Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Classification of Games to Be Used in Virtual Learning Environments - Some Reflections Based on the EU Funded GUINEVERE Project

Michael Thomas, University of Central Lancashire, UK (United Kingdom)

Christel Schneider, University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom)

Tuncer Can, University of Istanbul (Turkey)


In context of the EU funded GUINEVERE Project (Games Used IN Engaging Virtual Environments for Real-time language Education, 2017-2019), some research has been undertaken to define different categories or genres of games used in virtual language teaching environments. There is a great variety of terminology and approaches to classifying games to be found in the literature. This paper aims to analyse and categorise selected games for language learning, created and provided for 2D and 3D virtual learning environments and identify their suitability and adaptability for the use in 3D immersive virtual language learning. The field-testing events within the GUINEVERE offered sound clues for the effectiveness of selected games according to levels, categories, needs and their adaptability to a variety of language learning contexts, different virtual learning platforms such as Second Life, Open Sim and Minecraft. The models of game like activities described in this paper show plentiful examples of good practice that indicate how important it is to get learners actively involved in the learning process. The examples also demonstrate the major benefits of immersive learning in 3D virtual environments which are focusing on knowledge construction through interaction, providing unique learning experiences, supporting collaborative learning and producing genuine tasks preparing for real-life situations (Saleeb & Dafoulas, 2013). “Games can bring joy and delight to learning, but only if entered into in a spirit of play. We need to make learning playful, and playful learning acceptable for everyone” (Whitton, 2014, p.190).

Keywords: Categorising games, Language Learning, Virtual Worlds, Minecraft, Second Life, Open Sim.

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