Thursday, July 23, 2020

How Playing Games Can Help You Pass GCSE English

“You’ll never pass GCSE English if you keep playing games,” is something that many a student has heard. It’s spoken by parents, teachers, and a variety of adults with varying levels of responsibility for the well-being of young people.

So, we’re happy to announce today that, yes, playing games can help you pass GCSE English. Why would we say something that… moronic? It’s because we have just introduced the first game on to our VLE. It’s based on the old favourite space invaders arcade game and it is, we hope, the first of many to make an appearance on Pass GCSE English.

The first game is about language features. As the spaceships descend, they are labelled with them – simile, metaphor, rule of three – you get the idea.

A sentence at the top contains the language feature and you have to shoot down the spaceship that matches it before they get you. The game gets faster as it goes along. It’s fun. It’s also quite addictive.

Will it help you get that grade 9? We’re not going to pretend that it will, but it will certainly sharpen up your ability to quickly recognize one language feature from another.

Plus, if you do well on the game you will earn yourself the Indifferent Lemon badge (left, among some of the other badges learners can gain on the course for finishing various activities). Indifferent Lemon may be unimpressed with your achievement but gives you an adjective you don’t use that often to chew over.

In case you are a responsible adult reading this, the games are being incorporated in to the VLE to – firstly – add an element of fun to the subject. However, there is a Wikipedia entry you may like to look at about gamification - Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts – in this case education.

So, there is a serious side to it, too..!

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