Monday, October 15, 2012

Games in an L2 Classroom

Since I have been talking about strategy games in my last post, I decided to play this online game called  Stop Disasters which its main objective is  to save lives  where a player would choose a scenario and try build and upgrade a community and house them all before a disaster occurs. A player is given a budget and a time limit on finishing their mission and housing the population and statistics are then shown after the game of what occurred in the disaster and survivors etc. I played it for quite sometime I failed on my first try. I think this type of game is a great way for students to build their strategic thinking skills and find ways to solve the problem of housing a certain amount of people in the game. As the game ends I like that it shows the newspaper and the mission report that the player can read to determine whether they've succeeded in housing the population. Although it's not one of those games that automatically works in terms of language context, I think it's a great game to use in a class or even outside of the classroom for students. I like that I can use it as a reading activity with the newspaper at the end of the game and have student discuss what their mission was for the game and what their end result was. It can even be turned into a writing activity where I can have students write a narrative of their experience of the game. I would ask them what they did to build the homes, hotels, hospitals and how they tried to achieve their goals in making the community safer from a type of disaster. I would also ask them the type of disaster that hit the community and how affected it. I think its important for students to have that kind simulating game where they feel engaged and interested in finishing a task. It gets them to learn about the different disasters and affects they can have in a community and provide a important discussion for any classroom.

Another game that isn't strategy but is I think is basic and simple start for students that aren't all too familiar with gaming is Rice. I've been playing  Free Rice  which as a game that donates 20 grains of rice to the world food program whenever a word is defined correctly. I've been playing this game for some time and has been a little bit addicting.What I like about this game is that it has different levels for students to work with and it is a simple and easy game to follow for students. It gives a chance for ESL students to stay engaged in the game by earning points every time they get a word correctly and contribute to donating rice to fight hunger. This can be a game that can be played in class or outside of the classroom. This is a great game for anyone to work on their vocabulary. This definitely a game I would use in my own classroom, especially working with students one on one with their vocabulary or even break them up into groups and who ever gains the most points in donating rice earns a badge or extra points towards their grade. It's a great way for students to work together and build their confidence in learning a new language. This game gives anyone a great sense of accomplishment in what they've learned and the fact that they've helped fighting hunger makes it important. As someone learning to be a teacher, I think incorporating games in a classroom can prove to be helpful as long as they aren't so complex that students have a hard time following the subject. 

1 comment:

  1. I've played this myself. It is quite engaging.