Thursday, 2 February 2012
Video Games Unplugged
I'm currently reading Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley's Digital Play, published by DELTA, for a book review (which I'll share with you as soon as it's online). So far it's a great book, passionately and convincingly arguing for a place for video games in the ELT classroom.
The second part of the book, and the biggest, contains a myriad of activities, including ones that are about video games rather than using video games. I was particularly struck by an activity on page 39 called Game Chatalogue. The essence of the activity is that students use video game catalogues to discuss what they find interesting.
If you want more detail, you'll have to buy the book... ;-)
But I will tell you this, as I read the activity I thought this could have come straight out of another book from the DELTA teacher development series, one that some people still maintain would be dead set against technology in the classroom. And I thought that was it was very interesting to see a dogme activity there in a resource book so obviously appealing to techheads. And then I realised it wasn't the only the one, but a lot of the activities were essentially video games unplugged.
And I guess there are two main ways of interpreting this. On one hand you can say that this is an example of how Dogme ELT has had such a strong influence on classroom practices in the last decade that it is now used without even its label. Or your position may be that Dogme ELT is just a label for common sense teaching which existed long before Scott Thornbury's 10 Commandments and this is just another example.
Anyone who has read this blog before will know that I'm much more inclined towards the former than the latter, but what's really important to me is that this is a practical, clear example, free from argument and labelling which enables teachers to get on with teaching. And that's what I'd like to see more of, not just on blogs, but in resource books and yes, even coursebooks. I can dream, can't I?
My review of Digital Play is now online: