Using game playing techniques to enhance the teaching of english in commerce
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Learning and interpreting English in a commercial context is one of the hidden difficulties that students face when English is their second language. The difficulties are exacerbated when they are studying on-line or are distance education students with limited face to face lecturing. The cultural diversity of modern universities has resulted in more students falling into the category of those needing help with the interpretation of the nuances of English when applied in a commercial context. There are different studies offering solutions to this problem of interpreting the implied and desired meaning of English when used in a commercial context. There is the move towards the use of computer technology in the form of software for text analysis programs. There are programs, such as the Concordance software, that analyse the language in the context in which it is presented and gives both meanings in a variety of disciplines. This study uses an alternative methodology and compares the benefits and drawbacks of both using technology and game playing techniques. The method that this study espouses is showing students the common meaning of the chosen words that have been identified as problematical. This is done in storybook fashion where these words are highlighted. The story is then changed to one with a commercial flavour.As there are various disciplines in commerce and they all have their own peculiarities, the story has been adapted to the disciplines of law, electronic commerce, finance and accounting. The theme of the story stays the same but the words that present problems are kept constant. This common theme with the same words highlights how discipline changes give different meanings and how important is the context of how a word is used. This study analyses how beneficial this exercise is to English as a second language students situated in various locations in South East Asia and Australia and questions whether the use of technology in the form of Concordance programs is a better option.
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