Nowadays, with their realistic visuals, and thrilling narratives, many video games are seen as a way of complementing traditional Spanish language teaching methods. And in a motivational sense, video games can work very effectively by engaging students’ interest in the Spanish language.
First things first. Whatever game you choose to play, remember to change the language settings to Spanish!
Many people, especially among educators, are coming around to the belief that video games can have a genuine educational value as there’s nothing more guaranteed to motivate someone to learn Spanish than by sparking their interest! Here, we’ll explore how video games help you learn Spanish.
As video games become ever more sophisticated, their place in education is becoming increasingly apparent. And there are a number of scientific research studies that support the claim that video games are an effective language learning tool. Video games are among the most popular leisure activities in the world, among adults and children alike. There’s a common misconception that gamers are mainly children and teenagers. It may surprise you to learn that the average age of gamers is 31! It’s estimated that there are more than two billion gamers worldwide. A huge audience!
So, how do video games help you learn Spanish?
Studies demonstrate that language learning occurs quickly when done in context, and this applies directly to video games. As gamers progress through the various levels of the virtual world in which they’re immersed, they’ll be learning the names of real things they encounter, such as places, characters, objects, treasures etc, and thereby boosting their Spanish vocabulary. Subconsciously, gamers will also be learning Spanish grammar rules as the dialogue unfolds within the game. This is learning by doing, which is the one of the very best ways to learn.
Repetition of words and concepts is the way in which we embed our Spanish vocabulary. As you’re playing a video game in Spanish, you’ll be hearing the same words over and over, associating words with objects and learning without even realising that you’re doing so, and the more you play the game, the more entrenched those memories and associations become.
Finding the right learning platform couldn’t be easier. There are multiple platforms on which people interested in learning Spanish can play. PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Windows for PC, Smartphones etc. And all you need do is select Spanish in the language settings menu and you’re ready to go!
Dialogue based games are great for learning Spanish vocabulary and conversation. Whatever game you choose, you’ll find plenty of people from around the world who speak Spanish, enabling conversation to flow, while all the time having fun. And we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of entertainment in Spanish language acquisition. The more fun you’re having playing, the quicker you learn! For this reason, live interactive video games can help you learn Spanish very effectively. Aurora Kingdom is an excellent game to practice your Spanish skills with players from Spanish speaking countries. Aeria Games (source of Aurora Kingdom and many others) is one of the most popular of the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing) sites, enabling players to play interactively for free among a community of Spanish speakers. All you need do is click on the Comunidad (Community) link in the menu and search for Spanish speaking players.
Let’s take a look at some examples of video games that can help you learn Spanish language:
In the online version of this most famous of puzzle games, users can pit their wits and language skills against players from all over the world in Spanish. Scrabble is an excellent way to improve your Spanish vocabulary.
Influent on Spanish
Is a really cool, inexpensive, single player video game designed to help you learn Spanish. Players explore an interactive 3D world that has hundreds of different objects scattered around it. The player’s objective is to collect the objects, each one of which has a Spanish name and often a description attached. Players then assemble the verbs, adjectives, and nouns to form into vocabulary lists. Available on for download on Steam, Mac, or Windows, it’s a brilliant video game for Spanish language acquisition as the vocabulary lists can be practised over and over again, and it’s cleverly designed to make gamers thirsty for more knowledge.
Video games such as FIFA are great for learning Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation. Similarly, Game of Thrones, Grand Theft Auto, Oblivion (an open action interactive role-playing fantasy game), Call of Duty, Star Wars, Elder Scrolls, Halo, Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher are highly developed fantasy games, rich in dialogue and great for picking up colloquialisms in the Spanish language.
Video games are a great way to supplement conventional Spanish language learning. Gamers are not going to become fluent in Spanish simply by playing video games, let’s be clear on that point! But learning Spanish and playing video games in Spanish is a rewarding, entertaining and engaging process that really does help with vocabulary, Spanish language exposure, and conversation skills. And best of all, it doesn’t even feel like learning.