A EUROPEAN LANGUAGES PROJECT

The Language Magician game as an assessment tool

24. November 2015

We are living through the knowledge age, a period of lifelong learning developed in a variety of contexts. When learning a foreign language, language itself plays a vital role, both as a learning object and as a vehicle for communication inside and outside the classroom. Likewise, language learners become learning subjects who act as social agents, autonomous learners and intercultural speakers in their social interactions with the world around them.
Within such an action-oriented communicative foreign language learning framework, a range of post-communicative teaching, learning and assessing methodologies abound, including IT, the latter contributing considerably to the development of the students’ digital competence.
IT tools in foreign language learning are widespread in most countries. IT is helpful as it provides direct, communicative and accessible learning tools, characterised by their playful and motivational component, especially for young learners. That is why games can be vital assets in the process of foreign language learning. Traditional tools used to measure pupils’ foreign language level competence usually include spoken or written tests and direct observation… but what about a video game? Could an online game or an app become an assessment tool?
The European project The Language Magician (Erasmus+ KA2 strategic partnership) provides the answer to this question, since it will develop a diagnostic tool to measure the foreign language competency level of pupils in primary schools through an attractive and fun computer game. The game will allow pupils to proceed through different language levels based on increasingly complex linguistic demands. Undoubtedly, The Language Magician game will allow pupils to have fun while their foreign language skills are being assessed, unbeknown to them.

 

Author: Project Team of the Spanish Embassy in London: Jesús M. Hernández González, Concha Julián de Vega, Rubén Barderas Rey

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