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Designing escape room games for ELT

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Designing escape room games for ELT

  1. 1. DESIGNING ESCAPE ROOM GAMES FOR ELT Graham Stanley @grahamstanley 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 #ELTESCAPE TRAPPED!
  4. 4. TRAPPED! An escape room game for beginners
  5. 5. An escape room game for beginners TRAPPED!
  6. 6. A live listening / interactive story / escape room role-playing game for B1-B2 learners #ELTESCAPE ESCAPE THE FAMILY DINNER PARTY
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. What was it we have to remember to do?
  10. 10. 19:00
  11. 11. 19:30
  12. 12. 19:45
  13. 13. 20:00
  14. 14. 20:15
  15. 15. 20:30
  16. 16. 20:45
  17. 17. 21:00
  18. 18. 21:30 21:30 21:30
  19. 19. Get the treasure and escape the island An #ELTESCAPE ADVENTURE FOR A2+ LEARNERS
  20. 20. Treasure island - You have followed the old man’s instructions and have at last found the secret island. - You have a map and know where the treasure is hidden…or so you think. - You and your new friends have one last chance to find it.
  21. 21. - What is your name? - Where are you from? - What do you do? • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - • And most importantly… • …what do you secretly want? • At any point during the game, you can reveal your hidden secret and try to accomplish it. If you do not do this during the game, then it will happen at the end of the game. Who are you?
  22. 22. What makes finding the treasure difficult? - 1) - 2) - 3) • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - • Decide together what three things are going to make your adventure difficult.
  23. 23. Challenges • The game will consist of 6 turns. • During the first 5 turns, there will be a challenge to overcome. • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - • Each character needs to write a challenge (do not tell the others) • Example challenges: • You lose your map. • The boat breaks down.
  24. 24. Success • During each of the 5 turns, we will randomly select a challenge. • Each turn a different character will decide what to do to try to overcome a challenge • We will select a chip from a bag to see if you are successful or not. • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - • During the game, you have a total of 10 chances / actions to try to succeed against the challenges.
  25. 25. Challenge 1 • Set the scene • Describe the challenge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - How will you overcome the challenge? • Chances left = 10
  26. 26. Challenge 2 • Set the scene • Describe the challenge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - How will you overcome the challenge? • Chances left = 10
  27. 27. Challenge 3 • Set the scene • Describe the challenge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - How will you overcome the challenge? • Chances left = 10
  28. 28. Challenge 4 • Set the scene • Describe the challenge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - How will you overcome the challenge? • Chances left = 10
  29. 29. Challenge 5 • Set the scene • Describe the challenge - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - How will you overcome the challenge? • This is the final challenge and your chance to get the treasure! • Chances left = 10
  30. 30. Personal Challenges • Now it’s time to reveal your hidden wants and see you have been able get what you wanted if you haven’t already revealed them - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 1) Learning objectives / language A framework for escape room game design
  33. 33. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 2) Story / setting A framework for escape room game design
  34. 34. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 3) Puzzle design A framework for escape room game design
  35. 35. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 4) Check: is it a disguised test? A framework for escape room game design
  36. 36. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 5) Check: is it just fun? A framework for escape room game design
  37. 37. DESIGNING YOUR OWN ESCAPE ROOM GAMES 6) Play Test A framework for escape room game design
  38. 38. DESIGNING ESCAPE ROOM GAMES FOR ELT Graham Stanley @grahamstanley Thank you! Any questions? www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley https://escaperoomelt.wordpress.com

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. This workshop is based on a forthcoming e-book, which I’m hoping to have published very soon. The ideas for the session were developed on the blog listed and the slides can be downloaded from my slideshare account.

    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.

    The games contained here are © Graham Stanley 2020 graham.stanley@gmail.com. Permission is granted for teachers to use them with their classes, adapting them to suit their context.
  • 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
  • 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!

  • 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.
  • I am now going to present 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
  • After buying presents for cousin David, you arrive early to the dinner party and Aunt Camila opens the door…

    “Hello! I didn’t expect you to be so early. I’m still cooking, so please take a seat in the living room. There’s nobody else there, but make yourself at home, turn on the TV…”

    WHAT THE SS SHOULD DO: Help Aunt Camila in the kitchen to prepare the food….
  • Because you helped Aunt Camila, the food is now ready and Aunt Camila asks you to take it out to the table while she calls for the others.

