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Offline or online, language games play just fine! Edutainment case in a multidisciplinary setting.
Edutainment has recently become a leading tendency in language teaching as it encourages the learners to practice various skills in a game-like setting. Here we showcase the edutainment activity designed for Master students of a technical university (2018-22) and its online ‘spin-off’ (2020-2021). Once tailored for the learner’s needs, an edutainment practice helps reach the desired learning outcomes when used both as a language booster at the beginning of the term and as the culmination of an advanced language course.
In out talk we will discuss scenarios that can involve participants in a high-tech interactive game to improve language fluency, enhance academic vocabulary, and revise relevant grammar.
The edutainment event was initially designed for Master students of Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and was successfully run offline for several years. The scenario was inspired by space travel where the representatives of various technical programs collaborated and competed while ‘exploring’ the exoplanets. All challenges required both individual and team input for brainstorming, discussion, negotiation, project design and presentation. Cutting-edge authentic scientific content was packaged into engaging tasks with a strong language component. Game trajectory was affected by real physical artefacts introduced at the turning points of the plot. Two-phase scoring system included game currency and points for successful task completion. The winning team received valuable prizes from the institute.
During the pandemic, the edutainment approach was tested in the online mode at Moscow State University (MSU) with a group of ten medical and biology students. This time, the plot was based on the Marburg virus outbreak. The goal was to save the town by solving the mystery of a zero patient through linguistic challenges.
Our edutainment practices transform the English class into a creative and engaging communicative event leaving no room for boredom or stress.