How to Learn Languages Through Gaming? New Possibilities with New Technology

Updated: 14. Nov, 2022

Learning a new language can be rewarding, and bilingualism has several advantages. Nonetheless, learning a new language can sometimes be difficult. Particularly, learning complex languages like Mandarin and Korean will be more challenging.

Moreover, the old learning style in a formal school or classroom can be too tedious learning a new language. When you approach learning with repetitive learning techniques, any kind of instruction may become monotonous. This results in a poor (and subpar) learning pattern, which often results in slower advancement rates.

So, switching things up may be a great idea. Hence, finding ways to learn a language outside the classroom is critical to succeeding in your language study and developing a stronger connection with the language.

Approaching language learning intending to learn while having fun is an incredible idea. These days, we can pick up new languages by watching TV shows, movies, music, and even on social media. In addition to these ways, there is a method that allows you to learn in a more fun and engaging way – games.

Sadly, using games to learn a new language is often overlooked. Video games have been proven to be effective in assisting users in learning a second language in several scientific studies.

In this post, we look at the various ways to learn new languages by playing games.

The Stigma Behind Gaming as a Learning Tool

Thanks to the widely-held belief that learning should be serious, many people believe that learning in fun, merriment, and cheer is ineffective.

So, video games have always had a bad reputation as learning tools. They have been held accountable for everything from increased crime to declining IQs. Many of us grew up in households where gaming was considered a waste of time or a sign of unseriousness.

But it has become clear games really have the opposite impact. There are many ways to utilize games to better your life, and playing video games can help you learn a new language.

Gaming leads to enhanced visual processing, spatial attention and the capacity to follow things through. There are several other gaming benefits, including decreased impulsivity, the ability to overcome dyslexia, enhanced problem-solving, enhanced multitasking, and enhanced mental flexibility. Additionally, if you play your cards well, you can use the time you spend playing video games to learn a foreign language.

Effective Ways to Learn Languages Through Gaming

There are multiple ways of learning a new language through gaming. These methods include:

Find the Right Device, Platform and Medium 

Playing video games used to be a more constrained and limited hobby. But nowadays, there are multiple mediums on which you can play games.

Smartphones are helpful for language learning since you can quickly switch between languages. Computers are another popular gaming medium you should consider using. In these present times, most people have access to computers. Numerous computer games let you instantly switch between languages, irrespective of your computer’s operating system. If you have access to the ROM and ISO files, even if you do not purchase contemporary titles, you can still play your collection of old games.

All you have to do is open the app store on your smartphone or computer to start downloading games. Moreover, you can play on many more platforms, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.

Start Learning by Playing Games for Children

These types of games will teach you something about games for early childhood education. Most games are always designed to teach linguistic basics on some level. Thus, these games ensure that the gameplay is favorable to young players still acquiring the foundations of their native language. 

So, the games are helpful whether or not they are expressly targeting vocabulary and grammar given the age range they are marketing to (think ages 3–10). For instance, hiragana is used more often in Japanese children’s games than more complex kanji, which is perfect for students who are still attempting to get the hang of reading.

Join a Gaming Community or Forum

There is probably a community of gamers who use your target language, whether on a Steam forum or the online multiplayer gaming community. Find them, and join the community. You must be active if you want to maximize this method fully.

Reddit is a good example of a forum. In addition, you may discover many game-related topics in languages, including French, Spanish, and German.

Use Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube Games

Many gamers utilize internet streaming services like Twitch and YouTube Games to showcase their gameplay. Additionally, you can discover gaming vloggers that speak several languages, which is the nicest part.

When using such platforms, searching for the names of games you are interested in in your target language is the best approach to locate streams in that language.

Pick Games with Strong Storylines

Concentrate on games with clear story arcs. If the words are a part of a bigger, overarching story, you will recall them more easily. For even greater outcomes, choose narrative games that force you to make decisions that impact the story. This will make  you understand the language and think and react in it.

Additionally, the story will draw you in and keep you returning. The only drawback is that you will need to keep putting in a lot of effort to decode the language and terminology if you want to learn what occurs after that.

Play With Friends Who Are Learning Languages

It is easy to learn if you have a friend who speaks the language you are studying as a native or is also learning it. Alternatively, you can convince a friend to join you in learning a language. Another option is to find online friends who are studying the language or who are studying your language and are open to language exchanges.

Speaking to friends and native speakers in your target language is a great way to practice your language, but games may add a new level. If all you do is freely converse with your language study companions, you can find yourself constantly making forced small talk. But when you play games, you will frequently have to work in teams to do joint tasks in a foreign tongue, and dialogue is often the key to success.

Play Word Games

Word games are some of the best games to expand your vocabulary. These types of games are usually very challenging but worth the time. Scrabble is a good example of a word game. In Scrabble, players score points by forming words out of four to twelve-letter tiles in a crossword fashion. Players must use their creativity to develop new words with the approximately 100 tiles the game provides.

Conclusion

Learning a new language does not have to be difficult. A nice way to mix up your study routine is to play games. Moreover, you can use the games to compliment other learning services. With gaming, you learn something new while having fun and using a helpful technique.

Playing a range of games is important when using games to learn a new language. You can develop a healthy variety in the vocabulary and expressions you are learning by varying the locations, characters, and plotlines. This will give you a well-rounded, entertaining language-learning experience.

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