spanish, but we also adapt other games already created to be used as an educational tool to work with and boost our students’ skills and abilities.

We highlight Dixit, a game where the students must guess the content of a card by listening to a story, either long or short, told by the player who has the card. In this game, students put into practice skills based on oral expression and interaction, so they not only have to listen to a narration, but they also have to express themselves and be understood by the rest of the participants.

Also, Verbolocura is characterized by its usefulness and effectivity to put into practice the verbal conjugation. There are a lot of ways of using it, and one of them consists on identifying the vocalic changes in the irregular verbs. So, in groups, students have to remember, among the verbs (cards) they have, which of them correspond to the vocalic change e>i, o>ue, e>ie, etc. The winner will be the group that show more verbs with this vocalic change.

On the other hand, another game we use is Dobles, whose main goal is to work with the lexical fields and vocabulary learnt in the basic levels. To do that, students must be able to recognize, as fast as possible, the repeated symbol appearing in their cards and in the central card. Once they identify the symbol, they have to say it aloud and this card will be assigned to the one saying it. At the end of the game, the winner will be the student having more cards.    

One last example of gamification in classroom is the use of the famous game about buying and selling properties: Monopoly. This game can be used as an educational tool if we adapt the rules to the level our students have; this way, grammar and vocabulary aspects are put into practice, such as the use of the imperative form, the conditionals and, moreover, a wide range of vocabulary referred to the money, the city and, obviously, the numbers.

So, gamification in classroom is a goal achieved, as its use brings the following benefits: learning to learn, increasing self-confidence, motivation, collaborative work, comfortable environment created by the students’ interaction, social integration and the intercultural respect among every student.

This competitive approach based on winning or losing is the key factor for them to learn and acquire knowledge without realizing about it, as they may think they are only playing but the truth is that they are meanwhile improving their Spanish level.

So, regarding all these benefits, in Academia La Pagoda we are firmly decided to use it in our lessons; we like watching our students happy and focused on the game while they continue learning Spanish.

#gamification  #games  #motivation  #enjoyment



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