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juniper's avatar

Engaging youtube clips or arcticles for an ESL class based on video games?

Asked by juniper (1905points) September 4th, 2013

Hello, all!

I’m writing to get your suggestions for interesting materials to use in an English as a Second Language class that is based on the content area of “video games.” I know, it’s not exactly traditional, but apparently the students love it. It’s my first time teaching this kind of course, and I didn’t get to choose the theme.

I need to bring in authentic materials from a variety of sources, and I’m struggling a bit because I’m not too familiar with video games. Here’s what I’m looking for: online articles or websites with lively discussions of video game-related controversies, short youtube clips of people discussing issues related to gaming (gender stereotypes, violence, parental control, etc.), ideas for guest speakers I could bring into the classroom to talk about some aspect of gaming (I have ZERO ideas, here!), and field trips or outings I could take students on that might illuminate/reinforce the theme of the class (no idea here, either).

The only thing I’m trying to avoid is material that might be inappropriate for the classroom.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


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4 Answers

muppetish's avatar

Let me preface this with two notes: I have taught English, but not as a second language. So it may be difficult for me to gauge not only what they would be interested in, but also what might be able to relate to and understand. Second, while I do play video games, I do not often seek academic or fan-based materials.

However, I do have a few suggestions. sometimes has interesting articles. Feminist Frequency recently launched a series about looking at gender issues in video games (she has posted three videos so far, I believe. They are quite good.)

The majority of articles that I read about games, I access through reddit. There may be a few subforums that you can browse through in order to gather content.

What grade level are your students (K-12, college)?

What do you plan on doing with the theme of games? Will you have them write rhetorical analyses? Research papers? Reflections?

It may be a bit late in the game to change, but you may also want to reconsider choosing a topic that you are less familiar with, unless one of your goals is to learn alongside your students. One thing that I have learned is that if I am passionate about what I bring into the classroom, my students respond better even if it is an area that they have little interest in.

snowberry's avatar

If their game is a multiplayer game, it seems to me that they also need to learn the terms of service. That stuff is hard for even a native English speaker to understand, but the students need to know what it means.

Here’s the forum for a game I play. There are tons of posts. Does this help?

LostInParadise's avatar

I am wondering how good video games are at teaching language. I am not that familiar with video games, but most I have seen are shoot ‘em ups that do not use any language. Would virtual worlds like Second Life count as video games? These give much more opportunity for language use.

snowberry's avatar

Multiplayer video games have a chat function. That offers some opportunity for English speaking students, but it’s not audio, and the grammar and spelling are often poor, depending on who you are talking to. They also use a lot of text-speak.

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