Wrapping up


Thank you @jones360! Grazie Liliana!

Jonesy's Journey

For me, learning is what happens during the ‘inbetween’. Not so much The Upside Down, but rather the ‘inbetween’.

The ‘inbetween’ refers to what is in between all of the quizzes, exams, scaffolded projects, structured dialogue, and homework tasks. The ‘inbetween’ is the process of learning a language, it is what happens internally or when you are least expecting it; it is writing verb conjugations over and over again, making your own connections, figuring words out through context or association, correcting your grammar, and helping your peers; it is looking up word meanings via images on Google.it, laughing with an accent, and troubleshooting tech; it is the process of laughing through hour long discussions on the variety of pastas that can be consumed at just one meal, the process of learning the steps of a video game through trial and error, and the process of texting your final project classmates…

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S. Bregni, Video Game-Based Learning as a Preparatory Device & Simulation Strategies for Study Abroad Programs, Beyond – The ISI Florence & Umbra Institute Journal of International Education, 2, 2019.

Game-Based Learning, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, VGBL in F/L2 Publications, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

Thank you ISI Florence and The Umbra Institute. My new article on video game-based learning, (Digital) Narrow Streets of Cobblestone: Game-Based Learning as a Preparatory Device & Simulation Strategies for Study Abroad Programs, appeared today on the new issue of Beyond – The ISI Florence & Umbra Institute Journal of International Education:


For decades now, video games have been a pervasive part of our culture (NBCNews.com, 2013). About half of all American adults play video games (Duggan,
2015), while 97% of teen boys and 83% of teen girls also play video games
(Anderson & Jiang, 2018).
The potential for utilizing gaming in learning has been explored in a variety of
fields, including language acquisition (e.g., Reinders, 2012). Some commercially available cinematic video games are fully-interactive multimedia experiences. Thus, including such games in the curriculum as realia (Spurr, 1942; Dlaska, 2003) can help students reinforce, and expand upon, materials they learn through traditional methods. Realia reinforce second/foreign language (F/L2) acquisition through development of specific personal interests. Cinematic games, similar in nature to movies, also add agency, which improves learning (Deters et al., 2014). They also involve problem-solving and critical thinking that can be applied to group interaction, all of which is particularly conducive to learning (Wenger, 1998) and F/L2 acquisition (Nunan, 1992). Video games can
contribute to the goal of transforming our students into life-long learners of (a)
F/L2 language(s), a process explored by CALL (e.g., Smith, 1997).
This article is a case study on teaching practices with video game-based learning, its benefits in the foreign language classroom and, in a more general sense,
in second/foreign language & culture acquisition (F/L2). I argue that utilizing
video games as part of F/L2 experiences, including in the different phases of
the study abroad experience (pre-departure, during the program, and post-departure), can enhance the learning of F/L2 language and culture. Video games
are simulations that challenge, based on repetition, which involve players at a
deep level, thus affording agency. In recent cinematic “AAA” commercial video
game titles, the simulation aspect engages players in a dialogue-based, narrative context that can prepare students for real-life conversations. The article
also serves as a practicum, by providing suggestions on how to use commercial video games to enhance language & culture acquisition as part of independent, autonomous students’ learning that educators and administrators
can foster, structured learning experiences such as study abroad (including
pre- and post-departure), and courses.

Keywords: Game-based learning, CALL, CAI, gamification, foreign languages,
second language acquisition, SLA, video game-based learning, VGBL, gaming,
non-serious gaming, Italian, Italian as a Second Language, Assassin’s Creed,
Tomb Raider, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Sony PlayLink.

* This research was supported in part by a fellowship and an award from the Saint Louis University Reinert Center

#VGBL , #gamebasedlearning#studyabroad#studyabroadprograms#italian#italy#esl#sla#fla#videogames, #CALL, #CAI, #Gamification, #Gaming

In Italy from May 23 through August 20.

