Nature’s calling – Go Fishing and Do Some English Spelling

It’s so beautiful on the country side and it’s so healthy for the kids to get a lot of fresh air. It’s time to get out of the city and into the Nature. This week, we release two new activities in Mingoville Virtual World. The first activity is a new Nature map where the kids learn English while playing with Esmeralda and exploring the Nature. The other English activity is a new educational game that takes the kids fishing for English words. It’s all about fun English learning.

Explore Nature and Learn the English Words
On Mingoville’s new map Nature, the kids can now enjoy the fresh air out in the nature together with Esmeralda. Go practice English words about natureEsmeralda is Bob and Candy’s aunt in Mingoville. Esmeralda will take the kids on a tour around Nature. The activity is developed to let the kids practice the vocabulary learned in Mission 4 in Mingoville School; Nature and Season.

Esmeralda will ask the students to go and find different words that relate to Nature and Seasons – that could be fire camp, flowers, clouds, skies, trees, etc. If the students are good, they will get a reward for their effort. It’s kind of a treasure hunt as they have to find their reward in the end by guessing the hint from Esmeralda.

The English exercise is based on both listening to the word as well as recognizing the words in order to be able to find them. We recommend that the students work with the English exercises of Mission 4 in Mingoville School prior to exploring Nature in Mingoville Virtual World.

Go Fishing and Do Some Spelling

In Nature, the kids can also learn English going on a fishing trip. When fishing on the Mingo Lake, the students have to catch the fish in the water with their fishing rod. For every fish they catch, they earn points. However, some fish have a letter in the Go fishing and practice English spellingstomach. If the kids can spell the word illustrated in the upper left corner by catching the fish with the right letter, they get bonus points. If they catch other things like boots, they lose points.

The game is on time and the student has to reach the target – it means, they have to reach the goal set within the time frame which is typically between 60-120 seconds.

The Fishing game has several levels. In the first level, the kid can get around with “just” catching fish to reach the target. However in level two or level three, they cannot reach the target without catching in the bonus – they need to spell the word to go to the next level. The higher the level, the tougher it gets.

All words to be spelled are from Mission 4 in Mingoville School; Nature and Seasons. If the kids cannot spell the words, we recommend they complete activity 1-8 in Mission 4.

We hope you have a lot of fun – if there is something you don’t understand or have suggestion on things we need to do, feel free to comment

Kids Learn to Spell through Fun Games in Mingoville Virtual World

To spell the words of a foreign language is not an easy task but it’s crucial in order to learn the language. Mingoville has developed different English spelling games where the kids through pictures, clues, sound and movement learn to spell English words by playing with them.

Lately, I have been writing about the different games and their educational purpose in Mingoville Virtual World. Some of you have commented that you find it hard to create an overview of the learning possibilities because the virtual world is not linearly structured and it has many maps (areas). However, it is fun for the kids to discover the different maps and what to do on these maps which is why we do not make English Letter Game an overview of where to find what. It takes too much of the fun away. Instead, I have written a short description of each game to give at least an overview of what games to find. In the end, after the last game post, the idea is to gather all games in one place and in that way try to give you an overview of the educational content in the virtual world.

So far I have covered SuperStar where the kids learn English singing, recording songs and giving concerts, QuizTalk where the kids practice English pronunciation and listening, and the Boat Races where the kids practice to recognize different words in a fun setting. Spelling is an important part of all language learning and we Word Searchhave of course also developed spelling games.

In the LetterGame, the kids see different images of words that he/she needs to spell by clicking on the image and listening to the pronunciation of the word. After the word has been  pronounced, the child begins to chase the letters to compose the word in writing. The letters have to be put together in a string to form the word. The letters have to be dragged around the board to put the word together. If the letter is wrong the string will turn red and break.

In the other spelling game, Word Search, the kids need to recognize words either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The words are shown in images in the green sidebar to the right. When mousing over the picture, the word appears and the student is ready to find it in the puzzle. I personally like this game a lot, I can spend hours in there.

Both games develop the student’s ability to create an overview of complex content. In both games, the student has to detect specific words by resorting to the use of images. As in all the other games, the students earns coins based on how many words are spelled and the time it takes to spell them. After each game the score list will appear and the student can see his or her position on the different score lists, e.g. by country, the world, today, weekly, monthly or all times. The score lists make it possible to set up competitions based on, for instance, Country and Today to encourage students to improve their spelling skills.

