2015 came and went in fits and bursts, much like my posts on this blog. I did, however, get the chance to reach wider audiences with my posts about game-based language learning for Teaching English, Edutopia and EFL Magazine. A print article also appeared in the November edition of TESOL France Teaching Times with others in the pipeline for early 2016.
I am also happy to announce that I will be giving a webinar for IATEFL YLT SIG this Sunday, 17th January at 9am GMT. It is free to join and no registration is required - you simply follow this link and enter the virtual room as a guest.
The title is "A language teacher's guide to digital game-based learning" and my abstract is as follows:
'Game based learning' has become something of a buzz term in education over recent years with a multitude of ideas and resources available for using games like Minecraft and Portal for subjects from maths to biology. But what about digital games and language learning?
This webinar will briefly review the history of game-based learning before looking at ways in which a commercially popular game, an app or a piece of educational software can be adapted for the language classroom. By the end of the webinar we will have explored three ideas that can help transform your students' gaming time into a rich experience.
As for the games I will feature, the popular commercial game will be:
This is a fun game to use in class as it doesn't require the player to be a 'gamer'. As long as you enjoy puzzles and have access to a smartphone or tablet, you can pick it up and play. In a similar manner to The Long Dark above, the lack of language in the game is a strength as it allows space for the learners to produce language of their own. The game also has a strong online community for learners to access to find help through walkthrough guides and videos like this one:
As this was specifically created with education in mind, it encourages critical thinking skills of evaluation, comparison, and reflection in a much more overt manner than the two titles shown above. It certainly creates plentiful opportunities for class discussion in the while-playing and post-playing stages. Take a look at my screencast guide to the latest episode: