Are You the New Star? Sing Your Heart Out in Mingoville Virtual World

The Club where a student is giving a concertThis week we launched The Club in Mingoville Virtual World where the kids are the stars. They can go in the Studio to record their song and then play it to their friends from the stage.

This is the second blog post in the series about our virtual English learning games. Last blog was about Quiz talk, if you missed it, read it here. This current blog will give parents and teachers an impression on what Super Star is. How do kids learn English playing SuperStar? SuperStar is located at The Club.

SuperStar is a Social Learning Game
In SuperStar, the student gives a live concert using one of his recorded songs from his “My Book” repertoire or by going in the studio to record a song from the song catalogue. All songs are in English and they all relate to the different mission themes in Mingoville e.g. The Body or My family. The songs wrap up the vocabulary of each mission and set it into a context in the lyric of the songs.

Super Star is based on the content the students generate just as The Quiz Talk. Furthermore, it’s developed around social learning principle as it requires an audience to give a concert. The more people come to your concert, the higher possibility of a loud applause which generates many points. All participants in SuperStar earn points based on their level of participation. The idea of developing a social learning game based on the work the students produce results in a high interaction and thus intensive immersion into the English language because the students are having fun while using the language.

The GameSuperStar performing
To play SuperStar, a student needs to record at least one of the 10 sing-a-long songs from the Mingoville karaoke album. The recording of a song can take place either as part of a mission or directly from the Studio in The Club. All songs produced will appear in the student’s “My Book” as part of the portfolio.

The game starts when the student enters the stage and the audience has checked in. The student can either invite his buddies to the concert or other students can drop in. The concert is open to everybody. The higher applause from the audience during the concert, the more funky moves the performer can make on stage and the more points he gains. All participants in the game earn points based on their engagement thus the more you cheer as the audience the more points you gain.

Future Releases
The game in itself is designed to motivate the students to practice vocabulary and a good pronunciation in a fun environment using media which is already very familiar to them. Future development could be the possibility of dressing your flamingo in different wardrobes related to stars, the integration of cell phones to record and upload songs and maybe even some video clips.

Log in and try the game yourself. What do you think? Comments and suggestions are as always welcome

Are You Talking to Me? New Social Quiz Game Improves Kids’ English Speaking Skills

Mingoville Virtual World teaches kids English through fun games. Most kids get it right away. When they see a new game in Mingoville, they explore it and figure out how it works along the way. The more games and interaction, the happier they are and the more they learn. For some grownups though, it may be harder to understand what all these social and virtual games are about.Mingoville Virtal Cafe area where the Quiz Talk is located

Some time ago, we promised that we would write in more details about what’s going on in the Mingoville new Virtual World. How do the kids learn English in a social learning community? The following blog posts will provide a good overview of the different learning games inside Mingoville. This first post is about our “Quiz Talk” game that is located in the Café area around the coffee tables in Mingoville Virtual World.

The Quiz Talk is a Social Learning Game
As much of the buzz around virtual worlds is related to the socialization within these communities, we also take advantage of the social possibilities within Mingoville community to make it more fun for the kids to learn English.

According to Gigaom, what makes gaming social is the ability to create and build relationships with friends while playing the game. The Quiz Talk is a social learning game that allows students to develop their social skills as well as their ability to understand English spoken by other people around the world. It is social in the way that it requires two players, and the players have to cooperate and interact to win.

How to Play and What to Learn
The Quiz Talk uses the recorded words in the interactive dictionary of each student and creates a “conversation” between the two students playing the game. They have to guess each other’s words by choosing Interactive Dictionary where the kids can record words, listen to pronunciation, and see the word in their own languageone out of the three pictures.

The kids have to record at least 5 words in their interactive dictionary to play the Quiz Talk. The recorded words from the dictionary appear at the top bar inside the game. The more words they record and play for their buddies, the more points they gain.

The game: You pick a word and play it for your buddy. Your buddy listens to your word and has 3 pictures to choose from. He or she has to pick the picture that relates to your recorded word. If he picks the right picture, you both gain points. If he picks the wrong picture, none of you get points. The faster he guesses your word, the more points you both get. Instead of competing, the game is based on cooperation in the sense that the students have toQuiz Talk Game put an effort into the correct pronunciation of the words to ease the task of the co-player. The quiz also strengthens the kids’ capability of understanding other accents/dialects. While making new friends, the student practices pronunciation, reading, understanding and spelling. This is what we call social learning.

What Do We Plan for the Future?
Listening to the voice of the “buddy” gives the kid a feeling of getting closer to the co-player, getting to know him better. This social aspect of the game turns the usual virtual buddy, whom you generally don’t really know, into a real friend. The future development of the Quiz Talk will focus on making the conversation even more social and personal. E.g. this could be to turn words into sentences about your family maybe even include the possibility of uploading pictures of your family into your dictionary that will be displayed in the Quiz Talk.

The student will find the English learning more relevant and fun when it involves part of his own life. It may even function as an intercultural exchange of different ways of living. The development of an English game will always be based on our knowledge of what kids want, latest technologies and it will always have an English learning aspect.

Sign up or log in to try the game. What do you think? As always we welcome any comments or suggestions.