MEC games … a reminder of some old favourites and an introduction to some new ones

23-Dec-2011

During 2011 I’ve been looking at the games in MEC – they’re one of the most popular areas of the site and I’ve been hoping to make you want to go back and look at the games again if you haven’t done for a while so that you can recommend them to your students maybe by bookmarking them and sending them to your classes.

Today I’ll be looking at some old favourites that have been in MEC from the start and also telling you about some new ones that you can look forward to …

The Word Games are a special area of the site in that it is constantly renewed. Early each month five games at each level (Easy, Average and Difficult) are published with new topics and texts so you always know that there are going to be new challenges for your students. The subject areas for the new games are always publicized on the blog so you can check what any particular month’s topic areas are.

There are five Word Games. ‘Witch’s Pot’ is a variation upon Hangman – it’s a visually entertaining and always challenging word-building game. The ‘Wordsearch’ and ‘Crossword’ are familiar game types but always useful for testing vocabulary knowledge. The Difficult level of the Crossword actually incorporates the traditional English ‘cryptic clues’ of a kind familiar in British newspapers but not usually set to challenge ELT learners. The other two Word Games are ‘The Swamp Disaster’ and ‘Bridge Builder’. The Swamp Disaster is a vocabulary game dealing with odd ones out in a game that requires you to help Simpson the frog save his swamp from being swallowed up by industry and Bridge Builder is a sentence-building game. All these game share the characteristics of being entertaining and challenging as games whilst being able to provide a constant stream of language practice month after month.

And now I’ll turn to something new. I hope that by now you will have heard of ‘Culture World’, the new module which is available to all MEC customers that uses contemporary British culture as a springboard to practice functional language through media-rich content; there’s lots of video and new interactions not seen before on MEC but also there are some newly devised games – they’re visually stunning, have lots of audio and are cleverly designed particularly for adults, demanding thought as well as gaming skill.

The ‘Exhibition Game’ requires the player to understand a map, emails, phone messages and information from websites in order to find the best place to hold an exhibition in Britain. In the ‘Sport Game’, the strange and wonderful rules of those very British games, cricket and rugby, are unfolded as you try your skill with a cricket bat or a rugby ball. The ‘Transport Game’ takes the player to London with the task of understanding voicemail instructions in order to find the way between locations, against the clock and with limited money, using buses, trains, taxis and boats on the river Thames. And finally in the ‘Tour Group Game’, the player’s task is to take a group of people on a tour of Britain, taking into account their interests and dislikes and a strict budget – the aim is to make as many people happy as possible with their tour. We hope you enjoy these new gaming adventures!

Fiona

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