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

The Battle begins in Classroom – New English Word Battle for the Interactive Whiteboard

We are very busy at the moment. Besides working on a new map and a new educational game for Mingoville Virtual World – which will be launched mid April – we have developed this exciting English game for the Smartboard – your students will love it!

It’s an English Word Battle where 2-4 students battle directly on the interactive whiteboard. Mingoville Word Race on the White board

Access the game here

The Game
It goes like this: The students choose a color and the battle can begin. In the box an English word appears and the students have to touch the picture it belongs to.

When the kids answer correctly, the rocket will move.  If one of the players give a wrong answer five times, the rocket crashes into the water and he or she is out of the game. The one to reach the line of the air balloon first is the winner.

All words in the games are the words taught in Mingoville.  This Word Battle is meant to be used as a supplement to Mingoville. It’s a fun and engaging English exercise to do in class on the smart board. It’s fun for those playing and fun for those watching and cheering. The students will train their English vocabulary and reading skills.

The game is developed for students with a basic knowledge of English as it’s based on word recognition. It’s not suitable for beginners as they have to know the words.

Access the game here – it’s free

Mingoville Launches iPhone Application for more Fun English Learning

In my last blog post, I wrote about our focus on developing educational games to mobile phones. I wrote about the huge potential we see in the mobile phone as a learning device in school and at home. Now we have developed the first two iPhone applications that teaches kids English by playing English Sudoku and Word Search on the iPhone.

Kids’ Sudoku is the same as we have in Mingoville Virtual World – the kids have to find the right word by listening to the words and pick the one missing in the grid. The English words are repeated throughout the game and in the end of the game, it summons which English words the kid has learned. The repetition of words improves the kids English vocabulary. The English Sudoko for kids combines text, sounds and images for more fun English learning. There are different levels and many different games in the same game. Read the blog about the English Sudoku game in Mingoville and how it works here. Read more and download Kids’ Sudoku for the iPhone here.

Word search

Kids’ Word Search is also inspired by the Word Search we have in Mingoville Virtual World. In this game, the kids have to find the word pictured to the right in the grid horisontally, vertically or diagonally. The game is an exercise in spelling and recognizing words. This game also combines text, sounds and images which enhances the kids’ ability to remember the English words. It is played on time. The game has many levels each level with it’s own set of words to be learned. There are 68 English words which are chosen randomly for each game.

To download the two games, go to the Education category in the App Store and search for Mingoville Education.

We are very aware that most kids do not have an iPhone or an iPod Touch, however as it is right now iTunes is by far the easiest way to download mobile applications and it has the largest application store which is why we decided to start there. In the future, we will develop English games for other mobile phones as well so everybody gets a chance to learn English on the mobile phone. For now, parent, here is your opportunity – go download the Mingoville Kids Sudoku and the Mingoville Kids Word Search and let your kid learn English on the mobile phone. It only costs $1.

On Monday, Stephan gave an interview to Edukwest about our mobile focus and the trends he saw while attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago. You can see and listen to the interview below.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=3271871&dest=-1]

Have fun with the new games for the mobile phone – they are excellent for entertaining the kids on the go as well as in class.

New English Sudoku for Kids in Mingoville Virtual World

We have worked on the English Sudoku game for a while now. The game was originally developed for our SuperLearners as they needed some more advanced English games to further develop their English skills. However, we liked the game so much that we decided to release it to all kids in a lighter edition. The Sudoku for the SuperLearners is made for the more advanced English learners.The New English Sudoku Game for Kids

Educational wise, the Sudoku game strengthens the listening, reading and word recognition skills of the students. Normally, Sudoku is about numbers. We use English words. The game is based on the different English words practiced in the Mingoville Missions. Each game of Sudoku uses 6 English words that are repeated throughout the game. Besides practicing the English vocabulary, the kids also practice traditionally Sudoku puzzle skills of logic and combination.

The new English Sudoku is not a beginner game. You need to reach a certain English level within Mingoville Virtual World to play the Sudoku.

The number of feathers indicates your level. A higher level gives you access to more maps and English games.

To play the Sudoku game, you need to have the Mingoville mobile phone. You can get the Mingoville mobile phone when you have 20 feathers.

Tip:
1.    If you do not have 20 feathers – go practice more English in e.g. Mission 6. All comple

ted exercises give you feathers. When you have enough feathers, you can go fetch the mobile phone

2.    If you do not have the Mingoville mobile – go find it (hint: there is a plane nearby)

3.    Then find the Sudoku (hint: you can help to Jeff)

How to playHow to play Sudoku

Do you play Sudoku? If not, here are a few guidelines: It’s like a puzzle. You have to make sure that only 1 example of the word appears in each row, each column and each 2×3 grids inside the game. All cells are to be filled out to finish the game.

Use the “check” button to see if the words are correct – if the cellsturn red, you need to Buttons on Mingoville mobile phonechoose another word for these cells otherwise the puzzle can’t be solved.

To change words and to move between cells, use the arrows and the “select” buttons on the mobile phone. The faster you finish the Sudoku, the more points and coins you gain.

Have fun!

Also see decriptions on the other games: Quiztalk, SuperStar, Lettergame, Boat Race, BalloonBlast

Santa Claus Has Prepared Calendar Gifts for All English Students in Mingoville Virtual World

As some of you may have noticed we have kept Santa Claus very busy the past month. Since November, Santa and his elves have worked hard to make sure all the English learning kids in Mingoville could get a new Christmas gift every day. In order to help the kids learn English by e.g. practicing the dates in English, we asked Santa if he had time to help us out. The plan was to make sure all kids would get a new gift every day, if they could find the date of the day.

