In the previous post, we discussed gamification. Using games in calss is a good way to engage the students and achieve the learning goal. Escape the room has been a popular game for years, now, it is becoming part of the class.
In a escape the room game, students build and enhance the vocabulary while playing. For example, the kitchen themed room escape. Unlike the way we have been doing before: providing pictures of the vocabulary in the kitchen, is not good enough for visual learners or the we can make it more fun and alive by using the escape the room game.
I have played this kind of games a lot. I started with online versions, then real-life versions. In recent years, real-life room escape has been very popular in China. There are different themes: vampires, mummies, etc. The fun of the game lies in the puzzle solving. It also resembles the detective games. Students get to learn without realizing they are doing work. It is the beauty of gamification. It makes learning a fun thing to do.I played the great kitchen escape and I found it really hard to do if you have no idea how to play the game or the goal of it. I had no problem finding the things I needed. But without looking at instructions, I had a hard time figuring out what to do with the items. So, clear instructions is crucial. The kitchen escape game is a good vocabulary exercise. By exploring the room, images of different kitchenware are given and it is easy for students to relate the words to their meanings. One way to use this game in class is to assign students in a group of two. By making students work in pairs, it also enhances their ability to work as a team and builds a good rapport among students. Communicating skills are also built during the pair work session. Narrowing skills can be practiced if a walk through is used.
The teacher acts as a instructor and guider. Clear instructions must be given before the game and repeated to make sure all students understand. Teachers can set a policy for helps and hints. For example, every group or student can have three chances to seek for help from the teacher when they are stuck. In addition, a walk through can be used in the game as a way to examine their understanding of the game as well as the vocabulary and narrowing skills. A way to do that is to ask students to use the walk through as a guide and describe the escaping process after finishing the game.
There should be a post-game test to exam the learning and enhance the knowledge gained through the game. Giving out a vocabulary test is a good way to exam how well the students memorized the new words learned in the game. Other than giving the meaning of the vocabulary in their native language, the pics in the game can be used as a prompt which also helps achieve a complete target language learning environment.