How Do You Learn English While Boat Racing in Mingoville Virtual World?

That is a good question but nevertheless it’s possible. All games in Mingoville Virtual World are educational and developed to teach kids English. That goes for the Boat Races as well. Prior to this blog post, I described the learning possibilities in the social MMO games; Quiz Talk and SuperStar which are based on interaction and content produced by the students themselves in the form of songs or recorded words from the interactive dictionary.
The Boat Races are competition games. The students race against one another on time.

Multitasking Games

There are three types of Boat Races; 1-player, 2-player and 4-player races.

1 player Boat Race4 Player Boat Race2 Player Boat Race

All Boat Races are built upon speed and English word recognition. The boat is controlled using the arrows on the keyboard. The students’ ability to recognize the words have been build up in the theme based missions, where the students spell, read, listen and practice the pronunciation and meaning of the word in different contexts. In the Boat Race, the students have to quickly recognize the words, collect the right items and still maintain speed around the corners of the racing track, which will strengthen their coordination and multitasking skills as well as the ability to recognize the words they learned in the missions.

The GameBoat Race Game Racing on time, the student needs to collect the right items. He or she receives points based on the numbers of “collected” items as well as time spent in total. In all games, the points are converted to coins that the student can spend in Mingoville drinking coffee or renting a fishing rod.

After the games, the score list will appear and the student can check his or her position on different parameters, e.g. Today among all the users of Mingoville, or this Week among the kids of his or her own country, or perhaps All Time for the whole world.

High Score List for the Boat Race

The Boat Races are popular games because it’s always fun to compete against your friends. Besides, the games are based on basic English words which make them ideal games for the beginners. In some of the other games, the student is required to have some understanding of English in order to play or at least to win the games.

A way of using the Boat Races actively in the classroom or at home is to challenge the students for a race against their teacher or parent. I have to give you a warning. If you are not a regular gamer, it’s not easy to navigate the boat – I’m not a hardcore gamer and I have a hard time controlling the direction of the boat. I get beaten by youngster all the time. I really have to practice my navigation skills to keep up with the kids. However, it’s fun and it boosts the kids’ self confidence when they beat you. In the name of fun and positive learning, we dare you to challenge your students or your child.

We’d love to hear the results. As always you are welcome to comment and make suggestion to new features.

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

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.