The word itself is a combination of two terms: “education” and “entertainment”. It sounds like a modern thing but it goes back to ancient times. Interest in combining education with entertainment to make learning more enjoyable, has existed for hundreds of years. This approach is about video games, television programmes, or other material, intended to be both educational and enjoyable. We’re going to analyze whether it’s useful and how to apply edutainment to lessons.
What is it used for?
♦ A teacher is like a producer of the lesson whose aim is to make students think outside the box and provide effective learning using gamification. As a result, your students learn & play at the same time. They enjoy every step of the process, love your lessons because they aren’t boring. Sounds cool, isn’t it?
♦ This approach helps teachers to make kids engaged throughout the learning process. Even the most unmotivated students become interested and involved.
♦ Getting a kid’s attention can be a tough job and it matters a lot when it comes to teaching. Kids would love to give their attention more in matters that amuse them, and that is why edutainment is turning out to be very effective to grab their attention.
How to apply?
- Quests – design your lessons in the format of a quest where students need to get clues, find out the truth, find ‘treasure’, get out of somewhere and so on.
- Bring digital objects to life with Augmented reality (AR). AR tools give you the capabilty of creating digital objects in the space where you interact every day. For example, IKEA has an interactive catalogue wh in which you can place furniture in a room – ikea-app.
- Use the videos from edutainment Youtube channels as a resource of lesson materials (Magic English, Muzzy in Gondoland, Dora the Explorer, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! etc.).
- Arrange Virtual Tours.
- Roleplays – a perfect chance not only to practice dialogues among students (which is extremely useful as it teaches them to understand interlocutor’s speech, intonation, and accent) but to boost creativity. Ask students to create a formal / an informal talk (which is not based on the examples given). In general, examples are good to show the right way, but it is not good to copy them.
- Using interactive materials (clickable ones). Clickability has already become a part of our life. Students (especially young learners who are not interested in books and endless grammar charts anymore) can hardly imagine a reality without smartphones. QR codes (we’ve already written about them here), memes, observing vlogs and blogs as well as using social networks would be great.
Google helps a lot. I’ve noticed that teaching “giving directions” to elementary students has become boring for me. Personally, I can’t teach effectively while I’m bored myself (can you?). As I’ve become really tired with this maps and exercises like “help your partner to find a way from the hotel to the theatre”. It seems like it’s much more creative and edit sink get to try to find the way yourself using Google maps. E.g. of the task: you’re going to Paris. Open maps and try to choose the fastest way from your hotel (imagine the address) to the Eiffel Tower. Find a way to the hotel, Disneyland etc.
7. Storytelling is what I really love while teaching. It’s a wonderful chance to make my students speak. It works well with everyone. Even introverted people have to speak (they don’t have any choice to avoid it). My own practice has already proven that step by step introverted ones become really creative and it’s always a pleasure to listen to their original stories.
Edutainment is more powerful for students (especially young learners) than just education, it provides a meaningful use of a foreign language in the classroom.