Delta Publishing Catalogue

Digital Play

Computer games and language aims

Winner ' Innovation in Teacher Resources' ELTons 2012

Authors: Kyle Mawer, Graham Stanley

ISBN: 9783125013599

Series:Delta Teacher Development Series

Digital Play is available as both paperback and e-book. The e-book is available in the Kindle store where you can download the free Kindle reading app for every major smartphone, tablet, and computer.


Digital Play is a pioneering book on the use of computer games in language teaching, in which the authors share their expertise in training teachers in innovative classroom practice with their excitement for teaching with technology. It offers:

  • guidance on taking on the challenge of the digital revolution
  • insight into how learners engage with gaming outside the classroom
  • advice and activities for effectively bringing the world of gaming inside the classroom

Digital Play contains three distinctive parts which focus in turn on theory, practice and development:

Part A examines the role of computer games in society, in education in general and in language teaching in particular, dismissing stereotypes and suggesting ways of implementing games with language learners.

Part B consists of a bank of step-by-step activities showing how to use digital play in the classroom. Activities cover different possible classroom scenarios – from no available technology, through one computer and a projector to multiple computers – and they all have the common aim of helping learners improve their knowledge and use of the foreign language, covering all four language skills.

Part C shows the teacher how to integrate digital play activities into the wider environment of the syllabus and the school, and suggests ways of developing personally and professionally as teachers of the 21st century.

# Name Type Size
# Name ISBN
# Name Type Size
2Introduction B.pdf94.25
3Introduction C.pdf35.08

Kyle Mawer

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 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’  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.

Graham Stanley

I’m Graham Stanley and I’m a teacher who lives in Barcelona, Spain. I’ve been teaching English since 1995 and playing computer games since 1978. My current favourites are Heavy RainLittle Big Planet2 and Fallout Las Vegas.

Before I became a teacher, I worked first in office management and then in the emerging I.T. Industry in London. Because of this, it was only natural that I’d be attracted to using ICT with learners after I’d got my my first stripes in TEFL. Interest in this led me to take a Master’s degree (University of Manchester) in ELT & Educational Technology and  I subsequently started speaking at local, national and international conferences and other teacher events about ELT and the use of emerging technologies. I am also currently coordinator of the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG (Special Interest Group) and very involved in presenting and giving workshops to teachers (both online and in-person) to help them make good use of ICT.

Apart from teaching, I am a social media consultant and manager of EU projects for the British Council: AVALON (language learning in Second Life), aPLaNEt (teacher development through PLNs) and ITiLT (language teaching with IWBs). I have written teacher training and course material for learners and teachers and have been blogging at since 2004.

My speciality is in using emerging technologies to promote language learning and teaching. Currently, I am particularly interested in the potential of social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc), interactive whiteboards, mobile technology, virtual worlds and games.

After noticing the potential of computer games to motivate students, I started looking at ways of adapting onlne games with language learning aims in mind. Soon afterwards, I found a comrade-in-arms in the shape of Kyle Mawer. Sharing our experience and knowledge in a book was the next natural step. Together, we also blog about computer games and language teaching at