Saturday, February 23, 2013

Learn English Grammar by Playing a Video Game

I've noticed that if there is one thing that my students like to do, it's play video games. As far as they are concerned, computers are little more than game boxes. Of course, I'd prefer that they'd do more meaningful activities when given access to laptops, but they tend to despise the coaching programs to which our school subscribes.

Seeing an opportunity to do some good, I taught myself to make video games, and I started fleshing out some concepts. While having students test my work, I realized that students are willing to jump through complex hoops to play games. While most of my students are not interested the distant goals of college prep or even test prep, they are concerned with the immediate goals of succeeding in whatever game that they are playing. Therefore, I built with this notion in mind: provide fun gaming experiences with genuine educational reinforcement. My first game, Orpheus the Lyrical, provides excellent figurative language review, but is much less ambitious than my most recent work:

Super Grammar Ninja: in this game students play through five challenging worlds, learning special moves and acquiring power-ups, and all the while reviewing parts of speech and sentence structure concepts. The game play is somewhere between Mega Man and The Adventures of Link, and the subject matter is ideal for Explore, Plan, and ACT test prep. I could see this game being of tremendous benefit to foreign language learners as well. Anyway, I've dumped my heart and soul into this game for the last nine months or so, and I hope that you or your students will have as much fun playing this game as I did making it. Check it out:

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