Fred Poole


I am an Assistant Professor in the Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching program at Michigan State University. I received my Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences in the College of Education at Utah State University in 2020. I also earned a Master of Second Language Teaching Degree in 2015. My research investigates the implementation of technology for improving and assessing second language literacy skills and the effect of well-designed games on second language learning, teaching, and classroom dynamics.


Show & Tell presentation Leveraging a spatial chat software to design gaming experiences for in-class instruction more

Sun, Jun 19, 15:15-15:45 Asia/Tokyo

Recently it has been argued that there is a lack of research on practical applications of digital games in the language learning classroom (York et al, 2021). This has inspired a movement to focus on ludic language pedagogy rather than on the design of digital games. Scholars have suggested that digital games are often not used in classrooms because schools lack the necessary resources (e.g. gaming computers, gaming libraries), teachers lack gaming literacy, and there is lack of control over game design. In this presentation, I will illustrate how teachers can use spatial chat software called Gather.Town to quickly design virtual gaming experiences that can be leveraged for in-class lessons. Gather.Town is a virtual chat platform that integrates traditional virtual conferencing with spatial chat functions and retro digital gaming environments. In Gather.Town users create an avatar which they control to navigate a digital space. Like other spatial chat platforms, when a user approaches another user, their video pops up allowing them to interact with those in their proximity. Unlike, other spatial chat platforms, Gather.Town allows teachers to customize complex environments, insert unique objects, and embed pedagogical materials. Further all of this can be done in a browser thus limiting the need to purchase additional software. These affordances allow teachers to quickly manipulate already existing virtual worlds to create simple games that can be leveraged for in-class instruction. In this presentation I will provide three practical examples of games that can be created with minimal design work. However, and more importantly, I will then illustrate how these games can be leveraged to promote meaningful language use in the physical classroom. While this presentation is not meant to be a tutorial on Gather.Town, I will provide a few tips and techniques for those who are new to the platform.

Fred Poole

Workshop How do you know if your Ludic Language Pedagogy is “MMM… delicious” or not? Stick some research thermometers in it! Let’s talk about what to use and how to use them. more

Fri, Jun 17, 18:00-19:15 Asia/Tokyo

This workshop will provide you with a variety of research approaches, methodologies and instruments to help you understand the effect that your teaching with games is having on your students and their learning. Together, first, we’ll look at some typical (now stale) game-based language teaching projects and pull out and examine the thermometer(s) that were used. We’ll scowl angrily and “tut-tut” condescendingly at all the vocabulary tests and surveys about motivation or opinions from students and teachers. Next, we’ll gleefully break out the really cool research projects and research thermometers that we will borrow from the Ludic Language Pedagogy community kitchen. We’ll all “ooo and aah” at the mounds of shiny stuff: concept maps, gameplay transcriptions, debriefing sequences, stimulated recall protocols, student-created “best play” videos, evidence-driven reflections, textual and media analysis, ethnographic gameplay fieldnotes, transfer tasks, carefully chosen/created tests, open-ended interviews, and whatever else we can grab before the conference. You’ll receive on-the-spot training about how each gadget works (what questions it can answer and how best to use it) and learn how to stick a bunch of these things all over and in your Ludic Language Pedagogy (before, during, after, post) in order to clearly and comfortably get a hi-definition image of what effect your methods, materials and mediation (MMM!) have on your students and their learning. You’ll leave the talk/workshop with as many thermometers as you can cram into your inventory, and be ready to go back to your classroom. You will be able to use these tools to evaluate how well your own LLP is cooking and to make minor tweaks to it (iterate! try your recipe again!) the next time around (ala “good teaching” or action research) and you’ll be able to use the information and skills to more formally research your teaching and submit your projects to conferences and journals interested in teaching with games (*cough* *cough*).

Jonathan deHaan Fred Poole James York

Social Events Welcome Lounge more

Fri, Jun 17, 17:30-17:55 Asia/Tokyo

Join James, Fred (Co-chairs), Gary (Web), Steve (Hosting) and the rest of the team as JALTCALL2022 gets underway. If you have any last second questions or just want to say hello, please pop in.

James York Fred Poole Gary Ross Stephen Henneberry

Forum Roundtable more

Sat, Jun 18, 17:45-18:15 Asia/Tokyo

Open questions for consideration: - What is game-based learning? - What is gamification? - What do we know about games and gamification in language teaching? - Who is researching or teaching with games and play? - Why be ludic? - What are the hurdles to ludic teaching?

James York Fred Poole