Learn English    

Using Computer Games to Help Learn English

November 10th, 2008

Learning a second language can be a difficult task, but it’s well worth the challenge.  Unlike learning to speak as a child, when you start learning English as an adult, you may have preconceived ideas and perceptions that influence how you pick up new words.  As an adult, your mind will interpret certain words or symbols, like letters, in a set way.  But it’s not only a matter of learning new words or enunciations – grammar also plays a big role in the differences between languages.  Fortunately, if you’re feeling frustrated, there’s a whole new way to learn English.

In recent years, many software companies have developed a great new way to learn – computer games.  These programs are great for learning many different languages, including English, since the games are a fun and interactive way to learn all aspects of the language.  With these new advances, reading language books and listening to boring tapes is no longer the only way to learn English.

The best thing to do when searching for one of these programs is to look for a complete software suite.  Most of these games will start out with basic sounds and will use fun flash animated games to help you learn English.  You can begin on the elementary level or start with a more advanced level if you already have some experience with English.  Choose a system that includes vocabulary, grammar, writing, games, and projects, so that you’ll be able to cover every aspect of the learning process.  Start with a simple vocabulary learning game, then advance to grammar lessons, and finally practice putting together the words you have learned.

One of the biggest advantages of computer-based English programs is that there are many different types of games, from traditional “Hang Man” to advanced memorization games.  And although they may sound like fun, users are often amazed at how much they can learn just by seeing the words over and over.  In fact, games that offer repetition in viewing words usually work better in developing a core set of English words to build on.

When it comes to games, you may not even realize that you’re learning!  The games in many “learn English” software programs go to a very advanced level – including character and role playing games.  Many people become so involved in the games that they no longer realize the point is to find words or build them – it becomes just like any other game.  However, while you’re busy playing, your brain is storing away all the words, sounds, and grammar rules you’re seeing.

Games are also an excellent way for children to learn English.  If you start them at a young age, many kids won’t even realize they’re playing educational games.  There are games geared for any interest children may have – you may be able to find fun games that allow your children to “feed” words to colorful dinosaurs, or others where your children practice clothing terms by dressing their computer characters.

If you’re interested in using one of these programs to learn English, check with your local electronics store – like Best Buy or CircuitCity.  Both of these retailers stock a wide range of software programs and should be able to help you find something.  You can also look for internet-based games.  Programs like Neopets.com have many fun, free games that your children can use in order to practice their English.