Artikel
11/08/2010

Learning English Through Computer Games

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We all know how children love playing games on PC. Many parents have expressed their frustration about their children’s habit of spending so many hours in front of the computer playing games. They also talk about the bad influence that computer games may give to young, impressionable children. Well, despite some scientific findings that suggested games’ bad influence on children, they also have their own merits. 
One of the advantages of playing games, especially those in English, is that children can learn the language while they are enjoying the game. There are many types of games. Sports, action, adventure games are the most popular among children. Also, role-play games (RPGs for short) are good to practice your English with. Just like movies, this type of games has interesting story lines. The players can choose the characters they wish to play. Usually, there are quests to be accomplished and the players need to find what to do next by talking to non-player characters. 
When a player wishes to complete a quest, he or she needs to understand the story. He or she has to “communicate” with the non-player characters. What the player has to do is just to click on the non-player characters and listen to what they say. They usually give us clues as to what to be done next. Usually, the speech is accompanied by the subtitles (in the bubble conversations). The texts help English learners to comprehend the speech, although we might wish to ignore the texts altogether. 
So, what can players, in this case, children, benefit from RPGs? There are obviously a lot of advantages that we can get from playing this type of games. Here are some advantages that young English learners can get:

• Children can improve their understanding of spoken English. The nicest thing about RPGs is that the characters in the game speak very clear English. Unlike in movies, the kind of English used in RPGs is standard English 
• Children can also improve their pronunciation. When the non-player characters are talking, children can imitate the pronunciation simply by looking at the subtitles.
• Children can improve their motivation in learning English, knowing that they can actually have fun while learning something in the process.

It is wise if parents monitor their children while they are playing the game. As stated earlier, games may have bad effects on children if they contain a lot of violence. Therefore, parents should also decide whether the games that their children are playing are appropriate or not. Parents should also help their children by providing a good dictionary for them. A dictionary is an important tool in the language learning process and children can hopefully take a full advantage of a good dictionary.
In order to check a list of good RPGs, we can visit some game sites and check the reviews.
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