Vocabulary Scavenger Hunts improve language learning
Near Field Communication (NFC) tags embedded into posters are a great way to create vocabulary scavenger hunts and other out-of-classroom collaborative activities for students. Vocabulary Scavenger Hunts improve language learning by providing the opportunity for students to contextualize language in real situations. Students find these activities engaging and motivating and find new vocabulary easier to understand.
Small groups of students were required to navigate around the college via 9 posters embedded with NFC tags. These interactive posters directed the students’ smartphones to tasks, which could be written on blog posts. In our recent scavenger hunt, we linked our NFC tags to word definitions on an online crowd-sourced dictionary called Toponimo. The students then had to make a collaborative decision regarding the most appropriate meaning of the word, relevant to its context.
The GPS system on smartphones can’t work inside buildings, so NFC tags are an ideal way to provide students with contextual information. These interactive posters had the effect of taking the focus away from the technology and allowed students to focus on deciding on the correct word definition for the location they were in. The students found that NFC-enabled mobile devices were a lot easier to use than the QR codes which have been previously used in vocabulary treasure hunts.