Can an Online Game Crack the Code to Language Learning?
by Tina Barseghian
November 10, 2011
What can possibly get kids excited to learn a dead language? This was the challenge for Latin teacher Kevin Ballestrini.
Ballestrini has turned his introductory Latin class at Connecticut’s Norwich Free Academy into an alternate reality. The students’ job: to save the world by joining a shadowy organization on a quest to find the Lapis Saeculōrum that was part of an Ancient Roman society.
“It’s a mix of a role-playing game and an alternate reality game,” Ballestrini says. Students play the role of Romans in a reconstruction of ancient Pompeii (or ancient Rome) and have to learn to think, act, create and write like a Roman in order to win the game. And those are the same goals of any introductory Latin course.
Using an online portal, student teams direct their character in Latin to find mysterious inscriptions on stones and solve mysteries.
In its second year, the game is now being run in 30 classrooms across the country and can be done with as little tech as pen and paper or as fully tech integrated as mobile phones and a full Web site.
Read the full article at http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/11/can-an-online-game-crack-the-code-to-language-learning