We asked Santa to help us because the legend has it that he brings gifts to the homes of good children the day after Christmas Eve December 24th. There are so many good children in Mingoville devoted to learning English. We wanted to reward their effort and hoped Santa agreed with us – luckily he did 😉 Thanks to Santa we now have gifts to everybody entering Mingoville in December.

The Mingoville Christmas Calendar runs until December 25th. The dates are scattered around Mingoville and it’s all up to the children to explore the different areas and find the date of the day. When they step on the number, they get the gift which they can enjoy all of December.

We have heard that Santa lives in the far North, in a land covered by snow. Some says it’s the North Pole some says it’s in Finland. In Denmark, we believe he lives in Greenland. Where ever he lives, we know for a fact that Santa enjoys a few weeks of rest on his own Island in Mingoville before he kick starts his reindeer sleigh and begins his cruise to bring out gifts to all the nice and lovely children around the world. One of the coming days, the kids get an opportunity to visit Santa Island – when and where, is still a secret they have to discover for themselves.

Santa Island in Mingoville

Some people oppose teaching children to believe in Santa Claus. According to Wikipedia some Christians say the Santa tradition detracts from the religious origins and purpose of Christmas. Other feels it’s an elaborate lie and thus unethical to teach the children to believe in him. Truth is, without consideration of any religion and without any intentions of offending other religions, we think it is a nice and cozy tradition that gives us an opportunity to spoil our dedicated students in English and reward them for their effort to learn English. At the same time, we teach them the English dates in a fun and engaging way. That’s all there is to it.

We wish you all a merry Christmas and see you at Santa Island in the near future. Santa sends his regards.

Save the Flamingo! Spell and Write English in the BallonBlast Game in Mingoville Virtual World

It’s time for the next post on English educational games in Mingoville Virtual World. I still miss to cover one more English game before I make the overview on all games in Mingoville. If you havn’t been following the recent posts, I’m writing about all the educational games of Mingoville Virtual World. Previous gaming posts are: Quiztalk, SuperStar, Lettergame, & Boat Race.

For some parents and teachers it’s not always easy to grasp serious gaming in virtual worlds because they do not spent most of their time playing games online as a lot of kids do. In these gaming posts I’m trying to give all grown ups an overview of the educational games in Mingoville as well as their learning element – how do kids learn English playing these games. No doubt kids are having fun but we can see a lot of teachers signing up schools at the moment so serious educational gaming is gaining ground among adults as well.

With these posts, I hope to inspire more teachers and parents to implement and use Mingoville for teaching their kids English. It’s easy and it’s fun for everybody. Try it out!

Balloon Blaster - Save the flamingo! This post covers the BalloonBlast game where the students can give the flamingo a save flying trip by spelling and writing the right English sentence. If they type a wrong letter, a balloon blasts which makes the trip a bit more dangerous. The BalloonBlaster is a modern edition of hangman.

The BalloonBlast game is developed to improve the kids’ skills of listening, writing and spelling English. Moreover, it also develops the coordination skills as the students have to comprehend what has been said and pass on the information by writing it. This Balloon Blaster - Save the flamingo!is how the game goes:

1.    In the beginning of the game, the student chooses if she wants to hear the English sentence from a male or a female voice. The different intonations of the voices teach the student to understand the English of different people.
2.    After listening to the sentence, the balloons take the flamingo on a tour in the skies. To keep the flamingo flying, the student has to reconstruct the voice message by writing it. The game constructs the sentence itself; all it needs is the right letters.BalloonBlaster - practice English spelling, writing and listening
3.    For every wrong letter, a balloon is blasted. If the student uses 6 wrong letters, there are no more balloons left and the flamingo falls to the ground and the game is over.
4.    Points are giving based on the time spent reconstructing the sentence.

In classroom, the game serves as complementary practice tool to the lessons in the different Missions. It’s not a game for the beginners though; the students need a basic knowledge of some English words in order to play the game. As always the incentive of the game are the points gained which are exchanged to coins and feather to be spent around the Virtual World.

As always, please give us feedback on your experience with using or implementing Mingoville into the kids English education.

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

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

Mingoville and FPT School Contest

Mingoville contestFPT, the sponsor of Mingoville from Vietnam has during the last three months carried out a Mingoville competition for their employees’ kids. The competition was arranged by FPT School, a subdivision of FPT. The purpose was to encourage online English learning for kids in a fun way as well as creating an exciting event for those employees who have young kids

The sign-up period was opened from 15th February and was closed one month later. More than 250 kids signed up from www.mingoville.com and began to learn English daily through Mingoville. The youngest kid was only 6 years old from 1st grade and the oldest kid was from 8th grade. The competition ended by 20th May and 12 kids were chosen to get different prizes. The evaluation of their performance was based on different criteria such as highest scores, amount of finished activities, best song records etc.

On Saturday May 31st FPT school arranged a festival for those kids and handed out the prizes. The prizes were:

  • Amazingly, the TOP prize was going to a boy from 2nd grade, Trần Quang Anh. The prize was a summer course in Singapore with a value of 29,5 mio VND!
  • First prize: an English course at Apolo with a value of 4,4 mio VND
  • Second prize: 3,5 mio VND
  • Third prize: 2,2 mio VND
  • “Support prize”: 8 kids got a so-called “support-prize” which included 2 prizes of 500,000 VND each

The feedback from the parents on online English learning through Mingoville was very positive, especially concerning the convenience of the program as well as the comprehensive learning materials. Kids were not only acquired language skills but also social skills through their interaction with the program. English learning becomes fun through games-like activities and Mingoville quickly becomes a friend to their kid! Consequently, parents are confident with the course as well as appreciating the fact that Mingoville is 100% free of charge. They won’t have to worry about the high fee when it comes to English learning for their young kids any longer- thanks to FPT, Mingoville’s sponsor in Vietnam!

Mingoville-FPT contest winner

Mingoville-FPT contest winners