Gamification in Language Teaching

Monday 13 May | Tuesday 14 May | Wednesday 15 May | Thursday 16 May | Friday 17 May

Tuesday 14 May

TRACK 2:
W O R K S H O P
Gamification in Language Teaching,
Ms. Renate Link, Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Place: Room F305

Time: 13.00 – 14.30
Description: The session will introduce at least one gamification method to be used in language courses; intercultural elements will also be covered. After the introduction, participants will be given the chance to try out and further develop the method(s) themselves. The session will be wrapped up with a feedback round. In the last two decades, the trend of “Gamification, the application of game mechanics to non-game environments (such as learning and development) is [sic] a much-hyped trend. But in fact it is more than simply applying badges, rewards and points to everything that cannot run away: Gamification addresses the sense of engagement, immediate feedback, experimenting with rules and interpretations, rising to challenges, the feeling of accomplishment and last but not least: fun! Gamification does not trivialize learning, though; on the contrary, well designed “serious” games help learners acquire skills, knowledge and abilities in short, concentrated periods of time with high retention rates and effective recall” (Simons et al. 2015). That anyone who actively participates and uses their own hands learns best and fastest is not a new insight, but is based on Piaget’s Constructivism and Paper’s Constructionism from the 1950s and 1960s. In other words, we learn most effectively by constructing something ourselves using our descriptive, creative and negative, i.e. tabula rasa imagination (www.strategicplay.de). All gamification tools also make use of the concept of “storytelling”. Storytelling is so helpful in teaching because it awakens the interest of course participants, networks course content, is based on a familiar way of disseminating information, and, last but not least, can make the trainer’s relationship with their course participants more personal by exchanging experiences and ideas. Ideally, the extrinsic motivation evoked by innovative gamification learning tools can be playfully transformed into intrinsic motivation. The advantage of gamification methods is that there is no right or wrong, no winners or losers and no one who remains passive, which is also more than conducive to individual motivation.In concrete terms, in our workshop the two haptic materials “Rory’s Story Cubes” (www.storycubes.com) and “Puzzling Intercultural Stories” (Lampalzer & Uehlinger 2015) will be introduced and then applied in small teams – adapting either game to language training and to intercultural training settings as needed. While the dice game “Rory’s Story Cubes” was originally developed for strategy development within companies, the background of the card game “Puzzling Intercultural Stories” is a purely cross-cultural one. The cards actually make use of CIs that have really happened, which is why we will endeavour to integrate the CIs experienced by the participants into the game. Depending on requirements, we will combine linguistic and intercultural aspects when trying out both gamification tools and discuss the pros and cons of each method to round off the session.