This blog is all about having fun with games while also learning things. Please notice the way I put the first sentence, having fun is more important here!
I started this blog because I noticed that the biggest obstacle to learning well isn’t always the method, but mostly it’s the motivation. I see lots of motivated people who are just average persons but still achieved great results while many highly educated people struggle with a foreign language. And often at these cases, motivation is the differentiator.
I’m teaching Dutch to a group of Chinese parents here in the Netherlands. They take the course because they have nothing to do while waiting for their kids on the Chinese school and learning Dutch seems to be a somewhat useful activity to spend their time on. The fact is however, even when people are obligated to take the courses for the state exam of getting the green card here, they still have the feeling of having to break a giant wall. This is certainly not motivating and many “learned” skills will soon be forgotten afterwards. Furthermore, my son is learning Chinese in the Netherlands and he also had a hard time doing the homework while he’s already on the higher level among his classmates.
As a kid, I learned things differently. I always had this inherent curiosity and competitive spirit so that I almost suck the knowledge out of my teachers so that I would have learned most of the stuff while in class without hardly doing any homework. And when playing the game I like, Oh man… I’m just unstoppable!! Just like most people who like play games!
And although I see some games being played in the class (I also do some in my own class), the game-playing part is still treated as a “small” addition just to keep the student occupied with the lessons and for relaxation. There is in my opinion still too much disconnect between games that are played during the lessons and the lessons themselves.
So my challenge becomes “HOW CAN I MAKE THE LESSONS JUST AS ADDICTIVE AS THE GAMES?”
After long search, the answer seems to be simple: Take a really addictive game, and combine it with the material from the lessons! Again, the emphasis here is on the addictive game. It’s really important that “addition” is triggered here. (actually, the original question was how can someone learn the skills and not forgetting them easily)
I’ll gradually add games to this blog to share with everyone. Hope you’ll find them useful and if not, I would really like to see your comments on them.
Let the journey begin!