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Designing ELT Escape Room Games - IATEFL YLTSIG Web Conference

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Designing ELT Escape Room Games - IATEFL YLTSIG Web Conference

  1. 1. DESIGNING ESCAPE ROOM GAMES FOR ELT Graham Stanley @grahamstanley IATEFL YLTSIG November 2020 www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com
  2. 2. What is an escape room game? Why use escape room games in ELT? • live listening • interactive story • role-playing game How can teachers best approach the design of an escape room game?
  3. 3. An escape room game for beginners TRAPPED!
  4. 4. TRAPPED! An escape room game for beginners
  5. 5. A live listening / interactive story / escape room role-playing game for upper-intermediate+ #ELTESCAPE ESCAPE THE FAMILY DINNER PARTY
  6. 6. Small talk What language do we use for socialising? Apologising and making excuses What things do we say to apologise / to make excuses? ESCAPE THE FAMILY DINNER PARTY
  7. 7. Small talk The weather’s lovely/horrible today, isn’t it? How is school / work? Did you see the news today? What’s new? How was your week / weekend? Did you have a good day? Apologising and making excuses I’m very sorry, but… Unfortunately, I have to… Sorry for the inconvenience, but… I’m afraid I have to… I’m sorry to trouble you, but… I hate to say this, but… I’ve got a bit of a problem, you see… Apologies, but… ESCAPE THE FAMILY DINNER PARTY
  8. 8. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 1) Learning objectives / language 2) Story / setting 3) Puzzle design 4) Check: is it a disguised test? 5) Check: is it just fun? 6) Play Test A framework for escape room game design
  9. 9. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 1) Learning objectives / language A framework for escape room game design
  10. 10. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 2) Story / setting A framework for escape room game design
  11. 11. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 3) Puzzle design A framework for escape room game design
  12. 12. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 4) Check: is it a disguised test? A framework for escape room game design
  13. 13. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 5) Check: is it just fun? A framework for escape room game design
  14. 14. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 6) Play Test A framework for escape room game design
  15. 15. DESIGNING ESCAPE ROOM GAMES FOR ELT Graham Stanley @grahamstanley IATEFL YLTSIG November 2020 www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com Thank you! Any questions?

Notas do Editor

  • Designing escape room games for ELT
    Escape room games are effective ways of motivating learners to practise listening and speaking skills. Teachers can turn their classroom into an escape room, or design activities to be used online. In this talk I will share a framework that teachers can use to develop their own escape room games.

    Bio: Graham Stanley is the British Council’s English for Educational Systems Lead for the Americas, based in Mexico City. He has and M.Ed in Educational Technology and ELT and is newsletter editor for the IATEFL LTSIG.

    The event will be delivered via Zoom: a 60 minute webinar including 15 minutes for Q&A.
  • What is an escape room game? An escape room is an adventure game set within a confined space in which players solve puzzles to unlock the door. Online escape room games lend themselves particularly to language teaching and include elements of interactive storytelling and role-playing games. During this workshop, we will look at designing an online live listening escape room game for language learning. First you will be invited to play an escape room game and then I will present ideas of how different elements such as puzzles, props, and codes can be combined to produce a stimulating game and which can be adapted to maximize the practice of English.

    Why use escape room games in ELT?
    Escape room games are effective ways of motivating learners to practise listening and speaking skills. For me, a well-designed ERG involves combining a live listening activity with an interactive story and a role-playing game.

    How can teachers best approach the design of an escape room game? I am going to start by showing you a couple of example escape room games I have designed and then I’ll present a framework for teachers who want to design their own escape room games. Because of the school closures, I have chosen ERGs that can be played in the physical classroom space as well as online. In fact, if any of you have to cope with hybrid teaching (i.e. with some ss online and others in the f2f classroom) these games can be played in that way too.
  • Trapped! Is a simple escape room game designed for beginners. Clearly there’s not much of a story to this game and it is meant to be a fun way for students to practise directions

    After the demo game, you ask the ss to design their own ER and the students then play the game in pairs, with one student using the map on the right and the other a blank map. The students can, if you think it useful, write the instructions to their own game down first.

    This is an example ERG that is very simple and can be used with low level ss.
  • The worksheet for the game is used in conjunction with the map of the ER. The students make decisions based on the Information the T gives them. Each student has a blank form where they can mark on the doors when the T tells them where they are.

    After playing, I suggest handing out the map and the instructions so you can all look at the language together.

