Today I spoke on gamification and video game-based learning at the Saint Louis University 1818 Foreign Language Professional Training Day, organized by the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures.
Glad to have met such a dynamic group of dedicated high-school foreign language teachers! Their students in Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Classics and Chinese receive SLU credits. My presentation, “Video game-based learning in the high-school classroom?” was very well received.
On a related note, today I was asked and accepted to serve on the SLU Esports Advisory Committee. Looking forward to spearheading the educational value of Esports at my institution.
I just submitted revisions of my two chapters and one co-edited chapter for Learning, Education and Games 3: 100 Games to Use in the Classroom & Beyond.
The games I covered are:
- Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed – The Series (co-edited chapter with Gabriele Aroni, Ph.D., Ryerson University, and Heidi McDonald, iThrive Games);
- Square Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider; and
- Tequila Works’ The Invisible Hours VR.
I am seriously disappointed that I will not be able to utilize the excellent The Invisible Hours VR in my Intensive Italian for Gamers course at SLU next spring because it is not localized in Italian.
As I wrote in my chapter:
The narrative and writing, the complexity of the characters, the emphasis on observation and logic rather than “active” gaming and the theatrical-quality acting, all contribute to making this game ideal for numerous courses (from senior year of high-school to college and adults) across multiple disciplines… the storyline is narrated with audio and subtitles available in multiple languages (Spanish, French, German and English). The game narrative can thus be to provide exposure to linguistic and cultural content in ESL and foreign language courses to reinforce vocabulary, grammatical forms, sentence structure and oral fluency. For ESL learners, an additional feature is the excellent lip-syncing, a rare feature that makes this game more attractive than other comparable cinematic, narrative-driven products. Since players can “project themselves” in front of each character as they speak, close inspection of the lip-syncing (especially in VR mode) facilitates listening comprehension. The task-based gameplay can challenge students to problem-solve in the target language, which is particularly beneficial for language acquisition purposes (Shehadeh and Coombe, 2012).
Dear People at Tequila Works:
The Italian video game market is thriving, and the Italian as a foreign language market is very promising. Italian is the fourth most studied language in the world: https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-good-italian-businessGame localization in additional languages, while a financial commitment, is a beneficial investment.