On Victory Points and Abstraction: Flip City and L2TL

Introduction "Winning" as a feature is nearly ubiquitous in games. Very few activities that might be described as "games" go without a win-condition and those that do are considered by many gamers and designers as not games. A good example of a game without win conditions is Rory's Story Cubes. It has a variety of … Continue reading On Victory Points and Abstraction: Flip City and L2TL

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Ludonarrative Dissonance, Conceptual Metaphor and Language Learning

1. Introduction One important way tabletop gamers get introduced to new games is through video playthroughs that local in-person groups shoot together and upload on popular websites like youtube or boardgamegeek. Over time, the familiarity a viewer has with a particular play-group gives them a sense of trust that the games they play might be … Continue reading Ludonarrative Dissonance, Conceptual Metaphor and Language Learning

Bridging the digital-tabletop divide and why it’s a good idea

1. Introduction The theories of language learning and the pedagogical practices I work through deal almost exclusively with the content of digital language learning. Internet-based social language learning in CALL or MALL or whatever other area is an exciting place to practice language learning and teaching. In my own Vygostkian sociocultural theoretic practice, the main … Continue reading Bridging the digital-tabletop divide and why it’s a good idea

Making Functional Grammar Explicit: Game Design-Enhanced TBLT Lesson Plans for “Firewatch”

Introduction In our review of Firewatch, we concluded that it would make an excellent video game for Game Design-Enhanced TBLT (GD-TBLT). It's heavy narrative weight means that within the game there is a large amount of language and other literary devices that can be exploited for all kinds of learning, not just second language teaching and … Continue reading Making Functional Grammar Explicit: Game Design-Enhanced TBLT Lesson Plans for “Firewatch”

Applying For the Job: Using Work Simulators in the L2TL Classroom

The EFL Situation ESL/EFL teachers will immediately recognize the theme of "jobs" as a staple of almost all ESL/EFL textbooks. Even very young students in most places recognize that their parents work or that there are people in their community like police officers or restaurant workers. It is this, assumed, shared understanding that makes "jobs" … Continue reading Applying For the Job: Using Work Simulators in the L2TL Classroom

The one where I get Final Fantasy VII into a lesson

In my 7th graders textbook, the reading portion for our current chapter is focused on art history and linguistically on color/feeling words and “makes me feel” type phrases.  They are taught to associate colors with feelings and then make a commentary on a piece of artwork. (“The blue colors in this picture make me feel … Continue reading The one where I get Final Fantasy VII into a lesson

Language Exchange Lament (and a lesson plan for Listening)

There is a popular method for informal language learning here in South Korea (and I’m sure other places) that goes by the name “language exchange”.  The name is appealing.  It suggests a business-like approach to the learning of a language, a fair trade in which you give and then take equal shares of a product. … Continue reading Language Exchange Lament (and a lesson plan for Listening)

“I don’t understand why I have to follow this textbook”

Teaching from a textbook can be frustrating.  It provides safety and structure but limits creativity and,as we have seen, can't always be trusted to provide authentic data-driven input.  The above picture is part of a section I am required to teach called the "communication spotlight". In the beginning, I really liked this section because it … Continue reading “I don’t understand why I have to follow this textbook”