Language learning through games

One of our distinct ways of teaching language is through the use of computer games. These games require development and input by the students so that they not only learn their new language but get to help create something as they learn. Our experience has shown that teaching students this way is particularly effective.

Most recently, our students build a computer game similar to The Sims, which meant that they had to learn all of the names for household items, clothing items, occupations, and actions as they worked on building their virtual world. The students applied their existing coding skills to their new language learning adventures and emerged with a fun new product that they could use in job interviews to show both their coding competency and language competency.

Building games can also help students explore new syntax and structure. The format of the games we build in our bootcamps requires that students build in decision-making and multiple-choice options for the characters in the games, which means that the students practice using the subjunctive tense, either/or constructions, and other particularly tricky language applications. This gives them a leg up in terms of grammatical sophistication and helps them be better prepared to transition their new language into the workplace. Games are great to be played both in a friend group or maybe even working a job like being a painter in Buffalo.