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.