    Uncle Baco is the first to arrive in the dining room…

    “Hello again and welcome! Wow! How you have all grown since I last saw you! Please sit down. I want to catch up with you all. My wife can bring the rest of the food to the table…

    Let me tell you a joke. Can I? I have a really good one I think you all being language tachers will appreciate…ready? How many eggs does it take to make an omelette? Ermmmm…no, that’s not right….what was it again? Et me see if I can remember….something about a French omelette….erm yes, that was it…Do you need two eggs to make a French omelette? Well? No, one egg is enough! Ha! Ha! Get it? It’s the French for egg…that’s the punchline, see…pretty good, eh? Do you know any jokes?
  • Uncle Baco goes to find his son while Grandma Mary and Grandpa Philip arrive at the table. What do you say to them?

    Grandma Mary: I’m sorry, dears, I didn’t quite hear what you said?

    Grandpa Philip: Did I ever tell you about the time I… was stuck in the trenches in Normandy? / jumped out of a plane in Vietnam? / fought against the Taliban in Afghanistan?
  • Cousin David arrives at the table…

    The ss should make small talk / wish him a happy birthday / give him presents.

    He has recently dropped out of his law course at university, so he will be upset when he receives some of the presents and will go to his room… he can be persuaded to return to the table

    When he comes back down, the food is served
  • The food is served and small talk at the table…

    Grandma Mary cannot hear
    Grandpa Philip Will try to talk about a war story
    Unclu Baco will try to tell a joke… about a bear, a cave and French cheese (Camenbert)
    Cousin David will be quiet
    Aunt Camila will be in the kitchen, not at the table…
  • Now, dessert….birthday cake….

    “You can’t leave until you’ve tried David’s birthday cake…and then we’ll all play Scrabble…or Monoploy…”

  • The idea of playing board games is suggested… the ss will have to come up with excuses if they are to escape the party…

    If they stay to play the board games, it depends on which one they play, but Scrabble or Monopoly will take them past 21:00
  • The idea of playing board games is suggested… the ss will have to come up with excuses if they are to escape the party…

    If they stay to play the board games, it depends on which one they play, but Scrabble or Monopoly will take them past 21:00
  • The idea of playing board games is suggested… the ss will have to come up with excuses if they are to escape the party…

    If they stay to play the board games, it depends on which one they play, but Scrabble or Monopoly will take them past 21:00
  • Get the treasure and escape the island is a role-playing game for English language learners of A2+ level. It is designed to encourage speaking.

    Set-up: The game is for 3-5 characters, so if you have more than 5 learners, put them into pairs or groups and tell them each pair/group will be playing a different character.

    You need:- a bag of 24 chips/counters (12 green and 12 red). Aternatively, you can use pieces of paper that are red and green or which have with Y (for ‘yes’) and N (for ‘no’) written on them. These will represent the outcomes of the decisions the learners make during the game.

    Your learners need:- pencils/pens and paper

    Available to download her:
    https://www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley/get-the-treasure-and-escape-the-island
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hixdvn51szvpwso/AAAWVHy_2Q9FsJ_wothg1BWsa?dl=0
  • Read the story to the learners as an introduction to the game.
  • Ask the learners to work in pairs/groups (or on their own if there are 3-5 of them) to decide on the following for their character:

    Name; Origin; Profession (job)

    And…

    Their ‘secret want’ i.e. what is it they want that the other characters do not know? This might be to keep the treasure for themselves, or they may be a government agent who wants to arrest the others, or anything else the learners can think of.

    A player can decide during a turn to reveal the secret and try to succeeed. If they do this, draw a counter to see if it succeeds (green) or not (red).

    If the players do not reveal their secrets during the game, then they will be revealed at the end and their success will be shown through drawing counters.
  • Ask the learners to think of three things that are going to make finding the treasure difficult.

    e.g.

    a) The treasure is is an abandoned tmeple in the middle of a jungle.
    b) A storm is coming and you only have a few days to find it.
    c) There are other treasure hunters who are also going to the island looking for the treasure.
  • Ask each of the pairs/groups of learners to write a challenge (and keep it secret)

    If you only have three characters/learners, then the teacher should write 2 more challenges.

    You can use the examples above or come up with your own.
  • Tell the learners that there will be 5 turns and each turn will present a different challenge (those the learners have written).

    Before each turn, a character will volunteer to decide how to overcome. Then the challenge will be randomly selected and that character (i.e. the learners in that pair/group) must decide what to do to overome the challenge. The teacher or a learner will then draw a chip from the bag to see if they were successful or not. Once a chip has been taken from the bag, do not put it back in again.

