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Escape the Classroom!

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Workshop about using Escae Rooms in the ELT classroom given at IATEFL Liverpool conference 2019 - presentation includes sample escape room activity - the link to the blog leads to a pgae where the handouts are so they can be used in class.

Workshop about using Escae Rooms in the ELT classroom given at IATEFL Liverpool conference 2019 - presentation includes sample escape room activity - the link to the blog leads to a pgae where the handouts are so they can be used in class.


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Escape the Classroom!

  1. 1. Escape the classroom! Escape the classroom! www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley Graham Stanley graham.Stanley@britishcouncil.org 3rd April 2019
  2. 2. Live Escape Rooms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRlNeFsLFto https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g150800-d10198650-Reviews-Escape_Rooms_Mexico-Mexico_City_Central_Mexico_and_Gulf_Coast.html https://breakoutliverpool.com/
  3. 3. Escape Room Digital Games http://neutralxe.net/esc/sign_play.html More games like this: https://jayisgames.com/tag/neutral
  4. 4. Using Escape Room videogames in ELT http://neutralxe.net/esc/sign_play.html https://jayisgames.com/review/sign.php Walkthrough
  5. 5. Want more ideas how to use Escape Room videogames? Digital Play http://www.digitalplay.infohttps://www.deltapublishing.co.uk/titles/methodology/digital-play
  6. 6. Escape Rooms for English Language Teaching Why? Real information gap Problem-posing approach Fun and different Discovery learning Participatory methodology Immersive language learning Social interaction Storytelling Embodied learning escaperoomelt.wordpress.com Why? Why?
  7. 7. Embodied language learning The approach suggests ‘ focusing on the notion of motor and sensorial experience as a premise and a pre-requisite for any language acquisition…What appears central to the embodied approach to language processing is the sensorimotor experience…when a content has to be expressed and learned in a second language, it should refer to something which has already been experienced sensori-motorically and emotionally by the learner. Buccino, G. & Mezzadri M. (2015) ‘…what are the implications of a more ’embodied’ view of learning? Is there a case for incorporating more kinaesthetic practices? And to what extent, as teachers, are we conscious of the way that ‘body language’ helps in the co-construction of learning?’ Thornbury, S. (2010) Language learning, rather than an intellectual process of internalization, is a socially-situated, adaptive behaviour, a process ‘of continuously and progressively fitting oneself to one’s environment, often with the help of guides’ Atkinson (2010) References • Atkinson, D. 2010. Extended, embodied cognition and second language acquisition. Applied Linguistics • Buccino, G. & Mezzadri M. (2015) ‘Embodied language and the process of language learning and teaching’ in Benjamin 2015 DOI 10.1075/ceb.10.10buc • Thornbury, S (2010) ‘B I for Body’ https://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/b-is-for-body/
  8. 8. Live Escape Rooms in Education Live Escape Rooms in ELT? http://scottnicholson.com/ Nicholson, S. (2018). Creating engaging escape rooms for the classroom.Childhood Education 94(1). 44-49. Nicholson, S. (2015). A RECIPE for Meaningful Gamification. In Wood, L. & Reiners, T., eds. Gamification in Education and Business, New York: Springer. 1-20. Preprint available online at http://scottnicholson.com/pubs/recipepreprint.pdfFinal version available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10208-5_1 https://www.facebook.com/groups/breakoutedu/ https://www.breakoutedu.com/
  9. 9. How? How?How?
  10. 10. The missing Mayan mask
  11. 11. Do the markings on the back mean anything?
  12. 12. Once folded, it’s a number!
  13. 13. Inside the pouch you find… the Mayan mask! Now…what do you do?
  14. 14. What next? Debrief Back at Fix It, you meet with your supervisors to tell them what happened and who you think was responsible for stealing the Mayan mask. Who stole the mask? Why? Discuss in groups together and then report to everyone your theory.
  15. 15. Wait a minute…! If one of the guests stole the mask, how come it was still in Enrique’s apartment? Who stole the mask? Why? What do you think the police will do when they arrive at the apartment? Who was your mysterious client? What Information about the mask / suspects are you going to give the pólice?
  16. 16. The real story behind the mask Enrique has money problems and decided to report the mask missing in order to claim on insurance. While being interviewed by the police, they asked to search his apartment. He had to agree, but contacted Fix It to find and remove the mask before the pólice had time to arrive. He had hidden the mask in the apartment, but knew the pólice would find it if they searched. Fortunately, Fix It found the mask and so the police returned to the Information Enrique gave about the suspects.
  17. 17. Follow-up activities Role-play interviews Students take the role of one of the suspects (and Enrique) as they are being interviewed by Police Alibi (game) Two of the suspects are accused (Criag and Patricia), but claim they have an alibi at the party. They are interviewed to see if their alibi holds. Report writing The students choose a character and write a report of what happened at the party
  18. 18. Design of the game Language learning outcomes Start here. Important that the main purpose of the ER is to give students the opportunity to receive language input / practise. Genre / setting / narrative Detective story with a twist – Information gaps / mystery to pique student curiosity / encourage discusión – important to have coherent narrative. Puzzles I didn’t want students to be stuck for long on the puzzles – difficulty, variety and number needs to be sufficient to engage but not too much to frustrate or take up too much time.
  19. 19. What can I use as the goal of the game? Treasure!
  20. 20. www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley escaperoomelt.wordpress.com Escape the classroom! Thank you! Graham Stanley @grahamstanley graham.Stanley@gmail.com 3rd April 2019

