Using Party Games to Help Students Understand Models of Psycholinguistics

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Teaching of Psychology

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Introduction Psycholinguistics presents a challenge to teaching and learning because of the many abstract models in the field. Language-related games provide a vehicle for students to ground and demonstrate their understanding of these models. Statement of the problem Models in psycholinguistics are challenging to teach and learn because they represent mental phenomena that have no physical counterpart. Literature Review Research on the teaching of models in other fields demonstrates that students have difficulty with models even when they represent physical phenomena. Little research has examined the teaching of cognitive models such as those in psycholinguistics. Objective This article demonstrates how using party games and board games is an active-learning approach that helps students ground their understanding of models in a concrete experience of producing and understanding language. Students learn through analyzing and reflecting on game play. Teaching Implications Using games helps make abstract models concrete and is a motivating tool. Written assignments using games clearly demonstrate students’ understanding of models. Conclusion Many popular party/board games have a language focus. These can easily be incorporated into existing courses to promote understanding of models in the field.


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