If you happen to know someone who would like to pick up the English language, but are not quite sure how to go about it, perhaps Minecraft could be the solution. Wait a minute here, isn’t Minecraft a game? It sure is, and while it is not a dedicated English language teaching game, a study by by Swedish academics Pia Sundqvist and Liss Kerstin Sylvén showed that Swedish children, boys in particular, could actually pick up more English in a Minecraft session compared to ploughing through tonnes of homework.
A study on fourth-grade Swedish boys who spent an average of 11.5 hours each week that involves the use of English outside school, where a significant 3.5 hours of that time were “dedicated” to playing computer games such as Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike, and FIFA, resulted in a higher level of confidence when it boiled down to English language usage. This could be due to the fact that in the games mentioned, English happens to be the lingua franca for interaction.
As the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, and what better way to practice when you are interacting with others who have English as their native tongue? After all, to succeed in such games, one would have to be able to understand all of the game content, and a greater command of the English language would definitely help in their cause.
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