Can the Gamification of Language Learning Boost Student Motivation?

gamification of language learningThe gamification of language learning is an important topic in the EFL teaching world. There is an increasing number of apps and learning technology that use games as a way of motivating and engaging with students. Gamification of learning in general has brought education and games together to create a fun hybrid – but is this a successful strategy for long term educational development?

Read on to explore the concept of gamification in education, its potential benefits, the concerns of critics and how the gamification of language learning could help to boost student motivation and engagement. Continue reading

The New Beginner ESL App from GITCS

Beginner ESL App from GITCSAmerican software company GITCS has developed a brand new learning app focused on helping students of English as a second language. The Beginner ESL app provides engaging content using a range of innovative features to help students with their reading comprehension. With beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of ESL lessons, this app can be used by all students to improve their learning experience. Continue reading

How Will Brexit Affect Language Learning?

Brexit jigsawIn a startling result, the UK has voted for a ‘Brexit’. This means the wheels have been set in motion for the UK to leave the European Union. Some people are thrilled, while others are worried about the future of the UK and the EU. Apart from the concern over economic stability, international trade, European travel, residency rights for expats and much more, there is also a growing concern about the role of the English language in Europe and the future of language learning in the UK.

Will the English language become less important internationally? Will British people stop learning foreign languages altogether? We explore the consequences of Brexit for English and for language learning… Continue reading

Robot Teachers Take Over Language Lessons

nao-robot-with-boy
British academics have programmed a child-sized robot to teach languages to children. The design has been piloted in the UK and is now being tried out across Europe. The Nao robot teachers are designed to look friendly and approachable and react to children’s moods and facial expressions.

Originally designed to teach History and Maths, the dwarf robots are currently being used in Germany to teach language skills to refugee children as part of the L2TOR language project. Read more to find out about the robot teachers currently being used in Europe’s language classrooms. Continue reading

Music Training Improves Language Learning, Studies Show

Music Improves Language Learning - Guitar PlayingResearchers have found that children who learn an instrument find learning languages much easier, even as adults. It has been proven that music training improves language learning, however, it is not only the ability to learn foreign languages that is boosted. Children who study music before the age of seven also develop better linguistic abilities in their mother tongue. Musicians have bigger vocabularies, better pronunciation and a stronger awareness of grammar than their non-musical friends. Read on to find out more about how music is linked with language learning. Continue reading

Halloween EFL Lesson Plans: Ghostly Games and Eerie Ideas

Halloween PumpkinsIt’s that spooky time of year again! The ghosts and ghouls come out to play on 31st October and pumpkins with scary faces will adorn many a doorstep. Halloween is that one night a year when it is OK to frighten your neighbours – you might even get sweets! Indeed, Halloween is upon us and this is one of those celebrations that has its own vocabulary. This is the therefore the perfect time to think about Halloween lesson plans and inject some fun Halloween vocabulary games into your EFL lessons. Continue reading

Learning a Second Language to be Compulsory in Junior School

language learning compulsory junior schoolLearning a second language will be compulsory in junior schools from September 2014. The education secretary, Michael Gove has announced that changes to the curriculum means that all children will begin learning a second language from the age of seven. Languages on offer will include French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Latin and Greek. But should second language learning start even earlier?  Continue reading

Is it Ever Too Late to Learn a Language?

You can teach old dogs new tricksLearning a language is often thought of as the preserve of the young, the adventurous, children at school or travellers looking to broaden the mind by journeying to exotic new destinations. But language is a special part of being human and learning a new language can be as thrilling and rewarding for an octogenarian as for a teenager.

Some people think that it can sometimes be too late to learn a language. However, others believe that a greater age can help someone appreciate the subtleties of language.  In fact, older people often have better pronunciation skills and usually a stronger motivation. But can it ever be too late to teach an old dog new tricks? Continue reading

What is Proper English?

proper englishThe call for immigrants to learn ‘proper’ English is commonly heard from natives wanting to help preserve their country’s linguistic heritage. But what is proper English? The language of English is rich in borrowed words and foreign phrases, and the language continues to grow and evolve thanks largely to the influx of foreign words brought over by immigrants. This leads us to ask, with such a mingling of languages in the world today, can a ‘proper’ language ever really exist?

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