Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Curriculum: Teaching English as a Second Language with Minecraft

Hello Everyone,

This post marks the first of what will eventually be a series of journal entries focused on an English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculum project. I've been working on the planning and research behind the idea for quite some time now, and am now entering into the implementation phase. I'll be teaching an introductory course on academic writing to a group of international students at a large Midwestern university this spring.

The basic premise behind this curriculum lies with the field of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and theories of task, project, and content-based instruction. Scholars in these fields frequently talk about how important interactive and collaborative learning are to students in the second language classroom. The video game Minecraft affords numerous opportunities for language use, and centers around activities of task completion and project-based work. Basically, students build things together and talk about them.


I will be incorporating a number of language lessons, seen above, and related activities into the curriculum that students will accomplish under the guidance of the instructor. This screenshot, in particular, showcases the information block feature of the mod MinecraftEdu. Take a look when you get the chance. The busy team at Teacher Gaming LLC is hard at work providing classroom management tools, world building tools, and other useful implements that enhance the stock features of the game. I'll be talking about them periodically as I update, as their work is central to mine!

As I work on building the world I'll post updates, screenshots, and videos along the way, and will be sure to share my experiences after classes start again in a couple weeks. Looking forward to seeing Minecraft in the context of higher education!

4 comments:

  1. Are you still doing this project? I'd love to get together and work on some more minecraft-related learning. I run a server now for language learning over at miningenglish.org

    If you have an interest, hit me up in game, on the servers, or email me :)

    Keep up the good work!

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  2. Really nice and great thought.English is very useful and it is used all over the world an and is very more effective communication language.International curriculum

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  3. Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Minecraft Servers List

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