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

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.


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

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.