What is the best way to improve our skills, knowledge and understanding in English? This is one of the most common questions frequently asked by English Tutor in Melbourne, as well as teachers. In fact, even students want to know the most effective method that would speed up their learning.
However, the answer was not always what people are accustomed to hearing because it does not include a set of prescribed grammar exercises, an ingenious app they can use, or an excellent textbook they can work through. Instead, the answer is pretty simple – you have to communicate and use the language constantly. This means you need to speak, listen and respond – communicate!
What does the research tell us?
Various studies show students who are frequently exposed to the language they’re learning exhibit higher levels of fluency. In fact, the more they communicate accurately in English the more motivated they became to know more about the correct use of the language. This behaviour is fostered by the desire to belong to a group, especially their peers whose native language is English.
So, it’s essential to have an immersive language experience because it is effective for all ages. In addition, numerous studies support the theory that children are more open to learning a language intuitively through communication rather than a set of strict rules. That is why early language exposure will set learners up for success and confidence later in their life.
How can we create immersive experiences?
Not everyone can travel abroad for extended periods just to brush up on their English. Fortunately, we live in a time where the merge of digitalisation and globalisation has produced various opportunities to be exposed to the English language in various contexts. Students now learn English through the following media:
- Watching videos or films
- Listening to songs
- Commenting on social media
- Engaging in forums and online discussions
- Webinars and online courses in English
- Playing video games
Even the video game Minecraft was explicitly designed with your learner in mind. It’s a linguistically rich environment that could be used to build the vocabulary of young learners. It could also be an authentic way of interacting with other kids that are native English speakers.
Also, just like in real life, it will lead to opportunities for clarification in context, but it provides an environment rich in emotional engagement, making it an authentic learning experience for English learners.
Video games are an effective tool to create immersive learning experiences because of their solid and engaging narrative. A strong narrative is compelling since it triggers an emotional response, and this could help learners improve their communication skills. We all know that young will often respond to storytelling, and they could easily remember concrete facts and events when they have experienced them through these tools.