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December 17, 2018
Superheroes & Gamification in the Language Classroom

by Jennifer Prescott
Teacher of French & Spanish, United Nations International School of Hanoi, Vietnam

As the “Free Time” unit loomed over my Middle Years Program French class yet again, I felt myself dragging my feet about going over the same ground. The unit was designed to teach the past tense using very familiar sport and leisure vocabulary. If I felt this way, how could I hope to engage my students? This desire for change coincided with a Master’s unit I was completing: Game Based Learning. I took my chance to revamp the unit into a PBL project and apply what I learne

This project did not involve using technology to play games, or off-the-shelf games used to learn French. It is hard to find commercial off-the-shelf video games which exactly fulfill learning objectives, and difficult to design compelling ‘edutainment’ games. But it is possible to take the psychology of what makes video games exciting and addictive – an area where millions are spent on research and development – and apply some elements of it to keep students engaged in a PBL unit.

The project idea was …read more