Now there are many studies showing that gamification in language instruction can promote motivation. Apart from that, gamification is a solution for getting students involved. Even for those who are shy, by engaging games in the class, it builds up the connections among students. Are you not satisfied with your students’ participation? Try gamification! By playing games, students may discover the fun part of the subject and therefore become more proactive. Team work is often required in games, so they will have the chance to practice collaboration skills.
However, every coin has two sides. There are some drawbacks of gamification. While playing a game, there is a tension of competition. Students may benefit but also be discouraged from it. Everyone likes to win. But no one wins all the time. So, when students lose the game, they will very likely to be dismayed and frustrated. In addition, effective gamification requires careful planning and instructions. It is not so easy to do.
Generally, gamification opens up a whole new world for educators. It offers lots of opportunities and ways to enliven the instructions. As for language teaching, it can be used in a lot of ways. Apart from serving the basic goals of the tasks, it benefits students’ communication skills. All four aspects of language learning, reading, writing, listening and speaking, can be practiced. For example, in Art Master, students work in pairs, one describes the picture orally, the other draw the picture down on a piece of paper includes the name of the object. It is a very good game as it involves drawing which adds to the fun of the activity, it reinforces the use of prepositions, the students’ ability to describe the location and also their vocabulary. There are plenty more types of game you can integrate in the class.