Game-Based Learning, Non-serious gaming, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning

I will be in Asti, Italy from May 23 through August 20, doing research on video game-based learning, finishing up my book on intertextual imitatio/aemulatio in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and delivering talks and workshops.

I am available to deliver video game-based learning lectures & workshops in Europe. I will consider invitations to deliver talks, lectures and workshops in other areas as well.

I will be in Barcelona from May 30th through June 4th, and on holiday in Southern France from July 20th through August 4th.

Please see the workshop and lecture section of my portfolio here on my blog for more information about my lecture and workshop formats.

Interview on St. Louis Public Radio/NPR – Intensive Italian for Gamers

Game-Based Learning, Hidden Agenda, Non-serious gaming, NPR, PlayLink, PlayStation, St. Louis Public Radio, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning

Grazie/Thank you St. Louis Public Radio for your interview! The interview was broadcast today, April 17, 2019, and it is available at the following link:


Thank you St. Louis Public Radio reporter Shahla Farzan for featuring my scholarship and teaching practices on video game-based foreign language learning at Saint Louis University!

Gamification and (Video) Game-Based Learning in the Second/Foreign Language Classroom – Roundtable Session at the AAIS 2019 Conference – Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

AAIS 2019, Game-Based Learning, Microsoft, Nintendo, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

On Friday, March 15, 2019, I presented in the roundtable session “Gamification and (Video) Game-Based Learning in the Second/Foreign Language Classroom” at the American Association of Italian Studies Conference at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC with fellow Italianists Prof. Camilla Zamboni, Wesleyan University and Dr. Brandon Essary, Elon University. Prof. Zamboni talked about analog “AAA” games, board games and RPG’s, while Dr. Essary and I shared our developments on using “AAA” video game titles.
The session was very well attended and we received very positive feedback.

[Photo: Dr. Bregni (center) with co-panelists Prof. Camilla Zamboni, Wesleyan University, and Dr. Brandon Essary, Elon University]

My Interview with the National Museum of Language

Game-Based Learning, Microsoft, National Museum of Language, Nintendo, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

Grazie/Thank you National Museum of Language for your interview! The interview was published on 3/19:


I talk about my passion for language learning, video game-based learning with “AAA” titles and my methodology (Identify, Acquire, Create), my research and teaching practices at Saint Louis University, Intensive Italian for Gamers, Assassin’s Creed and Sega’s Shenmue as the best game to learn Japanese language and culture.


Intensive Italian for Gamers – Giorno 21


Grazie @Jones360! She is a brilliant graduate student on her way to pursue a Ph.D. She is taking my Intensive Italian for Gamers this semester as a means to explore new trends in second/foreign language acquisition.

Jonesy's Journey


mercoledì 20 marzo

Per the ush, as the students go along entering class and warming up for our Wednesday in Intensive Italian, Simone has a game playing on the big screen on the right, and our daily plan presented on the left.

🎮 Gioco: we continue to immerse ourselves with input and activities from Assassin’s Creed and when I came in to the class a fellow student was marching Ezio around the streets of Firenze vecchio. The background music was playing, and while most students were paying attention to the game, some were paying attention to their cell phones.  I popped in a wee bit later than normal, just as Simone asked the giocatore to finire. Our classmate closed out to the main menu, and arrowed down to esci. I thought to myself ‘that means to go out or exit’. Then, ‘wait a minute, how do I…

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The elevator pitch


Grazie @Jones360!

Jonesy's Journey

I was in Georgia last weekend for a Graduate student conference and during a coffee convo with a Hispanic Linguistics professor I was asked about this class, “wait – what? Italian for Gamers?”…”Intensive Italian?”…”Gaming?”. Our chat was actually put on a brief hold while the professor took a brief time out to Google the class.  #Simoneforthewin

And, as I did my elevator pitch of this class, so many of the intentions, angles, and purposes behind all of the pedagogical strategies and methods became a lot clearer and more apparent to me. Sometimes it just takes you explaining something to someone else for you to really fully understand it in a more general way and to appreciate it from an outside perspective. Explaining the class to someone who had absolutely no idea about what it entailed allowed me to bring myself outside of the nitty-gritty details of indefinite plural articles, vocabulary…

