Mari Yamauchi

Chiba University of Commerce


How Kahoot! and Duolingo help Japanese EFL Learners with limited proficiency

Sun, Jun 7, 13:40-14:10 JST

This presentation showcases how to best use two already well-known platforms for game-based learning--Kahoot! and Duolingo--in an EFL classroom, with a focus on benefits for Japanese university students with limited English proficiency. These false beginners may be different in their vocabulary size/depth and understanding of grammar, but they are typically weak in spoken English (due to lack of basic oral/aural training) and unwilling to speak up or do speaking practice in class. Kahoot! works great to bring excitement to the whole class and even shy or quiet students end up being more responsive to what is going on (making some noise, thinking out loud, asking/teaching each other, etc), which helps to maximize pair or group work. Question types are limited but a wide variety of uses are available, from a quick vocabulary review to an introduction to a new topic or concepts, and its new student-paced game mode (Challenge) has added more possibilities. Duolingo can help (false) beginners to train their oral/aural skills while internalizing grammar through spaced repetition. Though sometimes example sentences are unusual and repeating simple sentence patterns may be too boring, advice from the teacher works well to remind them that they need basic oral/aural practice to refine their phonological representations, which can help students to change their ways of learning English. Occasional or regular Kahoot! quizzes and weekly Duolingo assignments via Duolingo for School are quick and easy additions but the impact can be huge.