About the Author
My name is Kyle Mawer and I am a teacher based in Barcelona Spain. I have been using Digital Play with my language learners since about 2004 for two reasons really. The first was that while my friends and Iwould talk about music and films my learners were increasingly talking about video games and online videos. A cultural phenomena was occuring or had occured and I was laggging behind. The second reason was the eagerness and how willing learners were to be taught and practice language using resources that were very much a part of their generation and cultural identity.
At first I chatted in the classroom with my learners about what the funniest youtube video was, which the best online games were and why one particular gaming console was the one I should buy. Then I began to research and develop teaching materials around these topics in the staffroom and outside the language school where I worked. Returning to my learners I found that I had stumbled upon a popular and fun way of teaching.
The increasing popularity, engaging play, and emerging pedagogy led me to start a wikispace http://kylemawer.wikispaces.com/ where I could share and make some of the online games, printed texts, videos and ideas more easily accessible for my colleagues’ learners as well as my own. I was very pleased when the site was short listed for an Edublog award.
I also became involved in the British Council Second Life project which takes place in a virtual world. It looks like a video game but its content can be designed, generated and shaped by its users and so has the potential of being a great language tool. Making virtual learning quests, running conversation classes and asssisting on a virtual business course was just some of the project work I literally, as well as virtually, had a pleasure to be involved with.
At some point I started a blog with my friend and colleague Graham Stanley called ‘Digital Play’ http://digitalplay.info/blog/ dedicated to the use of digital games and toys as a tool in language learning. If you haven’t seen the site already you should really check it out. I, for one, would be very interested to read some of your comments and hearing about your own Digital Play experiences.
Computer games and language aims
Kyle's Recent Blog Posts
I was once asked “What is the easiest type of online game to adapt for language learning?” I thought about it for a bit and then answered, “Any online game with a walkthrough.” This inevitably led to the next question, “What’s a walkthrough?” So, I showed them what they were, where to find them and […]
In 2009 The BBC posted an article proclaiming that (video) games will ‘eclipse’ other media. Comparing the two industries of gaming and movies the article found that while the latter was in decline for the former it was very much ‘game on’. Even when placed directly side to side the video game adaptation of a […]
Hi, my name’s Kyle and I’m co-authoring Digital Play with Graham Stanley. In this and subsequent blogs we want to look at how to use video games with a language learning class. In this blog I’d like to address a question that has arisen both in my own mind, in class, with parents at parents’ […]