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Escape the Classroom!


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Workshop about using Escae Rooms in the ELT classroom given at IATEFL Liverpool conference 2019 - presentation includes sample escape room activity - the link to the blog leads to a pgae where the handouts are so they can be used in class.

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Escape the Classroom!

  1. 1. Escape the classroom! Escape the classroom! Graham Stanley 3rd April 2019
  2. 2. Live Escape Rooms
  3. 3. Escape Room Digital Games More games like this:
  4. 4. Using Escape Room videogames in ELT Walkthrough
  5. 5. Want more ideas how to use Escape Room videogames? Digital Play http://www.digitalplay.info
  6. 6. Escape Rooms for English Language Teaching Why? Real information gap Problem-posing approach Fun and different Discovery learning Participatory methodology Immersive language learning Social interaction Storytelling Embodied learning Why? Why?
  7. 7. Embodied language learning The approach suggests ‘ focusing on the notion of motor and sensorial experience as a premise and a pre-requisite for any language acquisition…What appears central to the embodied approach to language processing is the sensorimotor experience…when a content has to be expressed and learned in a second language, it should refer to something which has already been experienced sensori-motorically and emotionally by the learner. Buccino, G. & Mezzadri M. (2015) ‘…what are the implications of a more ’embodied’ view of learning? Is there a case for incorporating more kinaesthetic practices? And to what extent, as teachers, are we conscious of the way that ‘body language’ helps in the co-construction of learning?’ Thornbury, S. (2010) Language learning, rather than an intellectual process of internalization, is a socially-situated, adaptive behaviour, a process ‘of continuously and progressively fitting oneself to one’s environment, often with the help of guides’ Atkinson (2010) References • Atkinson, D. 2010. Extended, embodied cognition and second language acquisition. Applied Linguistics • Buccino, G. & Mezzadri M. (2015) ‘Embodied language and the process of language learning and teaching’ in Benjamin 2015 DOI 10.1075/ceb.10.10buc • Thornbury, S (2010) ‘B I for Body’
  8. 8. Live Escape Rooms in Education Live Escape Rooms in ELT? Nicholson, S. (2018). Creating engaging escape rooms for the classroom.Childhood Education 94(1). 44-49. Nicholson, S. (2015). A RECIPE for Meaningful Gamification. In Wood, L. & Reiners, T., eds. Gamification in Education and Business, New York: Springer. 1-20. Preprint available online at version available at
  9. 9. How? How?How?
  10. 10. The missing Mayan mask
  11. 11. Do the markings on the back mean anything?
  12. 12. Once folded, it’s a number!
  13. 13. Inside the pouch you find… the Mayan mask! Now…what do you do?
  14. 14. What next? Debrief Back at Fix It, you meet with your supervisors to tell them what happened and who you think was responsible for stealing the Mayan mask. Who stole the mask? Why? Discuss in groups together and then report to everyone your theory.
  15. 15. Wait a minute…! If one of the guests stole the mask, how come it was still in Enrique’s apartment? Who stole the mask? Why? What do you think the police will do when they arrive at the apartment? Who was your mysterious client? What Information about the mask / suspects are you going to give the pólice?
  16. 16. The real story behind the mask Enrique has money problems and decided to report the mask missing in order to claim on insurance. While being interviewed by the police, they asked to search his apartment. He had to agree, but contacted Fix It to find and remove the mask before the pólice had time to arrive. He had hidden the mask in the apartment, but knew the pólice would find it if they searched. Fortunately, Fix It found the mask and so the police returned to the Information Enrique gave about the suspects.
  17. 17. Follow-up activities Role-play interviews Students take the role of one of the suspects (and Enrique) as they are being interviewed by Police Alibi (game) Two of the suspects are accused (Criag and Patricia), but claim they have an alibi at the party. They are interviewed to see if their alibi holds. Report writing The students choose a character and write a report of what happened at the party
  18. 18. Design of the game Language learning outcomes Start here. Important that the main purpose of the ER is to give students the opportunity to receive language input / practise. Genre / setting / narrative Detective story with a twist – Information gaps / mystery to pique student curiosity / encourage discusión – important to have coherent narrative. Puzzles I didn’t want students to be stuck for long on the puzzles – difficulty, variety and number needs to be sufficient to engage but not too much to frustrate or take up too much time.
  19. 19. What can I use as the goal of the game? Treasure!
  20. 20. Escape the classroom! Thank you! Graham Stanley @grahamstanley 3rd April 2019