SiLang
Serious Games for Situated Learning of Vehicular
Languages Addressing Work Needs
Life Long Learning KA2 Project: 530951-LLP-1-2012-1-GR-KA2-KA2MP
H. Tsalapatas, O. Heidmann, R. Alimisi, E. Houstis
The idea 1/2
• Individuals are often called to communicate in
a foreign language in cultural settings that
diverge significantly from their own and from
one country to another.
• To meet work objectives, professionals rely on
vehicular languages, such as English, German,
or French.
The idea 2/2
Professional training programs strive to bring
language competency to working levels, but
many fail to address the diverging use of a
“lingua franca” with its own variations, specific
localized expressions and communication
norms.
siLang objectives
The project will improve efficiency in business
communication, competitiveness and employability
in the partner countries, by implementing:
• A situated mobile-enabled serious game for
language learning on business communication
• Adaptable learning activities immersing learners
into rich, cultural work-related experiences
• Good practices on deployment, targeting trainers.
The consortium
University of Thessaly (Coordinator)
Center for Research& Technology Hellas
European Welding Federation
Universita degli Studi Gulielmo Marconi
Tallinn University
HiST Contract Research
siLang methodologies
• Problem- based learning
• Situated Learning
• Game-based learning
– Serious game approach
Problem- based learning
Problem-based learning focuses on:
• The use of self-directed learning skills
• The formulation and prioritization of key
learning objectives in the context of a given
scenario
• The collection of additional information which
is considered useful for addressing those
objectives
Situated learning scenarios
Model of situated cognition
«meaningful learning experiences can occur when
students are enculturated into authentic practices
through activity and social interaction»
Brown, Collins and Duguid (1989)
Brown, J. S., Collins, A. and Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning.
Educational Researcher, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 32-42
Game- based learning
Model of Game-based Learning integrated in the siLang didactical framework
(picture retrieved from Garris et al, 2002)
Garris, R., Ahlers, R., & Driskell, J. E. (2002). Games, motivation, and learning: a research and practice model.
Simulation & Gaming, 33(4), 441-467
The siLang process
Order of completion, from
bottom to top
Implement those
scenarios in the
siLang software
Prepare the material needed
in the scenarios (video, audio,
text, etc…)
Create scenarios to address those issues,
both from the point of view of the speaker
and the one spoken to
Identify the issues native Italians/Greeks/
Portuguese/Estonians/Norwegians have with English
What is a ‘siLang scenario’?
• A real-life situation in which the user either
has to practice English language in specific
cultural contexts.
• A way to address an issue related to language
learning which has been detected by a
partner.
Possible scenarios
You are at the Greek
airport. A male employee
in the information desk
gives you directions about
reaching the city center
and the meeting place.
Listen to him carefully and
sketch the route in the
graphical map using the
appropriate tools.
Issues tackled:
Interpretation, listening,
comprehension
Possible scenarios
You have just received a sms
sent from your colleague’s
smartphone: Your colleague
is asking for directions. She
feels confused but close
enough to the meeting place.
Check the location of your
colleague and based on your
experience, type down a
message and send it to her
providing directions and help
Issues tackled:
Writing, practicing
prepositions and modal
verbs
The siLang software : a collection of
scenarios
siLang
Scenario
(understan
ding local
English)
Scenario
(understan
ding local
English)
Scenario
(understan
ding local
english)
Scenario
(understan
ding local
English)
Scenario
(expressing
oneself in
English)
Scenario
(expressing
oneself in
English)
Scenario
(expressing
oneself in
English)
Scenario
(expressing
oneself in
English)
…
…
The siLang software : adaptive to the
user
The user answers some
questions (nationality) and
select its area of interest
PHASE 1
siLang
Scenario
(understan
ding local
english)
Scenario
(understan
ding local
english)
Scenario
(understan
ding local
english)
Scenario
(understan
ding local
english)
Scenario
(expressin
g oneself
in english)
Scenario
(expressin
g oneself
in english)
Scenario
(expressin
g oneself
in english)
Scenario
(expressin
g oneself
in english)
Selection of the
relevant scenario
by the software
…
…
The user
plays the
siLang
serious
game
The siLang serious game
Main characteristics:
Situated adaptable
Portable
Micro-worlds
Touch-screen interfaces
Traditional Internet access
Mobile access
Transfer effects tackled:
◦ syntax
◦ basic vocabulary and
expression repertory
◦ basic communication in
business
◦ practicing verbal
communication
Serious Game Design Principles
siLang innovation
siLang’s innovative approach in terms of serious
gaming will be based on:
• Integrating diverging language uses between
natives and non-natives;
• Adaptability of learning situations
• Instructor support
• Use of “micro-worlds” for immersive, learningby-doing activities.
Evaluation plan
Evaluation through:
• Teaching experiments
• Engagement of teacher and learner user
group
– Professionals, higher education students,
vocational workers
External Evaluation Plan
• Portugal (2 groups)
– 50 vocational workers and professional engineers
– EWF will test the product in another 3 partner
countries from its network with the participation
of 20 vocational workers at each of these sites.
• Italy (2 groups)
– 10 higher education students at USGM
– 10 professionals and vocational workers enrolled
into lifelong learning activities at USGM
• Greece (1 site)
– higher education students at the University of
Thessaly; the group will consist of approximately 30
students
• Norway (3 sites)
– 10 higher education students at Sor Trondelag
University College
– 10 external vocational workers
– 10 high school students in the area of Trondheim
• Estonia (1 site)
– 15 higher education students and engineers at TLU
Find siLang online at: http://si-lang.net
University of Thessaly (Coordinator)
Center for Research& Technology Hellas
European Welding Federation
Universita degli Studi Gulielmo Marconi
Tallinn University
HiST Contract Research
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be
held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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SiLang Serious Games for Situated Learning of