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Engineering English and Iron Lord

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The game 

The Iron Lord is suitable to play with students of Mechanical Engineering with B1 or B2 English level not only because it is a nice change to “normal” English lessons, but because the game offers the possibility to apply language knowledge the way students will do in their future jobs. The Iron Lord is about a young man visiting his uncle in Namariel for the first time, the country has been converted in an iron land full of machines with a robot army. The uncle is taken prisoner soon after his nephew arrives, so the new visitor has to work out how machines function in order to save his uncle. The game challenge is not very big for students, they can play the game in a few hours time, and the real challenge will be the task afterwards.

 How to play

  1.  Students can download the game and play at home as homework or universities can buy a couple of games and install them in a language laboratory where students can work on their own. The teacher should play the game in advance and have the walkthrough at hand. THE IRON LORD,  WALKTHROUGH IL
  2.  In class each student writes a newspaper snippet on a different machine, they encounter many machines and contraptions during the game. Students explain how the machine works using passive voice and adjectives. They can explain how the machine is built or what it does. The newspaper snippet tool for your students has to be downloaded as the links disappear from the server fast.
  3.  The task can be done in pairs or students can work on their own. My experience is that each student has his own way of transmitting written information succinctly and with very few mistakes when it comes to machines, so at level B2 they prefer to work on their own.
  4. Depending on what you are doing, you can prepare tables like the ones below to help your class with an overview of vocabulary or syntax.
  5. Oral task: This task follows almost automatically. Students tell the class why a machine couldn’t work like that in real life or give you a short update on how the machine could be improved. You can make the tasks more or less difficult according to the level you are teaching.
  6. Alternative task: One alternative to writing a newspaper snippet would be to let students prepare a short presentation on the machines they want to explain, on the improvements they would suggest, or on any similar machine that exists and would work better than the ones in the game. This is a good way to start a discussion after the presentation.

 

machines

machine parts

tools

different adjectives

verbs

engine of tram

lever

screwdriver

large

turn on

robot

handle

hammer

red

insert

balloon

belt

pliers

soft

screw

vacuum cleaner

switch

scissors

hard

unscrew

engine of plane

hose

saw

hot

melt

suit of Iron Lord

main board

fire extinguisher

cold

push

engine of lift

button

 

wet

pull

 

important words

materials

shapes

fire extinguisher

wood

round

train track

iron

square

fishing rod

copper

triangle

cord

steel

hexagon

wood planks

glass

pentagon

oven

plastic

circle

flour

aluminum

cylinder

 

Newspaper snippet from fodey.com

 

Grammar topics

Students can practice if sentences, passive voice, word order, collocation of adjectives, phrasal verbs or just past tenses by explaining what they did when visiting Namariel (Iron Land)

                          

 

 

 

 

 Tips:

Remember that students are the experts, you check language correctness. You do not have to know exactly how machines work or calculate anything. Engineering students are thankful for creative ways of learning English as most of them did not like the subject at school and probably had little fun learning it. The best tip I can give teachers is they should be interested in machines and have fun learning new things if they want to succeed.

 
luna.jpg
 

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