As always we welcome comments and suggestions.


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.

Mingoville Helps Chile Fight Its English Illiteracy by Providing Free English Education for All Kids

Michelle BacheletChile has partnered up with Mingoville to ensure that all Chilean kids speak English in the future. The national campaign titled “ChileHablaInglés” (Chile speaks English) was launched at a big event July 29th, 2009 in Santiago, Chile with the participation of the Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet. In her speech to the forum of more than 200 influential people from different areas of the Chilean society, the President underpins the necessity of managing English as a second language from an early age and continues that the cooperation with Mingoville in the effort to introduce English to all the Chilean kids makes perfect sense as it is a fun and engaging way for kids to learn English.

Besides the President, The Minister of Education, The Minister of Commerce, senators, the US embassy and Chamber of Commerce, other ambassadors, influential business leaders, all large media, academics, sponsors and of course Mingoville participated in the event to take part in securing a bright future for Chile (see more pictures here).

Chile raises its educational level with Mingoville
The objective of the campaign;”ChileHablaInglés” is to convert Chile into a bilingual country and Mingoville is going to help the Chileans achieve this goal. The campaign is really an interesting case, not only for us but for everybody because it shows that by joining forces across public and private interests, it is possible to substantially raise the educational level of a whole country. We hope that other countries will be inspired by Chile.

According to Claudia Bobadilla, Managing Director of the Fundación País Digital – one of the initiators of the national campaign – only 2 % of the total Chilean population speaks English and the language isn’t part of the curriculum until 5th grade because Chile doesn’t have the teaching capacity to offer English earlier on. Studies indicate that Chileans who speak English have a 30% higher income than those who don’t speak it. All parties involved and supporting the campaign acknowledge that in order to raise the living standards of many Chileans and secure the country’s future competitiveness, it is crucial to make sure all Chileans speak English as a second language.

This is where Mingoville comes into the scene. The intention is to integrate Mingoville into the Chilean English curriculum already from the first grade and as the interactive English program is designed to fulfill the whole curriculum, it requires less teaching capacity as the kids are capable of learning English by going through the program themselves. All they need is some guidance.

Chile on the way to becoming a bilingual

Educating teachers in the use of Mingoville
According to the Ministry of Education, the goal is to have all public schools use Mingoville as primary teaching material for 1-4 graders and as a supplementary program for the older students. In order to integrate Mingoville properly, the Chilean teachers will be trained on how to use the Mingoville’s digital interactive English program in their curriculum. It requires a different approach to teaching which the Fundación País Digital, VTR and the Ministry of Education – the initiators and sponsors of the campaign – have acknowledged. The primary challenge is to convince the teachers that Mingoville is easy to use and the training courses starting August 7th have been set up to meet the challenge.

A massive promotional campaign (CNN Chile, Chanel 13 Chile, El Mercurio, LUN, elvacanudo.cl to mention a few) has been launched to encourage the youngsters as well as their parents and grandparents to register in Mingoville. In the first two weeks, 100.000 Chileans have registered for Mingoville. According to País Digital, the www.chilehablaingles.com site has had more than 300.000 visitors already. The interest is huge and everybody is praising of Mingoville and the high quality of its English program for kids. We are proud – we couldn’t get any better recommendation than from the Chilean President and the Ministry of Education, which tested the whole program and fully approved of it. We hope other governments or governmental organizations will be inspired by this remarkable initiative.

Mingoville and the “ChileHablaInglés” campaign are just some of the initiatives to fight English illiteracy in Chile. More initiatives will be launched over the next years to come.

What is the state of your country? How many speak English as a second language in your country?

June Rosendahl
The Mingoville team

French Kids Have Fallen Under The Spell of Mingoville! Magical!

We want to admit that one of the most important things at Mingoville is knowing that somebody is actually  using and benefiting from what you develop. We are so thrilled and excited to share on our blog what our users from France are saying about Mingoville.

