Speaker: The advantages of using pedagogical Escape Games

In our previous article about the SpeakER project, we explained the importance of multilingualism to foster mobility, opportunities and diversity in Europe. We also presented pedagogical Escape Games as an innovative tool to be used in language courses. In this article, we will start explaining the advantages of using Escape Games to develop all students’ skills in a language course. We will finish with a presentation of the outputs we are working on at the moment.

Advantages

Our project approach is basically to build the Escape Game experience around language skills and cultural heritage. This means that the scenarios created in the project will involve elements from European culture and will be built with enigmas focusing on the four language skills, namely reading, speaking, writing, and listening.

The use of pedagogical content in the clues, enigmas and scenarios allows the students to put knowledge into practice immediately. Escape Games have shown to provide high levels of immersion and engagement and to appeal to the students’ interests, therefore raising their curiosity, motivation, and participation in the learning activities.

Although soft skills are not always an explicit part of the curriculum, they do play an important role in the students’ preparation for adulthood and professional life. Escape Games have shown to foster the development of some essential soft skills such as time management, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

The use of Escape Games can also be beneficial for teachers as they can not only provide an enjoyable and innovative lesson preparation, but they are also highly flexible in terms of design and pedagogical possibilities and objectives, which can be customized at will by the teacher.

For learners with Specific Learning Disorders (SLDs), pedagogical Escape Games can also be beneficial, if adapted to their specific educational needs (SEN). The diverse, multisensory, and flexible experience fostered by this type of activity can prove highly efficient for students who need to discover the learning content through different methods and senses, such as students with ‘Dys’ disorders. Organizing an adapted Escape Game experience in small groups of students will create a collaborative environment for these students to show their strengths and develop their self-esteem. Collaboration will also foster peer learning, which can help in balancing the knowledge level of all participants.

Our project

You will discover more details in our booklet that will be published in spring. It will explain how Escape Games can foster engagement and skills development in language learning, including for students with specific needs. It will give examples of different activities to develop language skills through an Escape Game, such as practicing reading by finding written clues, speaking by collaborating in the target language, listening by getting auditory clues, and writing by taking notes of the different clues to solve a puzzle. As some puzzles and activities can create additional challenges for students with specific needs, we will dedicate one chapter to learning disorders and presented some tips and tricks to avoid adding difficulties for them.

We are also working on the Creation Box, which will contain a framework and roadmap for Escapes Games creation, as well as presentations of tools, resources, and inspirations to help you create and animate a pedagogical Escape Game with your classroom. This box will include some tools such as an example of a track form for you to monitor the students’ progress throughout the game, a presentation of some technologies such as chatbots and Virtual Reality, as well as a presentation of different game mechanics to put in place. This creation box will also be available in spring and will help any teacher who needs guidance in preparing the use of ER in their language course.

Don’t miss the publication of our Booklet and Creation Box! You can easily keep track of the advancement of our project by following us on social media!

Related projects on ER:

Promoting entrepreneurship through escape room methodology

Methodology, tools and practical examples of Escape Rooms adapted to teaching of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

References:

  • EX M1 (2018) ‘Les jeux éducatifs : un levier pour la différenciation des enfants à l’école ?’ [Online] Available at: http://blog.espe-bretagne.fr/prodm1vannes/les-jeux-educatifs-un-levier-pour-la-differenciation-des-enfants-a-lecole/ [Last Accessed on: 08/12/2020]
  • Alexandre Roberge (2018) ‘Un jeu pour aider les enfants atteints de troubles dys’ [Online] Available at: https://cursus.edu/articles/41208/un-jeu-pour-aider-les-enfants-atteints-de-troubles-dys [Last Accessed on 25/11/2020]
  • Pohl, Margit & Rester, Markus & Judmaier, Peter. (2009). Interactive Game Based Learning: Advantages and Disadvantages. 92-101. 10.1007/978-3-642-02713-0_10. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221096558_Interactive_Game_Based_Learning_Advantages_and_Disadvantages [Last Accessed: 06/01/2021]
  • Nicholson, Scott. (2016). Ask Why: Creating a Better Player Experience Through Environmental Storytelling and Consistency in Escape Room Design. Paper presented at Meaningful Play 2016, Lansing, Michigan. Available online at http://scottnicholson.com/pubs/askwhy.pdf [Last Accessed: 07/01/2021]
  • Cruz, M. (2019). Escaping from the traditional classroom – The “Escape Room Methodology” in the Foreign Languages Classroom. Babylonia – Rivista svizzera per l’insegnamento delle lingue, [online] 3, pp.26–29. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/41201519/Escaping_from_the_traditional_classroom_The_Escape_Room_Methodology_in_the_Foreign_Languages_Classroom [Accessed 24 Nov. 2020]