By TARA THIAGARAJAN
Many young children experience difficulties when they first begin reading or learning a new language. Some of them learn at a much slower pace compared to their peers.
Although old-fashioned teaching methods do work, children with difficulties reading or understanding are in need of more stimulation to remain engaged in the learning process.
Although this method can be effective, it also takes a lot of time to reach desired results due to the child’s dwindling interest.
Spending a lot of their time with a teacher telling them to read paragraph after paragraph from a piece of text will definitely bore them, making them lose interest after a while.
Therefore, it is important we find different, more engaging ways to teach these children so that they learn and can catch up with their peers at a faster pace.
One such method that has shown positive results is the educational computer game, FastForWord, which was specially designed to improve language, literacy, and reading skills among school students.
This programme has shown statistically significant improvements in Language, Arts, Maths, and Reading Skills among students between the ages of 10 to 14.
With its colourful, interactive and fun interface filled with rewards and points to keep the learner engaged, FastForWord definitely catches and maintains the learner’s interest in continuing with the programme.
Points are awarded to the players as a form of motivation for them to continue improving their reading, language, or literacy skills.
Indeed, video games are not the first thing that come to mind when we think of alternative learning mediums, especially when learning to be more fluent in reading or in a language.
However unconventional it may seem, games like FastForWord seem to be the new way of doing things when it comes to education. This is most definitely the dawn of a new era in learning.
Things are evolving rapidly and as humans who are constantly learning, we should adapt to these changes in hopes of improving the way we educate children and improve their skills in hopes of a better, more progressive future.
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Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 11 April 2015
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