    If the action is unsuccessful, there are consequences. A different character can try to overcome the challenge with a different action, but during the game the player have a total of 10 chances (2 per challenge). They can use any number of chances to overcome a challenge, but once their ten chances are used, they will be automatically unsuccessful overcoming a challenge. i.e. If they have used up their final chance on challenge number 4, then this means they lose the game because they have no chance of being successful when presented with challenge number 5.
  • Select a player (either randomly, the teacher selects, or a volunteer).
    Encourage the learner to describe the challenge in as much detail as posible, to set the scene.

    A learner volunteers and describes how the group overcome the challenge…they say what they attempt to do. This uses 1 chance (máximum of 10)

    The teacher (or the student) draws a token from the bag – if it is green, then the attempt was successful. If red, then the attempt was unsuccessful. The teacher describes what happens.

    If successful, the game moves on. If unsuccessful, another learner can volunteer another idea to overcome the challenge. Again, a token/counter is drawn and this decides whether the attempt was successful or unsuccessful.

    There is no limit as to how many times the learners can try to overcome a challenge, but there is a limit to the number of chances they have during the whole game (all 5 chances) – if they run out of chances, then they will not find the treasure.
  • Select a player (either randomly, the teacher selects, or a volunteer).
    Encourage the learner to describe the challenge in as much detail as posible, to set the scene.

    A learner volunteers and describes how the group overcome the challenge…they say what they attempt to do. This uses 1 chance (máximum of 10)

    The teacher (or the student) draws a token from the bag – if it is green, then the attempt was successful. If red, then the attempt was unsuccessful. The teacher describes what happens.

    If successful, the game moves on. If unsuccessful, another learner can volunteer another idea to overcome the challenge. Again, a token/counter is drawn and this decides whether the attempt was successful or unsuccessful.

    There is no limit as to how many times the learners can try to overcome a challenge, but there is a limit to the number of chances they have during the whole game (all 5 chances) – if they run out of chances, then they will not find the treasure.
  • Select a player (either randomly, the teacher selects, or a volunteer).
    Encourage the learner to describe the challenge in as much detail as posible, to set the scene.

    A learner volunteers and describes how the group overcome the challenge…they say what they attempt to do. This uses 1 chance (máximum of 10)

    The teacher (or the student) draws a token from the bag – if it is green, then the attempt was successful. If red, then the attempt was unsuccessful. The teacher describes what happens.

    If successful, the game moves on. If unsuccessful, another learner can volunteer another idea to overcome the challenge. Again, a token/counter is drawn and this decides whether the attempt was successful or unsuccessful.

    There is no limit as to how many times the learners can try to overcome a challenge, but there is a limit to the number of chances they have during the whole game (all 5 chances) – if they run out of chances, then they will not find the treasure.
  • Select a player (either randomly, the teacher selects, or a volunteer).
    Encourage the learner to describe the challenge in as much detail as posible, to set the scene.

    A learner volunteers and describes how the group overcome the challenge…they say what they attempt to do. This uses 1 chance (máximum of 10)

    The teacher (or the student) draws a token from the bag – if it is green, then the attempt was successful. If red, then the attempt was unsuccessful. The teacher describes what happens.

    If successful, the game moves on. If unsuccessful, another learner can volunteer another idea to overcome the challenge. Again, a token/counter is drawn and this decides whether the attempt was successful or unsuccessful.

    There is no limit as to how many times the learners can try to overcome a challenge, but there is a limit to the number of chances they have during the whole game (all 5 chances) – if they run out of chances, then they will not find the treasure.
  • The final challenge happens when the players reach the treasure

    Select a player (either randomly, the teacher selects, or a volunteer).
    Encourage the learner to describe the challenge in as much detail as posible, to set the scene.

    A learner volunteers and describes how the group overcome the challenge…they say what they attempt to do. This uses 1 chance (máximum of 10)

    The teacher (or the student) draws a token from the bag – if it is green, then the attempt was successful. If red, then the attempt was unsuccessful. The teacher describes what happens.

    If successful, the game moves on. If unsuccessful, another learner can volunteer another idea to overcome the challenge. Again, a token/counter is drawn and this decides whether the attempt was successful or unsuccessful.

    There is no limit as to how many times the learners can try to overcome a challenge, but there is a limit to the number of chances they have during the whole game (all 5 chances) – if they run out of chances, then they will not find the treasure.
  • If there are players who haven’t yet revealed their hidden wants, then now is the time.

    Ask for volunteers and then check to see if the player hs been able to succeed by drawing a counter. If it is green, then the player was successfu. If red, then the player didn’t get what they wanted. In each case, the teacher should elaborate on the story, and the player can add details as they wish.

    This happens whether the players find the trasure or not.

    This is the end of the game.
  • 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 debriefing 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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