Mobile Learning and Digital Games in School

Quest for the Rest Level A1/A2

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This was a difficult experiment. I played Quest for the Rest with a group in which many people had just started learning English for the first time a few moths before, the group's English knowledge was mixed. There were 17 people between 18 and 26.

I started explaining what we were going to do and showed the first picture on the screen in the computer room. Later I handed out a page with four pictures and three questions to each picture in simple present, the lesson took 90 minutes. Students could use their mobiles to look up for words in their dictionary apps.

The homework was writing a postcard to a friend telling him about the activities of the group during their adventure holiday in present progressive and simple present.

The students could chose one of the pictures to write about.  Read how it went At the beginning I told the group to work in pairs, but as they were to hectic clicking around and seemed not to be able to move forward in the game, I showed them how to start on the big screen. The group gets frustrated very quickly so the main screen stayed on, I played slowly explaining what I was doing and stopped to let them practice themselves on their own computers.That seemed better than running around and explaining to each students the same thing. Later students decided to play alone but to work in bigger groups to answer the questions.They formed groups of four and six on their own. In the big group people had special tasks each: One had to use the dictionary, another had to write the answer a person with good English knowledge dictated, another person was reading the questions and another one was playing again and telling the group what happened in that part.There were lively discussions on grammar going on. They called me when they could not agree. The second group of four was quieter; they played on their own and discussed the answers before everybody wrote their own version.The third group of four played in pairs and sat down all four to discuss their answers, one person wrote the answers for the rest and then they joined the big group to check their answers and correct syntax. The three people left worked on their own, one even completed the post card, and she kept calling me with interesting questions to grammar. I didn't know she was so good. The other person played the game in five minutes, answered the questions in one word and started playing another game: samorost 1 (although I made no mention of it at all) He didn't call for help. The last student, kept calling me, a lady of 26, she told me that she could not complete the questions because she wasn't good at computers. She was having difficulties to get started, later it took her extremely long to complete the game and the questions were just one more burden for her. That gave me the idea to play games with the lowest group a week later to see if people with very little English knowledge would learn vocabulary better that way (more about that experiment on the article A0/A1)

The answers to the questions had a few mistakes, but all in all the group understood the story and it turned out to be a good review for the test a week later. During the game I heard students saying to each other what a nice game it was. I was asked how I had come across the game. When I controlled homework next day I found out that most of the students had actually done it. I promised to the group to play more often with them in future.