Games are a very useful learning tool in the acquisition of linguistic skills and abilities. And that is precisely what gamification consists of: the inclusion of game elements in contexts other than those traditionally related to leisure and entertainment. Theatre or the performing arts, for their part, are a game in themselves, in the deepest sense of the term, a playful and collective representation of society and the human being. Gamification and theatre have an enormous potential in the teaching of English by immersing the student in vocabulary, grammatical structures or pronunciation in a natural, dynamic and motivating way.
Gamification in schools, a trend in times of Covid
Gamification is not about designing games, but about relying on the power of games to motivate learners, improving their skills and knowledge acquisition. It is therefore very important not to confuse gamification with game-based learning (GBL). The latter uses games as part of the learning process, while gamification turns the whole learning process into a game.
In the field of education, gamification has been an emerging trend for years now, and it has come to pervade practically all subjects. Classroom gamification tools such as ClassDojo, Socrative or Ta-tum, to name three of the best known, are common in practically all schools. New technologies have facilitated their easy development, but it has been in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with the suspension of face-to-face classes and the return to school with restrictions in September, that teachers and students have discovered the enormous potential of gamification.
Theatre, the gamified representation of the world
Since its origins, theatre has in essence been a game, a wonderfully played game in which actors play at representing someone else. In fact, the verb “play” is used in English for “to act” and to do theatre is also translated as “to play” in French and German. The word “juglar“, which defined the travelling actors of the Middle Ages, comes from the Latin “iocari“, where its roots are also “juego“, “juguete” and “jugar“.
In Ancient Greece, theatre was inseparable from education and play. Citizens were not obliged to learn to read and write, but the state did have the duty to instruct citizens, and theatre was the basis of their cultural education. So important was it that the theatres as a physical space were the meeting places of the people, majestic semi-circular sites that could seat 10,000, 15,000, even 20,000 people… And in the plays performed, the great deeds of the Greek heroes were mixed with human dramas always influenced by the divine actions of the gods, all aimed at perpetuating in the citizens the political system in force and making visible the human miseries that could put an end to it.
Theatre, in its origins, was the great “game” with which humanity was educated, the educational and social practice most used throughout history by rulers to transmit knowledge and strengthen the values of each era. Recently, it has become one of the most popular extracurricular activities at school. And especially in English, the activity with the most positive results developed to deepen the learning of this language. Theatre is, in short, a natural environment for gamification in language teaching.
Let’s DO IT, the gamification tool for learning English
Given that the restrictive measures imposed by the pandemic made it impossible for theatre performances to take place, at Face 2 Face Theatre Company we reconsidered how to continue bringing plays and English language teaching to the classroom, thus being able to continue providing our teachers with new educational resources. And that’s how Let’s DO IT came about.
Let’s DO IT is a new way of connecting students with theatre and the practice of English. An online platform that uses video game techniques and new gamification tools to interact with teachers and students in a fun and entertaining way, making each class a unique experience, while at the same time offering some of the best loved plays from our company’s catalogue.
Let’s DO IT combines games and theatre in English to encourage language learning. Each of the 4 plays included in the online platform immerses the student in a fantastic adventure in which they will overcome challenges and accumulate prizes as they progress through the proposed didactic activities, always under the MDA design rules of video games with which all children are so familiar nowadays.
Each scene is divided into 3 blocks: activities to be solved before watching the video of the scene, the video of the scene itself and the activities to be solved after watching the scene. And along the way, they will collect trophies and prizes in order to make the experience as rewarding as possible. After all, learning should be fun!
Let’s DO IT is a perfect tool to break the routine of textbooks using a theatre show and its motivating activities that follow the sequence of the theatrical performance and that teachers can freely adapt to their own classroom dynamics. But the best thing is for you to see it. Ask for a completely free trial, by clicking here.