Have you heard of "Edutainment?"
It's a word formulated by combining the words Education and Entertainment...pretty clever, huh? It intends to teach education and encourage social collaboration among students and instructors by integrating academics with modern entertainment devices and platforms.
Where did edutainment come from?
Interest in combining education with entertainment, especially in order to make learning more enjoyable, has existed for hundreds of years and later development of the concept of edutainment can be tied to....Walt Disney. That's right, Mr. Walt Disney!
Wait, what about educational games?
Educational games are games explicitly designed with educational purposes, or which have incidental or secondary educational value.
-What the difference between edutainment and educational games?
-Do you think edutainment is entertainment designed to be educational or education disguised as entertainment?
-Can something be interesting and not educational?
-Is edutainment just a fancy way of saying games?
How do they fit in with a 50 minute English conversation lesson?
I think we can all agree people don't like studying, because it's difficult. With English, it takes an awful lot of effort to learn and if it didn't, everybody could speak it.
In Japan, most folks are poor at speaking English, because they are not motivated or interested to learn it and this has nothing to do with school curricula or teachers.
It's fair to say that most teachers want to propel students by enhancing their mental and physical development in ways that are amusing, entertaining and interesting.
Ask any English teacher in Japan:
-Have you ever encountered a class of students who simply aren’t interested in learning anything until the lesson’s content is framed in the context of a game?
-Do your higher level and adult students only engage in superficial conversation?
I think edutainment and educational games de-emphasise the quality of information in favor of satisfying the far-reaching needs of entertainment. Students are bored, bored students are insufferable, let's play Go Fish! When people are doing stuff they are interested in (in or out of school) they are “engaged,” not “entertained.