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The Game is On for MOOCers!

Teachers enrolled in the free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) or MOOCers, gathered at the Schools Division Conference Hall on 16 June 2019 for their Celebration of Achievement for the course Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL). Ms. Ailene F. de Leon, US Department of State E-teacher alumna and Senior High School Coordinator at Universal Colleges of Parañaque, served as the Resource Speaker for the event who talked about gamification as a trend in engaging young learners in the class.

As a staunch advocate of speech and drama, she taught the participants the “Banana Song” with action which immediately set the playful tone of the talk. She presented a number of ways to connect more to learners through music and dance, art and drama, or visual literacy forms like the popular info-graphics or memes and the video clips that circulate in the different social media platforms. She stressed, “While these may have been used in the past, it is important that we highlight the learning goals we have for language instruction. They are relevant in as much as they add fun to the teaching process knowing that young children have very limited attention span.”

Moreover, participants played a color game where one person was asked to go in front of the audience while the rest ‘acted out’ the name of the mystery color. It is a simulation of a game-based learning where the linguistic input is nouns. They sampled on sky blue, blush pink, jet black, off white, and army green, all of which had to be acted out for their first word. Benedict Mary P. Ambos of Mandaluyong City, commented, “This is fun as learners get to be creative in vocabulary building. They can assign movements or association to certain colors by means of their immediate surrounding minus the actual words.”

The speaker, Ms. De Leon then, shared a process on gamification. She said, “Gamification is not about adding games to class but designing classes as games. It is the process of integrating popular game mechanics into the class. The key is incentivize whatever you want the students to learn.”

After the discussion, participants tried to contextualize a game that suited a target learning competency. They worked on their own game board, pointing system, avatars, and badges that could monitor class progress. They shared their outputs and exchanged insights as to how else they could stretch the game to cover other learning components like discipline, cooperation, timeliness, to name a few.

As can be seen, the talk on gamification amplified the salient points found in the TEYL course. It is a fitting ender to the four-part series of Learning Action Cell sessions initiated by Dr. Rina A. Angeles, another US Department of State E-teacher alumna and Senior High School faculty of San Juan National High School, in coordination with the Schools Division Office-San Juan City as the host division.

Article written by:

Marnelli B. Tolentino (Education Program Supervisor - English)

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