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Larpushka

I used ArmA 3 as a language teaching tool for my students - my conclusions

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So I was inspired by ArmA 3's editor and Zeus functionality to see if I could use this game as a language-teaching tool. I advertised that I'm looking for volunteer students. I got plenty of requests and built a specific mission that would make us interact. The project and ideas just kept growing and developing.... and I made a video overview about it all where I show how I went about it; most of the students were learning English actually (except 1 who learned Hebrew)... anyway would love to see people reactions to it

 

 

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Nice try!

Yeah, technical aspect is a big issue for non-gamers. Hah, probably more then a decade ago, I remember explaining to my dad, who didn't play PC games much beyond Solitaire and Chess, how to play Arma 1. He was genuinely interested in it. I mean, you know, he was in the army back in the day, he liked Schwartzy in action movies, so the prospect of his AK in Arma looked pretty good but it was ultimately just too complicated to grasp within time constraints he had to practice. As you pointed out, using keyboard in tandem with mouse in 3D space was rather alien to him.

 

For sure, if a player is proactive this sort of thing is a lot easier, well anything is, really. Generally, interaction in desired language hones ones skill in it. I've been a decent English speaker since high school but I substantially improved upon it primarily through playing video games. They, in a sense, gave an excuse.. and opportunity to interact with people in English because there was always at least one foreigner in the group. It would probably feel pretty dumb to just casually converse in foreign language over a beer in local pub.

Playing single-player games helped me with understanding, learning English but playing online with friends and other people in general, helped me use it. Similarly, interacting, among other, on these very forums improved my writing skills immensely, and I don't mean grammatically, though that too. Forums allow for far more complex and measured conversations within predetermined rule set then social networks.

With that said, there are far less opportunities for other languages. For one, pool of participants is smaller and well as common means to communicate.

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An interesting and novel idea, well done and thanks for sharing how it unfolded. 

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Great project! I also think that video games can help learn language a lot. I'm not a native English speaker and understanding foreign speech was the hardest thing for me, although I knew grammar good enough. I didn't measure it in any way but I feel much more comfortable speaking English now since I started playing some Co-Op Arma missions several years ago.

 

I recall playing Portal 2 with a friend, I think it could also be an interesting game for this project. It forces players to explain and cooperate to solve the levels a lot.

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Very interesting! I agree with @Sparker that Portal 2 would be a great platform for this. Good luck!

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Portal 2 is an interesting idea, it could work and may certainly be worth trying... damn I wish I thought about it 🤓

 

Quote

As you pointed out, using keyboard in tandem with mouse in 3D space was rather alien to him

Yea, same with my dad who is 70; but to his defense he was surprisingly better than the 20 years old guy who went through my boot camp!

 

13 hours ago, Janez said:

Playing single-player games helped me with understanding, learning English but playing online with friends and other people in general, helped me use it. Similarly, interacting, among other, on these very forums improved my writing skills immensely, and I don't mean grammatically, though that too. Forums allow for far more complex and measured conversations within predetermined rule set then social networks.

 With that said, there are far less opportunities for other languages. For one, pool of participants is smaller and well as common means to communicate.

+1

Well said

 

Edit: oh and thanks for the kind words @everyone

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DayZ SA is  better to me, like language learning tool,  a lot of animated interactions, there are a plenty videos on youtube where some players encounter other players in different languages, obviously the english is on top of all. In this case you don't force to made a mission but simply follow the gameplay
 

 

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3 hours ago, Larpushka said:

but to his defense he was surprisingly better than the 20 years old guy who went through my boot camp!

 

I suppose some people just got it and some don't. 🙂

Come to think of it, a couple of years ago, this fella was maybe a year or two younger then me and the group we were hanging with started reminiscing about video games. I remember being completely sort of caught by surprise, almost stunned for a second or two when he had no idea what we were talking about. He was never into video games but sports rather. It was a bit odd to the rest of us because it wasn't some nerdy thing to do here back in ~1997 through ~2009 (that's when CoD: MW2 and xBox 360 exploded). Everyone was into PC gaming. During summer it was like, practice basketball/football/ping pong, whatever really in the morning, then during midday heat we went inside and played everything from NBA and FIFA to Need for Speed and of course Operation Flashpoint. In the evening then we held 'tournaments' in either football or basketball on the local school court.

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5 hours ago, zukov said:

DayZ SA is  better to me, like language learning tool,  a lot of animated interactions, there are a plenty videos on youtube where some players encounter other players in different languages, obviously the english is on top of all. In this case you don't force to made a mission but simply follow the gameplay
 

 

Certainly creative and intelligent individuals can go ahead into multiplayer games and associate himself/herself with a community of their target language. I think Janez said it best and I will paraphrase, single player games help you soak in the language, multiplayer games help you speak it, and writing on forums help you have a deeper understanding of the language and improve on your grammar/vocab; it's the killer combo for language learning. I wouldn't say DayZ is necessarily special in that regard, just another server you can use. I myself did the same practicing my Russian on S.T.A.L.K.E.R servers in ArmA 3. The only problem with that method is that not every server is nice about it. I saw one server that says "you must be a fluent/native speaker of language X to play here"... and I got banned from a GTA V Spanish-speaking server when my Spanish wasn't good enough. For the most part people are nice about it though.

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