Lu Wang, Roberta Thompson, Dr Jason Zagami, Professor Catherine Beavis
MERRIMAC STATE HIGH SCHOOL
LLS is designed for Chinese teaching and learning and is funded by the Australian Government. There are a wide variety of activities targeting the four important microskills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) of Chinese language learning. There are also area-specific activities that target the writing of Chinese characters, extending vocabulary and grammar patterns, and practicing tones marks.
I used the topic-related challenges to mainly revise and apply knowledge in my classes. Most often, I gave the students close to an entire lesson to complete the challenges. The completion time varied amongst the students, so I usually assigned two challenges. The students often completed the second game at home if they had not completed it in class time. At times, I used one challenging activity from the LLS as the introduction to my lesson while at other times, I used the game to extend students who had finished their work before the rest of the class. I have been involved in this project for the last year and half. During my involvement, I have been working with students aged 12 to 15 in Years 8, 9 and 10.
What is the time frame of the project?
In the year 2013, I had 6 lessons over an 8-week unit of work. In 2014, I had 6 lessons over two terms of work.
What are the outcomes and achievements for this project?
In general, the best thing throughout the project was the enhancement of student engagement. I also benefited myself from researching the LLS website and improving my IT skills. I observed that students were more reflective on the tasks. They seemed to be more comfortable talking about the games and computer work while still doing Chinese studies that was originally difficult and academic in their opinion.
Testimonials about the benefits of this project.
"I would definitely recommend game-based learning. I think it enables students to meet their needs and cultivate their interest in the language and culture."
What is next for this project?
I don’t have any specific plans apart from continuing to use the LLS in my teaching. But if there was an opportunity to be involved in developing language-related games, I would be more than happy to participate.