Dragons, Dictionaries & Diligent Reading

By kylemawer  

Level: Upper intermediate+

Location: Computer room

Skills Focus: Reading

Language focus: Following instructions

Game: Nick Toldy & The Legend of Dragon Peninsula

I like this game not only for its engaging storyline and entertaining main character but also because of the sheer amount of text that this game uses and demands both in game in the form of dialogue between the characters and that of the walkthrough (over 3000 words in itself).  The character dialogue also has a fair amount of humour which I think my learners appreciate.

Preparation

Basically I want learners to go to the computer room and access a) the game b) the walkthrough and c) an online dictionary.  One way to do this is to have a word document saved that they can all access on the system with hyperlinks to these.  The advantage of this is that you can also write instructions, rules, vocab or questions to answer while they are on their quest.  I have to admit to being a little lazy on this count and judged that the sheer bulk of reading that my learners would be required to do was enough work for all of us and so just treated it as a dive in play and read activity.

It’s worth noting that the walkthrough can be used just as a cheat.  That is, to avoid detracting from the playing the game experience encourage learners to only use the walkthrough when they get frustrated with not being able to progress in the game.  Further encourage them to enjoy reading the game rather than clicking their way quickly through it.

By the way, here’s a link to the walkthrough:

Nick Toldy Walkthrough

Preplay

1 Learners read an intro to the game:

Nick Toldy is a young man who dreams of becoming a knight, slaying a dragon, and winning a princess… or at least that’s what the brochure promised him. But the reality of Dragon Peninsula is a little more… bureaucratic. His first major puzzle involves filling out a form and getting a permit.

2 Learners can then discuss what other obstacles Nick Toldy may have to face on the way to becoming a knight and what he needs to have in order to be a knight.

3 . Take your learners to the computer room.

Play

  1. Ask learners to open the game and another window with an online dictionary of their choice.
  2. Learners start playing.
  3. Encourage learners to make a note of any interesting language and to ask you or consult an online dictionary (not a translator) for any other help.
  4. While monitoring I’ll begin to show learners where the walkthrough is but initially I’ll simply encourage them to read the dialogue and explore the game.
  5. Learners play until you judge enough time has elapsed.  This is generally when your computer slot finishes or your learners get bored.

Post Play

  • Learners discuss the story of Nick Toldy.
  • Learners discuss what they liked/ disliked about the game.
  • Learners go back to the game as a homework assignment.

One Trackback

  1. By | Digital Play on April 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

    [...] To The Movies, 2 Runescape, 3 Morningstar, 4 Hetherdale, 5 State of Debate, 6 Tanooky Tracks, 7 Nick Toldy), 7 Lucky Luke?, Honoloko) Relative clauses & Conditionals (Tube Crisis), Relative clauses [...]

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