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Trying to get conservative individualized with fossilized frames of thinking to accept that there isn't just one way to learn something would be like trying to talk Fosse out of his lifestyle to avoid his inevitable heart attack...it's not going to happen. However, there are some forward-thinking educators who actually use video games to help in the learning process.
Kaplan International College conducted a study consisting of 500 ESL teachers from over 40 different countries and found that 24% of ESL English teachers actually use video games to help in educating students; one of the more popular titles used is The Sims. I have no idea how a game like that is used to help people learn English but, whatever works, works.
14% of the ESL teachers used The Sims, while 11% used Sim City and shockingly enough, 8% of teachers used Second Life – of all products – to help students learn. That last one really has me stumped; how on Earth do you use Second Life to help someone learn anything other than how to get dildos to march across a street? Meh, I guess I'm not as forward-thinking or as progressively insightful as some of these ESL teachers, but props to them for thinking outside the box.
As noted in the research notes...
Players are exposed to a wide-range of written language in the instructions, control and status bar labels. Also, product descriptions in virtual catalogues used for shopping are ideal for lesson plans based on vocabulary.
That's a very interesting and efficient way of learning a language.
Jordan Shapiro, author of FREEPLAY: A Video Game Guide to Maximum Euphoric Bliss, chimed in on the study's results, saying...
“The market is quickly filling with tons of short-form games that powerfully and effectively supplement core curricula at all stages of education.“
You can check out the complete study in the form of an infographic below. There are some interesting stats included. For further information on the study feel free to visit the Official Kaplan College Website.