I had the absolute pleasure of learning with Class BK1. This class had been developed to assist these students in further building social skills and provided them with further academic assistance. As soon as I walked into the room I was great with 10 smiling faces and many different questions from these Year 7-9 students.
The very first thing I noticed when working with this class was their ability to speak
English. Out of all of the classrooms throughout Sint
Ursula, I walked into, these learners were all fluent in English. These students had a better handle on English than most of the teachers at the school. There was even one student who had chosen to use an English accent when he spoke as it made him feel like a doctor and he also wanted to feel unique. After hundreds and hundreds of questions, which I was more than happy to answer, I asked if I could ask one. It was a simple but very important! ‘How did you learn to speak English?’
Each student was very proud and excited to share his or her story. All of these learners were very interested in gaming whether it is Call of Duty, Minecraft or Pokèmon Go. Within these games, there is often a place to chat with other players or short videos showing how to complete a level or to explain the next step. Students also enjoyed watching game walkthroughs and similar videos on YouTube. These students found that most of the time these were in English, which provided them with a challenge. How can they best play their chosen game? Students said they use to watch hours of YouTube and spend a long time in game time chat rooms speaking and listening to English (please note it is important that students are aware of digital citizenship and are always supervised when using the internet. This is a short case student discussion the power of motivation and immersion). Through this immersion in the language, these learners of BK1 were soon practising English daily allowing them to quickly master the language.
This experience shows the power of motivation. These students had the motivation to feel enjoyment and to be entertained. In order to achieve this, students needed to learn English. This motivation allowed for what Dr A Martin (2003) described as the energy and drive to learn, work effectively and achieve at school in order to attain a satisfying outcome. Throughout this visit, I have further discovered the power motivation has on a learner. It additional concretes the notion that the process of learning doesn’t begin with an idea or a process it begins with a motivation. This, in turn, creates a lover of learning as demonstrated in BK1.
This experiences then leads to the power of gamification and it’s the impact on students through motivation and immersion.