Group Participation

Tasks may be done in pairs or small groups to a computer. For learners more accustomed to whole-class and/or individual work, this may require some adaptation. Group dynamics or classroom set up can vary. Below the group set-ups for a gaming task are listed on the left and a description of learner roles in each context are listed immediately below.

  • Individual
Note Taking to write down any interesting or difficult language encountered during the game.

  • Pair
Split gaming Learner A can see the screen and their role is to process and communicate what they see on the screen and suggest a course of action to their partner. Learner B’s role is to listen, asks for any clarification, suggest a course of action and take action through use of the keyboard.

  • Group
Relay Reading Groups of three to a computer. Learner A has the keyboard/ mouse and learner B and C take it in turns to provide information on a walkthrough which may be ‘pinned up’ at a distance from their computer. Learner roles rotated at regular intervals so all learners get to use keyboard/ mouse.

Learners should be active in their gaming participation and their risk-taking in language use as well as innovative usage should be encouraged.

Active Participants: Tasks are used as a means of facilitating learning. Class activities need to be designed so that learners have the opportunity to ‘notice’ the language that is used. Therefore the learners themselves need to actively participate in both the task of conveying a message during the task and to understanding the form in which such messages are conveyed. This active participation can be encouraged in three ways:

    • Individual

Note taking, guessing meaning from context.

    • Peers

Negotiating meaning with a fellow learner, asking for a translation.

    • Teacher

Negotiating meaning, providing a translation, providing synonyms.

    • Internet

Googling the image of a noun, online dictionary, online translator

Risk-takers and innovators: Many gaming tasks will require learners to interpret and react to messages for which they may lack full linguistic resources and prior experience. In fact, this may be said to be the strength of such tasks. “The skills of guessing from linguistic and contextual clues, asking for clarification, and consulting with other learners may need to be developed (Richards and Rodgers 2001)”.