A lizard! And also an acronym that describes the project on whose websites you are right now.
What are the ingredients?
A is for English (at least in Czech :-) We want to use modern methods in TEFL, we love storytelling, and we think it is an excellent idea to let students do the heavy lifting when it comes to learning a language.
GAM is for gamification. We love games, and we created complex scenarios with various game features for our/your students.
A is for academic? Ambitious? Absolute? We will leave that up to you! The home of the project is Masaryk University in Brno. We are ambitious indeed; we haven’t said our last word in the world of TEFL. How far are we willing to go with our games in TEFL? Until they are absolutely irresistible for you and your students.
We aim at students with a level of English B1 or higher, and we prepare complex group-based simulation games for them. These scenarios will put their problem-solving and communicative skills to test.
Are you ready to become members of a jury or would you rather manage an international company in crisis? Would you dare to govern a plague-stricken town in northern England or become a member of a crew on a ship sent by Her Majesty Queen Victoria to look for the mythical Northwest Passage? It is up to you! There are new scenarios soon to come.
What does it look like? Let us give you an example…
You create groups of let‘s say five students each. The teams will become juries in a complicated criminal case. First of all, they will need to get familiar with the case. They will find testimonies, pieces of evidence, a detective’s notes or newspaper articles on a webpage dedicated to the game. Students might need to organise their thoughts, prepare questions or even create a timeline of the case. Now they are ready to face other jurors.
The jury gets together; they speculate about the guilt of the defendant; they try to examine the case together and look at it from different perspectives. The jurors need to reach a unanimous decision! It will be necessary for your students to agree or disagree with others, present their point and persuade others. A mini web application will guide the jurors through the game, offer them additional pieces of evidence when they are stuck, keep the time and provide a video ending to the case based on their final verdict.
Did we catch your attention and do you want to learn more about the games? We tried to prepare everything for you if you decide to use the scenarios in your teaching.
How to do it?
You can download a package with all the course materials here. You can print out some of the materials for your students so they can have and use them during the lesson (e.g. role cards or pieces of evidence). You will also find all the materials including the background of the games and their algorithms to decide what happens if… (our cookbook) – You can use them if you are offline. There are also activities and ideas for the reflective part of the lesson that follows when your students have finished their scenario.