Almost every educator active in online circles will have come across the work of Shelly Terrell at some point. She is seemingly everywhere leading training sessions and inspiring teachers the world over in person and online. One of her main projects is the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, which this year is on a world tour featuring a selection of Inspire
Leaders and this time, it's me.
The 'world tour' is brought to you by a Brit who teaches EFL to young learners in Ankara, Turkey. One of my main interests in recent times (as you will understand form this blog) is using video games to inspire language learning and that will be the focus of today's goal.
Games play a major role in our students' lives outside school whether that be through a games console, a PC, a website, or a smartphone and they always seem enthusiastic to talk about them. Even though I am a gamer myself and keep up to date with the latest gaming trends, I often 'play dumb' with my students and pretend I don't know much about a new game. I say that I have downloaded the game but not managed to get very far and I ask for their help. We then end up with a great role reversal as they teach me how to play the game. This really gets them talking and thinking about how best to give advice and instructions.
And so, the challenge is:
- Start by choosing a game - it could be a game for your phone/tablet, for your laptop, from a website, or any other device you have available to you, but make sure it is a popular game the students will know about (check the app store charts for example)
- Tell your students you have started playing this game. You like it but you are finding it difficult.
- If they know the game, invite them to explain the rules, give you some
instructions and offer you some advice about how to play it.
- Once they have taught the teacher, ask them to prepare a short guide to the game
(this could take the form a short written set of instructions or
- Share your reflections about the experience of learning from your learners on your blog (if you share a link via the comments, I will include all the contributions at the end of this post).
that your school may not approve of (which would be a shame but it happens unfortunately...) then get your students to teach you about a non-digital game they play (a sport, a board game, a playground game... just any kind of game!)
Contributions to the challenge
- A response from Theodora Pap including a video of one of her students discussing a favourite game, Clash of Clans.
- A reflection from Maria Theologidou going back several years to when here students taught her about World of Warcraft.
- A combo challenge from Christina C's excelent English; Batteries Not Included blog.
- My own belated effort about getting students to help me play through the game LIMBO.
- 30 Goals: Learn to Play is a reflection from Walton Burn's English Advantage site.
About my country
I am originally from a small town called Uttoxeter, which is in the heart of the English countryside. It's famous for its racecourse and the Dr. Johnson memorial, built on the spot where Dr Samuel Johnson, author of the first dictionary, paid penance to his late father, who had been a market trader in the town.