Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mod 8 Post 1

  The game I choose to review was Third World Farmer.  Personally, I have played this game 3 times. My language learning objectives with this game would be translation from English to Spanish and writing in Spanish to describe a particular experience. I choose to make this a translation activity due to the fact that even when I downloaded the game off of the site in Spanish, the anual reports for each turn were still in English. That is ok though. I would have my students translate the "event of the year" and "summary" portions of each turns' anual report. To conclude the activity, I would have the students write a paragraph describing their experiences as a third world farmer. They would have to include information such as whether or not any of their family members died, what kinds of items that had to sell, and whether or not they found it difficult to afford crops and livestock. Not only would this game meet these language learning objectives, but it would also tie perfectly into a cultural discussion of migrant workers from Mexico and other Spanish speaking parts of the world. The students could have a virtual hands on experience with this.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mod 7 Post 2

 The game I choose to play was Polleke's Blue Room. I personally have played this game twice.  I would use this game and it's walkthrough to assess the ability of my ESL students to follow a set of instructions(Standard ESL1). As the teacher, I would read the instructions from the walkthrough aloud as my students on individual computers followed along and attempted to escape the room. I would not use images from the game other than during gameplay. I would assess whether or not my learning objectives were met by having each student indicate when s(he) had completed the task in each walkthrough instruction. If each task had been completed in a reasonable amount of time, I would know that my students were able to listen and follow instructions given in English.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mod 7 Post 1

  Gamification is defined by the Wiki Article "What is Gamification" as "The concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals." The article goes on to say that gamification taps into natural desires for competition, achievement, and community collaboration. In essence, when engaged in a game the player seeks intrinsic rewards. These rewards are provided by the game mechanics, usually defined as in the form of levels or badges.
  The rationale behind using gamification in L2 classes is the flow experience. Flow is defined by "Sculpting Flow and Fiero" as "the satisfying, exhilarating, feeling of creative accomplishment and heightened functioning." A psychologist who studied flow extensively found that while in a state of flow, we are able to overcome weaknesses and kern from our mistakes. Learning from mistakes is pretty much how L2 teachers want L2 learners to learn. According to "A comparison of computer games and language learning task theory," flow is a mental state between anxiety and boredom. This is exactly the mental state learners should be in to learn the most. We as teachers want them to be bored nor frustrated. This ideal state is attained by a challenging task with clear goals and feedback. According to table 1 in the article, this is offered more by computer games than traditional L2 tasks.