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Presentation in the Session “Can AAA Games Be Used to Improve Education?” at the SXSW EDU Conference in Austin, TX – March 6, 2019

Game-Based Learning, Nintendo, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, I presented in the session “Can AAA Games Be Used to Improve Education?” at the SXSW EDU Conference in Austin, TX. The session was organized by Maxime Durand, Ubisoft’s historian in charge of the Assassin’s Creed series.
The session was very well received, with a lively Q&A session at the end, and very positive feedback.


Session Description:

Playing videogames has become an integral part of mankind’s cultural habits. A huge gap still divides “AAA” entertainment games (such as Assassin’s Creed) from “serious’’ games (games created by educators for specific educational purposes) in terms of appeal and defined learning objectives. Using data and sharing their own in-class experience, the panelists discussed how AAA games can help advance learning (formal and informal) for students at all stages of their education, from grade school to college.

It was a pleasure to present with Maxime Durand and Brian Stottlemyer, and I look forward to collaborating with them in the future.

Thank you Maxime Durand @TriFreako and @Ubisoft for a great professional opportunity!

Intensive Italian for Gamers – giorni 9, 10 e 11


If you are curious about my Intensive Italian for Gamers course, Spanish grad student Lillian Jones is blogging about the experience!

Jonesy's Journey


Otto giorni since I have written about Italian 1200. Perché so many giorni have passed, and why have they passed so quickly? Perché that is what time does. It moves forward at its own pace. It is a constant pace, that oh 👆, human beings have set forth for us to keep our lives organized. Which I am totally fine with, of course. Being a mixture of mostly Welsh, German, and a wee bit o’ Swedish, I definitely love a good ol’ prompt time schedule. But the thing about time is that it keeps going, and if you are not on the time train, and swaddled in for the ride, then you may just get left behind. Perhaps you’ll catch ahold of the caboose with one hand, or even trot along the tracks with a satchel slung over your shoulder. Either way, the point is – to stay…

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Sega’s Shenmue: the Best Video Game Series for Japanese Language & Culture Acquisition?

Game-Based Learning, Microsoft, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

My interview for the Italian video game online magazine/platform Multiplayer.it about one of my favorite video game series ever, Shenmue, and its value in terms of acquisition of Japanese language & culture, was published today:


An English translation of the article is available here:

View at Medium.com

Thank you Emiliano Ragoni of multiplayer.it for your excellent article! And Arigato! Mr. Yu Suzuki for your gaming masterpiece!

In my recently-published scholarly article  “Using Video Games to Teach Italian Language & Culture: Useful, Effective, Feasible?” NEMLA Italian Studies XXXIX special issue “The Italian Digital Classroom: Italian Culture and Literature through digital tools and social media.” [available as a PDF download  (https://www.buffalo.edu/content/dam/www/nemla/NIS/XXXIX/NeMLA%20Italian%20Studies%202017%20-%20Using%20Video%20Games.pdf and in print], I also mention the Sega Shenmue series as an excellent learning device, the best, in my view, in terms of Japanese language and culture acquisition. The game includes Japanese and English audio tracks and subtitles. Lip-syncing is in Japanese. The first episodes is set in the Japanese town of Yokosuka,

The first game in the series was released in 1999 in Japan and in 2000 in the US and Europe on the Sega Dreamcast. Episode II was released in 2001 on the Sega Dreamcast, then ported in 2002 on the original Microsoft Xbox. The first two episodes in the series have been recently re-released (August 2018), updated in high-definition, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. A third, new original episode is scheduled for release in late August 2019.

In my interview, I also discuss my methodology (IAC: Identify, Acquire, Create); my current work with the Assassin’s Creed series and future developments with Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey; and my participation at SXSW EDU in Austin in March 2019.

Image: Sega Shenmue – Sega AM2 – Creator Yu Suzuki.