English fun games

“Marie-Catherine Capel, School tutor at the multimedia center of Boulingrins, 95490 Vauréal, France

As part of an initiative from the Collège of Vauréal (French middle school or junior high school) to support teenagers (11-16 years old) having difficulties with their homeworks, I created a multimedia workshop in foreign languages (English and German) from scratch in 2007.

In 2008, I discovered Mingoville. …

I immediately fell in love with Mingoville. Some of my favourite features include:

  • the high quality & the realism of the animations,
  • the fantastic voices and great English pronunciation,
  • the colourful images,
  • the eccentricity of the characters,
  • the variety and progress of the missions,
  • its perfect match with both for the linguistic program of the 6ème and 5ème,
  • and an ESL refresher course for teenagers who dropped out at some point in their education (college or further).

We have been interacting with an adorable and very helpful person, Malene Jensen, whom I would like to acknowledge and thank in her commitment and support with our Mingoville implementation.

I truly believe that this program is quite remarkable with its high quality and well thought details and a very precious tool for teachers and students.

Mingoville : Work or play? It’s both with lots of fun!!!!! Definitively the winning formula!

One of our students in 6ème, Theresia says: “When I go home, I work and play on Mingoville, and since then, my little sister has also fallen under the spell of Mingoville and knows everything by heart! Magical!

Bravo and thank you! Long live to Mingoville and its flamboyant flamingos!!”

Interactive English course

Well, just wanted to share it with you and as always have fun learning English.

Vladimir Chen

Texto Editores Publishes Mingoville English Books for Kids

A Portuguese publishing house, Texto Editores, has designed and produced 4 English books for children based on the Mingoville’s interactive English program (www.Mingoville.com). Texto Editores is to sell the books to the Portuguese public and the schools, some of which are already using the Mingoville program in their English classes.

Mingoville booksPublishing houses like Texto Editores have started to look after interactive online content providers to supplement their expertise in producing print materials with the interactive content. Now they’ve teamed up with Mingoville.

That is the great news for everyone. Most importantly, it provides a complete integration of off- and on-line teaching material and makes it more fun for the kids to learn English. Both can be used independently from one another making the integration even more dynamic and engaging. Hopefully, other publishers will recognize the trend and we will see English books based on the Mingoville content in other corners of the world as well.

Mingoville English text books for kids

For instance there is a small recycling exercise where kids have to throw the rubbish into the right recycling bin. This is definitely a very good idea especially now when everybody is focusing on the green economies and the climate.

To start with, some 40,000 copies of the four books will be available in Portugal. We really hope the Portugese kids will enjoy the interlink between the Mingoville books and the online program even more now.

Feel free to write us your comments as we are always open to suggestions.

Have Fun While Learning English in the Mingoville MMOG – Part2

Greetings from Mingoville,

It is time to write an update on the progress of the Mingoville MMOEG (Massively Multiplayer Online Educational Game) that we recently announced about on our blog. We are going the full speed with building an exhilarating educational experience for kids who want to learn English as a second language (ESL) and have fun by playing exciting games.

Recently, we’ve been doing a lot of testing, the results of which we will share next time. Until then we wanted to show you some of the MMOG maps (drawings) to be found in the Mingoville Virtual World.

Cafe Map – this is where you are going to meet your buddies, start the conversation game, the racing game,  the fish game and much more.

cafe-mmo-mingoville

Airport Map – Here you can take tours, get ice-cream and water tour as well as stand at a table in groups and chat (launched by hitting the tables).

airport_mmo_map_mingoville

Station Map – There is a good public transportation system in Mingoville.

station_mmo_map_mingoville

Continue reading

New Words To Be Added To Our English Dictionary For Children

Hello Mingovillers,

Just letting you know that 155 new words are being added to the Mingoville dictionary.

We are testing the new additions and they will be out for use next week. Here are some shots of the new words.

– Breakfast –

– Dragon –

– Honey –

Like in our current dictionary, it is still possible to listen to and record your own English pronunciation. However, this time we are adding a new feature, that is, an option to listen to both female and male voices. All you need to do is to select a preferred option at the top of the page to the left above an image (see below).

We hope you enjoy the new words and the new feature in the dictionary. Leave us your comments if you have any feedback or any other suggestions you may have.

Have fun while learning!

Stephan Stephensen, CEO