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

Mingoville Develops Educational English Games for the Mobile Phone

Lots of interesting projects are under development at Mingoville at the moment. I think it is about time to give you a small update. One of the projects we will be spending a lot of time on the next 6 months is educational mobile games. We are certain that mobile learning will be a large part of our future. Mobile phones are spreading faster than laptops among our young English learners around the world. Mobile phone penetration in Tanzania and Kenya to mention a few countries is estimated to hit 100% by the end of 2013.

We have set a goal to integrate mobile educational games into all our web-based learning universes. Both media have their strengths and weaknesses for educational purposes. The main challenges for our web programs are the lack of adequate IT infrastructure both at schools and in many less developed countries. By developing mobile games, we extend the availability of free English for kids and we give the teachers and the kids an opportunity to learn fun English even though they do not have a laptop, if the WIFI is down or if broadband is not available.

English Sudoku on the mobile phone

However, most of the English mobile games that we have on the drawing board will be 100% integrated with the Virtual World to give the kids a complete experience of mobility and connectivity – the score on the mobile phone can be submitted to the Virtual World and any Mingoville item gained by learning on the mobile phone will be available in the Virtual World as well. It will always be possible to use the English mobile games independently of Mingoville Virtual World.

For now, our focus is on developing our math universes for the mobile phones. Our math programs follow the Danish math curriculum for all school kids – both in primary and secondary school – which makes the programs very suitable for a national project this size. The Mobile Math Library will contain more than 100 educational math games for the mobile phone. It will be distributed nationally to all Danish kids free of charge. The goal is to have all Danish schools to use the free mobile math library in class as a supplement to the traditional math tuition. It’s going to be free to download all the games to the mobile phone either through the mobile web or by texting – the data traffic is sponsored by the large Danish teleoperators. Denmark is our test market – when everything runs smoothly here, we will take the project abroad.

The knowledge we gain from the project will also be used to develop more English mobile games that allow the kids to immerse themselves into the language through their mobile phone. We are even looking into how a mobile barcode can be integrated into classroom activities. We have some great ideas that we will share with you later.

A while ago we launched the Mingoville English Sudoku in Mingoville Virtual World. We have developed the Sudoku English game for the mobile phone as well. Please notice that it is a beta version and it only runs on newer mobile phones. Go to www.mingoville.com – if you are on your computer you can either download the game by using bluetooth or cable (save the link, right click on the file and send it by bluetooth to your mobile phone). If you have web access on your mobile phone you can download the English game directly from www.mob.mingoville.com. Tip: You can share the game with your students by using the bluetooth in your mobile phone. It’s a great way of practicing English vocabulary and listening skills. To read more about how you play the game and the learning principles behind click here

We expect more English mobile games will be available in second half of 2010. All good ideas on how to integrate the mobile phone into the classroom are welcome – we are always open for suggestions.

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.

English Dictionary for kids

Hello all,

When you are using Mingoville, make sure to use your personalized, interactive dictionary. You can get to the dictionary from the main portal or when you are inside a mission activity.

When you click on a certain image (e.g. car) the dictionary icon will appear in the speech baloon. This is just another way to access the English dictionary.

We want to make sure that you take the best use of Mingoville and particularly the interactive dictionary.We have also uploaded a video that thoroughly describes how you can use the dictionary to your advantage.

[ming1]Lau0n5tsXqU[/ming1]

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