    You are in room one. Walk through the door in front of you.
    In the next room, there is a door in front of you and a door on the right. Open the door on the right.
    In this room there is a door on the right you can walk through.
    There is only one door you can walk through in this room. It is on the left.
    In this room too, there is one door on the left you can walk through.
    Walk through the door on the right in this room.
    There are two doors you can walk through here. Don’t take the door in front of you, open the door on the right.
    Turn left in this room and walk through the door.
    Finally, walk through the door in front of you. You are free!

  • The second ERG is a live listening / interactive story / role-playing game designed to encourage speaking among EFL students.

    It can be played in a classroom or online and requires no other materials other than this powerpoint, a teacher and students.

    To play, you describe the scenario and start asking questions to students, who then supply answers and move the story forward to a resolution.

    The scenario can be played with different levels of students (you can grade the language to suit) and is meant for them to practise their general speaking skills, although the language of excuses and socialising will be mainly used. Because of this, it is an ideal game for B1-B2 level students.

    The game should take around 20-30 minutes to play. If you want to make this more like a RPG, you can use dice to determine the reactions to what the players say, although this is optional. Usually what I would do is to ask for volunteers to play this game and then discuss it with everyone afterwards. As we have only 20 minutes, I am going to outline the game and then talk about how I designed it. If anyone wats to ask questions, then I’ll be going to the other Zoom room at the end of my presentation.

    Images created using https://www.doodly.com/

    Scenario: Every year, your Uncle Baco and Aunt Camila hold a dinner party to celebrate your cousin David’s birthday. All of David’s cousins are invited, along with Grandpa Philip and Grandma Mary. You don’t particularly like your cousin David, but you have promised your parents you will go and you have accepted the invitation.

    On the day of the dinner party, a surprise announcement is made about a very special event that is happening in the town hall at 10pm that night (What is it? Ask the students to tell you). There is limited space at the town hall and so you will all need to leave the dinner party by 9pm in order to get there in time.

    Unfortunately, past experience tells you that these dinner parties usually go on late, and don’t finish until 11pm. (Why? Because the food is usually served later than expected and David and his family love to play board games after dinner)

    This time, though, you are all determined to escape the dinner party by 9pm, but without upsetting anyone. The invitation asked you to be at the house at 7pm, but you know they don’t expect you to be punctual. However, you have an idea (What? f you arrive early and offer to help with the food, perhaps you can leave on time.)
  • In particular students will be socialising / practising small talk / making polite conversation; apologising; making excuses and promises. If you feel it necessary, you can pre-teach this language or deal with it as you go along / afterwards.

    Use this slide if you want to brainstorm with students before the game begins.

  • In particular students will be socialising / practising small talk / making polite conversation; apologising; making excuses and promises. If you feel it necessary, you can pre-teach this language or deal with it as you go along / afterwards.

    Use this slide if you want to share this language with students before the game begins.

    While the students are speaking, take note of the language they use and deal with errors once the game has finished. Afterwards, you should also look at the language of excuses.

    If you want to add more of a game element to this, then you can award points to students who use these phrases correctly.
  • Before you set off for the dinner party, your mother reminds you some of the things you need to do when you are there…

    “So, remember to each buy cousin David a birthday present before you go. He’s just started studying law at university, so something related to that, a book or something for him to wear when he’s doing work experience would be useful. Or you could always get him another board game…you know how much he likes those…
    …Don’t ignore Aunt Camila like she said you did the last time. I know she’s usually in the kitchen most of the time during the dinner party, but please make sure you send her my love and tell her I’ll call her tomorrow to ask how the party went…
    …Don’t forget to laugh at uncle Baco’s jokes, no matter how bad they are. You know he gets upset when nobody laughs at his jokes.
    …As usual, please don’t let Grandpa Philip tell any of those stories about when he was in the war. We all know he wasn’t in any war and he embarrases everyone when he tells those stories he makes up.
    …Finally, remember to be patient with Grandma Mary as she is losing her hearing. If she doesn’t understand what you say, then please take the time to tell her again.

    Just before you leave, your mother reminds you of the most important thing… Remember to be kind to everyone and make sure nobody gets upset with you. I am still embarrassed by what happened last year (What happened last year?)

    Do you remember what you have to do before and at the dinner party?

    Ask the students to tell you what they have to remember to do…

    1. Buy cousin David a birthday present each. What do you buy him?
    2. Don’t ignore Aunt Camila and tell her your mother Will call her tomorrow to ask her about the party
    3. Laugh at uncle Baco’s jokes
    4. Don’t let Grandpa Philip tell any of his invented war stories
    5. Finally, remember to be patient with Grandma Mary as she is losing her hearing
  • DESIGNING YOUR OWN

    In the next part of the presentation I am going to look at a framework that I have developed to help teachers design their own ERGs

    The framewiork consists of designing 3 elements (1-3) and then 2 checks and playtesting before unleashing your game on students

  • DESIGNING YOUR OWN

    First of all, I think it is very important to start with the language or learning objectives. Put that at the forefront. Why are you using an ER? Is that going to be more effective tan trying to get ss to practise in a different way? It could be that your students are a Little tired of the coursebook you are using and you need to do something that is a Little bit different, to motivate them. For me, it’s all about creating a memorable learning experience. If you do something in your lesson that is interesting, exciting or otherwise stimulates the students, then they are more likely to learn.

