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Computer for Efl

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By hoktorio
Words 1103
Pages 5
English Language Acquisition through Educational Computer Game

for Young Learner

Technology has grown into something which is really sophisticated recently. It affects almost every aspect in this world. Education is one of the aspects that cannot dodge the mass effect of technology. Recently, educators are addicted to include technology in their teaching activities. Many programs and applications have been invented to aid the educators. Students are also familiar with technology. Even the young learners have been exposed to technology. Some are even able to use technology as well. Young learners in this era can be called as a digital learner. They are studying in the middle of digital era. That is, they will be more and more exposed to technology. Technology can also be really helpful in English language acquisition for young learner. Regarding the fantastic effect of technology, the enchantment of technology as one of interesting media and the nature of young learner that is tend to play, educational computer game will be one of the most enjoyable and fun media to help young learners acquire English language. Therefore, this essay will describe why computer game should be used as one media to help young learner acquire English in school.

Teaching language for young learner using computer may be challenging in some ways. There are many things to be considered before the teachers can use the computer as the aid in their class and to perform the gaming activities. Firstly teachers have to consider about young learners’ health. According to Dr. Aric Sigman a psychologist, in the interview with Hindustan Times, computers’ screens are not good for children’s brain especially when they are under 9. Computer’s screen exposures toward children show regressions in their math and reading ability. The radiation from the screen can be also harmful for young learner since it may hurt their eyes. Therefore a maximum time allocation exists to prevent that harmful outcome. Dr. Aric said that an hour was the best time for children to be exposed to computer. The teachers should maintain the schedule well so that an hour for computer based activities or the game or the game itself can be effective. After the teachers have scheduled the time, they have to consider about young learners’ ability to operate the computer. In young learner level, the ability to operate the computer may be low, so the teachers have to use very simple games. The simple games can be games that only consist of clicking, dragging and cursor movement. Typing can also be added in form of simple typing activities. However if the condition is the same as our beloved country Indonesia where some primary schools do not even own a computer laboratory or even the young learners themselves are not familiar with computers, it will be difficult to perform the gaming activities. Moreover the budget of the computer based class is not cheap. The school should pay a lot for computer maintenance. This phenomenon can be considered as problems, but it can be solved. The teachers do not have to provide every student with a computer. The teacher can bring laptop and a projector so all of the students can see the games and play it together. That is how simple computer gaming activities can be performed in class.

Some people may believe that teaching a language using educational computer game is not appropriate. However some evidence exist that educational computer games will fit to young learners. Young learners are very different from older learners. According the book “The Primary English Teacher’s Guide” written by Jean Brewster, Gail Ellis and Denis Girard, young learner are still developing conceptually and are at an early stage of their schooling, get bored easily, can concentrate for surprisingly long time if they are interested and can be easily distracted but also very enthusiastic. They are not designed to sit and just read when it is about second language learning. It means that they need method and media which is fun, interesting and not boring. Computer has the entire criterion. There are many applications or programs that can be used as learning aid in English Language Acquisition in computer but the focus of this essay is the computer game. Children are really enthusiastic when they are exposed to a game. That is because game in their mind set is always about fun. That is good because the student will enjoy the lesson. Some empirical evidence exists that games can be effective tools for enhancing learning and understanding of complex subject matter (Cordova & Lepper, 1996; Ricci, Salas, & Cannon-Bowers, 1996).

The game itself can be downloaded from the internet, visiting online educational gaming sites or even made by the teachers themselves. Internet nowadays provides everything that can be found only by clicking. The teacher can search the game via searching engine and download it easily. The other option is visiting the online educational gaming sites, for example Duniabelajar.com. That is one of the educational gaming sites that provide some English educational games. One of the games is Learning Fruits. The student should find some hidden fruits in woods. The game is attractive with cute picture and colors. The student will be interested on that game. The last is the teachers can make the game themselves. Some applications like java, macromedia or flash are suitable for making game. Therefore special skill should be mastered by the teacher. However if the teacher is really willing to make the game, there is one simplest tool that can be used, Power point. If the teacher is creative enough, power point can be changed into gaming media.

In conclusion educational computer game is really appropriate to aid English language acquisition for young learner. The game is suitable as the nature of young learner which is enthusiastic, easy to be bored, and easy to be distracted. Game will prevent them from boredom and distraction since game comes out in an attractive format. While the students are playing the game, they are also acquiring some knowledge. That is a really effective and enjoyable method. The game will help the teacher to teach and also play with young learner.

References

Brewster, Jean., Gail Ellis . & Denis Girard. (1991). The Primary English Teacher’s Guide. French: Penguin English Buckingham, D. & Scanlon, M. (2003). Education, Entertainment and Learning in the Home. Buckingham: Open University Press. Cordova, D. I., & Lepper, M. R. (1996). Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: Beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 715-730. http://www. Duniabelajar.com http://www.hindustantimes.com/HTNext/KidsZone/Computer-screens-bad-for-kids-brains/Article1-581147.aspx…...

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