Ready Player One – Impressions of Teaching & Language Learning Through Gamification online course

Digital Play has been a favourite bookmark of mine since late 2009 so when I heard that  the authors of the site were hosting the Teaching & Language Learning Through Gamification (tllg) online course (need moodle account, or see the tllg wikispaces archive ) I was quite keen.

Having said that, I have yet to make one of the live webcasts but luckily they are archived. The first one by Joe Periera on Interactive Fiction is the only one I have seen all the way through. I think that for most teachers unfamiliar with digital gaming in the classroom this session would be the closest to the traditional landscape of language teaching and learning.

Simply put interactive fiction (IF) are stories which involve some input from the reader to move the story forward. More detailed info about this can be found at Joe Pereira’s blog Interactive Fiction and teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL/TESOL).

The recommended game to dip your toes in IF is 9:05. It is based on day to day life, no dragons in sight, and is relatively short – can be played in about 20mins.

9.05 start screen
IF example 9.05 start screen

(9.05 start screen)

Joe gives the following advice on how to introduce it with students (taken from discussion thread at the tllg site):

– explain what IF is (story and a game – you are main character, etc)
– show them the first screen of 9:05 (if you have a dataprojector) – ask them to give you commands to make the story continue
– somebody will sooner or later say “answer phone”
– ask them what the plot of the game might (supposedly) be
– give them the IF for Beginners vocab handout
– let them look through it (and hope they don’t notice ‘look under bed’ )
-make sure they have the vocab card with them when they play
– make them play in pairs (with good an not so good sts in each pair)
– be there to give them a helpful nudge if they seem lost 

The other sessions hosted at tllg have been:

  • Digital Games for Young Learners (with Ozge Karaoglü)
  • Using Online Games (with Kyle Mawer)
  • Gamification and teacher development (with Paul Braddock)
  • Reflective Teaching (with Rob Lewis)
(Update: above links now dead, some info can still be found at the tllg wikispaces archive)

So if you want to know about gamification in English teaching make sure to check out the links in this post. You may still be able to catch the last discussion session which is to be announced.


Read about my experience of using IF in class.