Game educational technologies in teaching foreign languages

Игровые образовательные технологии в обучении иностранным языкам
Nurusheva T. Baimuratova K.
Nurusheva T., Baimuratova K. Game educational technologies in teaching foreign languages // Universum: филология и искусствоведение : электрон. научн. журн. 2021. 4(82). URL: (дата обращения: 12.08.2022).
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The article is devoted to game educational technologies and their application in foreign language lessons. The article reveals the functions and value of game forms of learning in the educational process of a foreign language. Special attention is paid to the classification of language and speech games. Based on the analysis of existing classifications, the authors propose their own classification, focusing on creative and role-playing games in foreign language lessons.


Статья посвящена игровым образовательным технологиям и их применению на уроках иностранного языка. В статье раскрываются функции и значение игровых форм обучения в учебном процессе по иностранному языку. Особое внимание уделено классификации языковых и речевых игр. На основе анализа существующих классификаций авторы предлагают собственную классификацию, ориентируясь на творческие и ролевые игры на уроках иностранного языка.


Keywords: game technologies; classification of games; didactic games, role-playing games.

Ключевые слова: игровые технологии; классификация игр; дидактические игры, ролевые игры.


The game as a method of learning, the transfer of social experience, has been used since ancient times. In modern schools, play activities are used by teachers: – as an independent technology for mastering the concept, topic, and even a section of the subject; - as an element of a more general technology; – as a lesson or part of it (introduction, control) – - as a technology of extracurricular work. Selevko G.K. gives the following definition of game technology – "this is a type of activity in situations aimed at recreating and assimilating social experience, in which self-management of behavior is formed and improved" [3, p.256].

The concept of "game pedagogical technologies" includes a fairly extensive group of methods and techniques for organizing the pedagogical process in the form of various pedagogical games. In contrast to games in general, a pedagogical game has an essential feature – a clearly defined learning goal and a corresponding pedagogical result, which can be justified, clearly identified, and characterized by an educational and cognitive orientation [2, pp. 140-146].

The place and role of game technology in the educational process, the combination of game and learning elements largely depend on the teacher's understanding of the functions of educational games. Special attention should be paid to such as:

1. Entertainment: the game is strategically-only an organized cultural space of entertainment for the child, in which he goes from entertainment to development.

2. Communicative: the game is a communicative activity that allows the child to enter the real context of the most complex human communications.

3. Self-realization of the child in the game: the game allows, on the one hand, to build and test the project of removing specific life difficulties in the child's practice, on the other-to identify the shortcomings of the experience.

4. Therapeutic: the game is used as a means of overcoming various difficulties that students encounter in the course of communication or learning.

5. Diagnostic: the game provides an opportunity for the teacher to diagnose various manifestations of the student (intellectual, creative, emotional, etc.).

6. Correctional: in the game, the process of making changes to the student's personal structure occurs naturally.

7. Interethnic communication: the game allows the student to assimilate universal values, the culture of representatives of different nationalities.

8. Socialization: the game is one of the best inclusion of the student in the system of social relations. The pedagogical value of the game, in our opinion, is that it is the strongest motivational factor, since the child is guided by personal attitudes and motives. Game technologies contribute to the actualization of various motives of educational activity and, above all, such as: -communication motives; - moral motives; - cognitive motives. The motivation of the game activity is provided by its voluntary nature, the possibility of choice and elements of competition, satisfaction of needs, self-affirmation, self-realization. One of the urgent problems of modern methods of teaching foreign languages is the organization of teaching children of different ages with the help of game technologies. The urgency of this problem is caused by a number of factors. First, the intensification of the educational process sets the task of finding means to maintain students ' interest in the material being studied and to activate their activities throughout the lesson. Educational games are an effective means of solving this problem. Secondly, one of the most important problems of teaching a foreign language is the teaching of oral speech, which creates conditions for the disclosure of the communicative function of the language and allows you to bring the learning process closer to the conditions of real learning, which increases the motivation to learn a foreign language. The involvement of students in oral communication can be successfully carried out in the process of playing activities. We propose to classify the games used in foreign language lessons into two main groups:

1. Didactic games, which should include grammatical, lexical, phonetic and spelling games that contribute to the formation of students ' speech skills. Unlike games in general, a didactic game has an essential feature – a clearly defined learning goal and the corresponding result, which can be justified, highlighted explicitly and characterized by an educational and cognitive orientation. In and through the didactic game, players must learn something. For a didactic game, the following is typical: -connection with a specific educational goal; – the ability to repeat, interrupt or start again at any time – - openness, i.e. the end of the game is not defined exactly; - following explicit rules that can be changed by the players; - satisfaction with participation, no "consequences" for the players (do not evaluate this activity in any way). In our opinion, the fundamental difference between didactic games and exercises and tasks is that: First, there is no set pattern of behavior in the game, and the participant chooses a possible variant of speech interaction and evaluates the result of its implementation. The only constraint on the content and form of the game is the educational material (the topic of the lesson, the goal, the planned results). Secondly, the game, as a rule, is competitive, competitive in nature. The student, entering into relationships with partners in the game, evaluates their strength not only in comparison with other players. The game allows him to objectively assess his capabilities. Third, in the game, students learn interpersonal and group communication, learn to choose the best means of solving (linguistic and non-linguistic) conflict situations. In the game, the ability to correlate their actions with the actions of other players is formed, i.e. to cooperate. Didactic games used in foreign language classes G. Heyd divides into two large groups:

1) "games with language material" and 2) "games in language" [4].

The first correspond to classes aimed at systematizing the language material. At the same time, much attention is paid to the knowledge of grammatical rules. Therefore, such games are well suited for training at the initial stage, but also for training individual structures at an advanced stage. Games with language material can be fully programmed, and therefore controlled. Wagner  V.N. calls such games "transformed exercises", which do not have a game character, but only because of the presence of a competitive element are transformed into games. The author notes, "the closeness of games, the leading role of the teacher become the reason for the unsuitability of games of this kind for the lessons of conversational practice" [5].

But this does not mean that they cannot be successfully applied for certain purposes. Games with language material are introduced formally for educational purposes and serve both to consolidate structures and grammatical rules, and to automate certain speech skills. The goal of the game and its progress can be easily planned in advance and clearly explained. They are suitable for teaching purposes in traditional classes. Games of this kind contribute to the systematization of foreign language material in a simple game scheme: bingo-lotto, games in pairs, board games, crosswords, etc. Most often, these games are introduced to train spelling or systematize vocabulary. Didactic games "in the language" are used primarily to strengthen the skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Didactic communicative games involve such an organization of joint communicative activities of the teacher and students, during which the features of the speech behavior of schoolchildren are simultaneously manifested and foreign language communication skills are formed.

2. Creative, role-playing games are one of the ways to learn foreign languages. Concepts such as role-playing, simulation, drama, and play are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. The difference between role-playing games and simulations is the authenticity of the roles performed by the students. When simulating, students play their natural role, in other words, the role they play in real life (for example, the role of a buyer or booking transport tickets). In a role-playing game, students play a role that they do not play in real life (for example, the prime minister or a rock star). A role-playing game can be considered as one of the components or an element of a simulation. Thus, in a role-playing game, participants assign roles that they play out within the framework of the scenario. In the simulation, the focus is on the interaction of one role with other roles, rather than on playing out individual roles. In one way or another, role-playing prepares students for social interaction in a different social and cultural context. Role-playing is thus a highly flexible learning activity, with a wide range of opportunities for variety and imagination. In role-playing games, various communication techniques are widely used, thereby developing fluency in the language, interaction in the classroom and increasing motivation. Role-playing improves the conversational skills of students in any situation, because almost all the educational time in the role-playing game is devoted to speech practice, while not only the speaker, but also the listener is as active as possible, since he must understand and remember the partner's remark, correlate it with the game situation, determine how relevant it is to the situation and the task of communication and correctly respond to it. As for shy students, role-playing helps by providing a mask with which students with communication difficulties are released. It's also fun, and most students will agree that having fun leads to better learning.

