Level: Upper Intermediate (mature)
Location: Connected Classroom/ computer room
Skills Focus: Speaking – describing the inside of an abandoned house.
Language focus: Rooms, objects in a house, directions, there is/are
Game: The Fear Factory
This is quite a scary game because of the dark and moody atmosphere. Using a video walkthrough, which learners can watch and relay information from, the game is played to the end.
The sound on the game is of the storm outside of the house which you can choose to leave on. The video walkthrough has the player talking over the top and I recommend that you turn the volume off on this.
Watch the video walkthrough and make a note of any language you predict that learners may need help with in order to describe how to play the game. The way I do these is describe aloud what you need to do every time you click e.g. “go through the door at the end of the hallway”, and work from that.
Really this is a class collaborative play activity (in a connected classroom) that leads to a more intensive pair play activity (in a computer room).
In class present the opening of the game where the background to the game is explained (see above) Let your learners read this, ask questions about the language and make predictions about what to expect in the game and the story. This is a good opportunity to elicit and pre-teach some vocabulary (watch the Video walkthrough to see all the game).
One way to use the vocabulary you identify in the game is to list it on the board and tell learners that this is language from the game. They use dictionaries to look the language up and then predict the story/ game using all the words on the board.
I then made learners sit back to back with one learner facing the game and the other looking away. The learner facing the game had to describe the scenes to their ‘blind’ partner who told them what they thought they should do. Learners were encourage to discuss decisions, what they thought would happen and predict other elements in the game. The aim of this task was both to practice speaking about the game and to orientate learners towards how to use the video walkthrough to describe how to play the game.
I stood at the back of the class facing the ‘blind’ learners and after they’d discussed the game a little I asked them what they thought they should do in the game. When they had decided collaboratively on a course to take in a game I asked the learner nearest to the keyboard to do it.
Once they’d done this a few times I stopped the activity and told them they were going to continue in the computer room but the ‘blind’ would become ‘players’ and the ‘watchers’ would become ‘reporters’. The ‘reporters’ would be able to go and watch a little bit of the video and go back to their partner and tell them what to do. There was to be no language spoken other than English. Anyone who spoke anything other than English then I would click on the we address in the top window and press return. This would effectively mean the game started from the beginning.
In the computer room access the video walkthrough and pause the video. *this allows time for the video to load. Then help learners to find the game.
Explain to the ‘players’ that if they play any of the game while the ‘reporter’ is away then they have to be able to tell the ‘reporter’ what they have done. They may have to make a note of this. If they don’t it becomes a little confusing and frustrating but point out that is what the rules of the activity are there for – to help them work together.
‘Reporters’ queue up / watch the video and return to the ‘player’ and relay information from the video to the ‘player’.
After 5 minutes or so learners swap ‘reporter’ and ‘player’ roles.
In the classroom ask learners:
- What problems they had playing the game.
- What they found out about the mystery.
- What they thought would happen at the end of the story.
- What they liked/ disliked about the game.