Notas do Editor

  • Escape the classroom Graham Stanley  3rd April 2019
    An escape room is an adventure game set within a confined space in which players solve puzzles to unlock the door, which originally started as a computer game During this workshop, we will look at how you can motivate your students, be they children, teenagers, or adults, by turning your classroom into an escape room with a focus on language skills practice in a fun way. You will be shown some ready-made practical examples you can use in their own teaching contexts, as well as ideas of how they can design their own escape room puzzles for learners.
    Graham Stanley is author of ´Language learning and Technology' (CUP, 2013), winner of the ESU HRH Duke of Edinburgh ELT Book of the year award, and co-author of 'Digital Play: Computer games and language aims' (Delta, 2011), which won an ELT Innovations (ELTon) award. He works for British Council Mexico.
  • Recenty, escape room games have become an entertainment franchise, with multiple organisations opping up in cities around he world offering different experiences – they usually involve teams of people spending 1 hour to try to escape and are popular with children, familes, adults and even companies (they are great team building activities). Has anyone here been to one?
  • Escape romos started as videogames, before they became live action games. Escape the Room games such as Sign can be easily adapted to the ELT classroom – they provide opportunities for language practice, especially skills work (Reading, Speaking in particular) because of the information gaps in what the players need in order to solve the puzles.
  • If you want to prepare a game such as this for students, make use of the ‘walkthroughs’ that players produce and share online – this gives you the basis of the text you can then use to build activities around. You can find written and spoken walkthroughs that you can make use of.
  • Find out more about using Escape Room videogames and other genres for language learning in the book and blog Digital Play, which I co-wrote with Kye Mawer.
  • I have recently become interested in using escape rooms for ELT, and have been running a TESOL Electronic Village Online session to explore what can be done with this idea – there are over 140 teachers signed up for this and many are sharing their ideas. I also started a blog to record my ideas and provide content for the EVO sesión. Why use Escape Rooms games in LET? Here are some reasons.
  • Embodied language learning
  • There are an increasing number of teachers starting to use escape romos in Education, especially for subjects such as History. There are also many websites and reources that teachers can now use to help them. Here re ome places you can start…

    Professor of game design, Scott Nicholson has written some interesting articles on escape rooms in Education
    The website breakout.edu has lots of resources

    However, the same cannot be said of ELT. So, let’s look at how teachers might turn their classrooms into Escape Rooms in order to practise language.
  • Of course, unlike Escape Rooms for entertainment, you’ll be in a classroom and the students Will have to pretend it is an apartment. You could use props to make it more like an apartment, and so you have places to hide clues, or you can hide the clues in the space you have, which is what I have chosen to do in this game.

    Imagine you are students in this classroom (pretending it is an apartment) – where would you look?
  • The best way to understand how Escape Rooms can be used in ELT is do see one in action, so here is an example…

    Scenario: You are all members of an organisation called ‘Fix It’ that offers a service to “solve problems no matter how difficult or dangerous”. You have been contacted by a client (confidential, anonymous) who needs you to recover a mask that has been reported as stolen.

    You have been sent to the house of the Spanish diplomat Enrique Chábeli, who is currently not at home. Apparently the mask has been hidden somewhere in the room you are currently in. To help you, you have been given the briefing that was given to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) this morning. As you look for clues, you are told that the CID detectives are on their way to the house to search for the mask. You have thirty minutes to find it before they get there.
  • Scenario: To help you, you have been given the briefing that was given to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) this morning.

    Please speed read the first half of the CID briefing and take note of any information you think may be necessary.

    NOTE: In class, with students, I would ask them to ask me questions about this and also check their understanding of vocabulary, etc.
  • Scenario: Here is the second half of the CID briefing. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure a copy of the details of the guests, but it is known that Enrique wrote profiles of each of the 6 guests as part of the police investigation, and so we hope he has copies of these somewhere in his apartment.

    Please speed read the second half of the CID briefing and take note of any information you think may be necessary.

    As you look for clues, you are told that the CID detectives are on their way to the house to search for the mask. You have twenty minutes to find it before they get there.
  • On the teacher’s desk, or scrunched up in a ball on the floor, one of you find a letter (first half above)
  • The second half of the letter
  • Underneath a chair attached by velcro, you find a clear plastic bag with an assortment of pieces in it /an image of a man

    Piecing it together forms the image of a bearded man. There’s something on the back of some of the pieces.
  • Turning the image over, you find the words ‘red lock’ and the numbers 519 written on the back
  • The photocopied cartoon you also find uder the chair…
  • A quick puzzle to solve…
  • You find profiles of the guests in an envelope underneath a chair
  • Another profile taped under a chair
  • And another one
  • A fourth profile taped under a chair
  • One of you finds the fifth profile
  • Under the litter bin (?) you find a locked bag with a folder inside it. The lock is red and has a 3 digit combination.
  • You unlock the combination and find the last guest profile. Why was this one locked up? What is special about it?
  • You go to the clock and find it has a secret compartment. Inside is a locked bag with an object in it. The lock is a golden 3 number combination lock.
  • You realise the number that unlocks the bag is on the last suspect file you found. Inside the bag is the missing mask! You have managed to find the mask before the police arrive.
  • The students have solved the puzzles and have escaped the room, but there are follow up learning opportunities you can take advantage of.

    First of all, a debrief – the “Fix It” agents need to tell their supervisor what they have found, how they found it and what they think has happened.

    Then…give everyone a copy of all the documents at this point and ask them to work in groups to discuss the questions?
  • You realise there is more to this than first meets the eye. Ask the students to continue to discuss the questions.
  • The real story

    Don’t tell the students this – let them decide on their own theories of what happened and what happens next.
  • There are a number of different follow-up activities to the escape room that can be done in order to practise speaking / writing
  • Here are some notes on how I went about designing this ELT Escape Room
  • It helped me look at the sequence of the game in order to see better the overall picture. Although this is depicted as a linear game, there are some things that could happen at different points (i.e. the order players find things), but this does not realy matter. Even if the players find the locked pouch they cannot get to the mask without opening the other locked pouch to find the combination.

    Hints: If students are having difficulty, tell them they can ask you for hints.
    Suggested hints include: telling where students to look if they haven’t found a clue / giving them a hint that they need to cut the black cards to read a secret message / that the combination for the golden lock is on one of the guest profiles / etc.
  • Having treasure to fnd is useful – you can use anything though and make it an object of desire.