In turn, role-playing games can be classified as follows: 1. Short-term role-playing game, which is the easiest and fastest way to conduct a game lasting from 10 to 30 minutes. It can be built on the basis of text or dialog. An example of this game can be presented in the form of an interview. Students are divided into pairs, after which they are given pictures depicting various problematic situations (environmental pollution, deforestation, lack of food in zoos). One of the students takes the role of the interviewer, the other the role of the respondent. The task is to describe the problem and offer its solution. The game component consists in the fact that experts are also appointed among the students, whose task is to create a criterion for evaluation and then evaluate all the speakers and point out the mistakes made. In the course of this game, there is also a high motivation and desire of students to show themselves, because one of the evaluation criteria can be artistry. 2. A full-fledged role-playing game in which students are given a description of the situation and their roles. The duration of this type of game takes an average of one or two lessons. As an example, consider verbal role-playing games. This archetype of games occurs through the verbal interaction of participants describing the actions of their game characters, and a mentor, in the role of which a teacher can act, describing the realities of the game world. One of the most famous board word games is "Mafia". The role-playing game "Mafia" is very popular around the world, and allows you to play it, both in class and in extracurricular activities using the Internet. Students, paying attention to the course of the game, begin to speak spontaneously. Their goal is to convince the other players that this or that participant is a mafia/ doctor/sheriff. The use of this game in the framework of the lesson helps students to develop their communicative competence, teaches them to defend their point of view, convince and encourage them to take the initiative.

3. Long-term role-playing games are a more complex type of games that take place in the duration of a series of classes or more. When preparing long-term role-playing games, the teacher should provide students with handouts, familiarize students with the game setting through Case Study, and provide students with a clear definition of the game situation. In this archetype of games, students are given the opportunity to create their own game character. Students can choose their gender, race, age, and profession depending on the game offered. An example of these games is the Dungeons and Dragons series, a tabletop role-playing game. In D&D, students try on the role of fantastic heroes with their own skills and characteristics. The teacher takes on the role of a mentor who creates and describes an adventure in which the student characters take part, setting goals for them to complete and giving rewards for motivation. The goal of this game is to get students to work together, solving problems and puzzles that the teacher puts in front of them in the process of learning the world of the game. Thus, allowing you to achieve the main goal-the development of communicative competence. The characters created by the students in the course of this game can be used in subsequent lessons, giving students the opportunity to be whatever they want, thereby turning monotonous stories about themselves into fascinating stories.

4. Computer role-playing games. In our time, it is difficult to imagine a person unfamiliar with computer role-playing games. Moreover, in the XXI century, the child spends most of his free time at the computer. It is computer games that can serve as motivation for a student learning a foreign language and play a huge role in his self-development. For those teachers whose students have free access to the Internet, computer role-playing games can be a good choice. These games give interested students the opportunity to establish direct contacts with people from all over the world who have common interests, but who must use English to communicate, thus emphasizing the value of learning the language beyond school grades. Most computer role-playing games have the ability to train both listening and reading skills. The games have a lot of stories, dialogues, screensavers, presented in a foreign language. Of course, using a computer role-playing game to learn grammar is difficult, but creating an algorithm for training exercises is quite possible for an experienced teacher. An example of a computer role-playing game can serve as Minecraft. This game is made in the style of a sandbox, where participants can build and survive, cooperating with other players. Computer role-playing games with the right approach can help students learn not only a foreign language, but also history, geography and other subjects, as well as contribute to the formation of metasubject skills of the student.  However, when using computer games, it is important to follow the rules that help to preserve the health and vision of students, as well as not to let a good hobby tear them away from reality.

Thus, game technologies occupy an important place in the educational process. A wide selection of role-playing games allows you to use them in any part of the curriculum. At the same time, they are a very useful tool that makes learning a foreign language interesting and memorable. Role-playing games provide a positive emotional state of students and a communicative orientation of the lesson. Play activities are the most attractive for schoolchildren, which affects the effectiveness of teaching a foreign language. Games have a positive effect on the formation of students ' cognitive interests, contribute to the conscious development of a foreign language. They promote the development of such qualities as independence, initiative, and the ability to work in a team. Students actively, enthusiastically work, help each other, listen carefully to their friends, and the teacher only manages their educational activities.



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Информация об авторах

Senior Lecturer, West Kazakhstan University M.Utemisov.c.Uralsk, Kazakhstan

ст. преп., Западно-Казахстанский университет им. М. Утемисова, Казахстан, г. Уральск

Student, West Kazakhstan University M.Utemisov, Kazakhstan, Uralsk

студент, Западно-Казахстанский университет им. М. Утемисова, Казахстан, г. Уральск

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