    So, language and learning objectives first. Don’t try to bolt this on at the end. That will be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and Will likely to not result in a satisfying experience for students or teacher.

    The image shows a text from an escape room game I designed that features the theft of a valuable object and a number of suspects. I wanted to design an ER around the language of hypothesis and for ss to be involved in putting forward their theories of who committed the crime and why was the way I decided I could do that. It wasn’t clear cut, so there was room for discusión.
  • DESIGNING YOUR OWN

    For me, the next important aspecto of and ELT Escape room game is the story. Clearly, there wasn’t much story in the first ERG I share with you today. That’s because the simpler the language the more difficult introducing a story is. However, in general terms, I think if you make a strong story the

    In the example ERG The Missing Mayan Mask, the story was that a valuable artefact goes missing at a dinner party organised by an ambassador and a mystery organisation hires the students to find the mask, which is hidden at the ambassador’s residence, before the pólice turn up. As I mentioned on the previous slide, it’s not clear after the ss find the mask, who stole it, which should lead to discusión and debate and theories. The mystery continues and ss are encouraged to do follow-up activities that expand their versión of the story.

  • Puzzle design. Next come the puzles. There may be hidden cleus in texts, combination locks to unlock, etc especially if you are using objects and playing in the classroom as I did with this Mayan Mask ERG. Even if it is more virtual, there Will be puzles to solve, cyphers, etc. What you need to make sure is that these are either language puzles, or that they require language (e.g. talking to each other) to solve. The last thing you want to do is for ss to spend 10 minutes faffing about with something in silence – the difficulty of these puzles doesn’t have to be very hard either – remember, the objective is language practice not solving puzles proactice. So, anice balance behind having something that Will raise the interest and curiosity of the ss and get them practising language is preferible.

    The image shows the final puzle of the Mayan Mask game…the mask, locked in a bag with a combination to be entered, the bag hidden in a clock. A cypher leads ss to the clock and the code on one of the suspect files is the combination to the lock. There are no red herrings (it’s hard enough without them) and the whole game should take 20 minutes to complete. That leaves time for debrieging and follow up activities using English afterwards.
  • It might be tempting to trun exercise book activities into an ERG. The ss complete an exercise and that gives them a number to a lock. Inside is another exercise that when completed means the Teacher gives out clues. For me, that is a killjoy though. It’s not an anjoyable game, it’s a disguised test. It’s unlikely that your ss Will respond well to this type of “game” so I would avoid it.

    The picture shows the pólice file for the Mystery of the Myan Mask ERG – this Reading gives context to the game and provides Information about possible suspects.

  • The other side of the coin. Be careful that you don’t just design an activity that is a lot of fun for learners to do but which has Little or no language or learning in it. It’s a careful balance. You want the ss to have fun while they learn or practicve English.

    In the pictures, a puzle – a simple jigsaw that when put together and then turned over reveals the combination of the first lock and the next clue in the game.

  • Testing the game out before you unleash it on learners is a good idea. If you can run through it with a colleague or family or Friends, so much the better. The image shows a flow chart for my Mayan Mask ERG – designing this Flow chart was useful as this is a game played in the physical classroom and required some objects that were hidden under desks, chairs, etc to be found before others. Designing the Flow chart made me think carefully about the placement of these and also about the time taken to solve some of the puzles. Playing it with teachers meant I could see if it worked and was able to change it to improve it.

  • Thank you! Any questions?

    You can download this presentation, which includes notes to help you play the games I presented at the Slideshare address here.

    Early next year, I’ll be publishing a book for teachers on ERGs – keep track of the progress by following me on Twitter or through the blog (URL on the right), which has links to other ideas and escape room games.

    Designing escape room games for ELT
    Escape room games are effective ways of motivating learners to practise listening and speaking skills. Teachers can turn their classroom into an escape room, or design activities to be used online. In this talk I will share a framework that teachers can use to develop their own escape room games.

    Bio: Graham Stanley is the British Council’s English for Educational Systems Lead for the Americas, based in Mexico City. He has and M.Ed in Educational Technology and ELT and is newsletter editor for the IATEFL LTSIG.

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