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Drama Techniques, Games and ICT in Chilean NB2 EFL Teaching. Seminario de Tesis para optar al Título de Profesor en Comunicación en Lengua Inglesa y al.

Universidad Austral de Chile Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades Pedagogía en Comunicación en Lengua Inglesa

Lead Advisors: Amalia Ortiz de Zárate Fernández Paulo Contreras Contreras

Drama Techniques, Games and ICT in Chilean NB2 EFL Teaching

Seminario de Tesis para optar al Título de Profesor en Comunicación en Lengua Inglesa y al Grado de Licenciado en Educación

This research paper is part of the research project DID-S-2009-16 Universidad Austral de Chile

Carla Andrea Rivera Rickenberg

Valdivia, Chile 2011

Aknowledgments There are so many people I would like to thank, so many things I would like to say. I dedicate this to all the people I love. To God, who gave me the strength and hope during the hard process of becoming a professional in the area of education. To my mother and father, who have believed in me, supported me every second, and given me their unconditional love. Thank you for being my parents. To my dear brother, Álvaro, who has been my inspiration since I was a child, supporting and taking care of me as a father. Thank you for giving me hope. To Gabriel, the love of my life, without whose love I would have not had the strength to fight for my dreams. Thank you for holding my hand. To Andrea and Valeria, who were beside me when I needed them and have helped me through these years. Thank you for your unconditional friendship. To Amalia, who enriched my mind with knowledge and helped me become the teacher I am now. Thank you for expecting more and more from me; that really made me grow. To Paulo, who guided me through the development of my degree research paper. Thank you for your inspiration. To my university professors and classmates, who encouraged me to do my best. Thank you for your company. To all the people who believed in me; I did it! Carla Andrea Rivera Rickenberg

Table of Contents Introduction ................................................................................................................................1 CHAPTER ONE: EFL and ICT Didactics ...................................................................................4 1.1. Basic Definitions on Didactics ..........................................................................................6 1.1.1.

Didactics ................................................................................................................6

1.1.2.

Approach, Method, Technique and Strategy ...........................................................8

1.2.

English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Didactics .......................................................... 10

1.2.1.

EFL vs. ESL ........................................................................................................ 11

1.2.2.

EFL Teaching Approaches, Methods and Techniques .......................................... 11

1.2.3.

EFL Didactics and the Chilean Educational System ............................................. 24

1.3.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Didactics .................................... 28

1.3.1.

ICT and Classroom Innovation............................................................................. 29

1.3.2.

Information Society ............................................................................................. 40

1.3.3.

ICT Policies, Visions and Strategies ..................................................................... 42

1.3.4.

ICT and the Chilean Education System ................................................................ 44

1.4.

EFL and ICT Didactics and the Classroom Innovation Crisis ...................................... 52

CHAPTER TWO: Innovative Teaching Techniques for the EFL Classroom ............................. 54 2.1. Drama Techniques in EFL Teaching ............................................................................... 55 2.1.1. Drama Techniques in the EFL Classroom ................................................................. 56 2.1.2. The Contributions of Drama Techniques to EFL Teaching ....................................... 60 2.1.3. Considerations of Teaching using Drama Techniques ............................................... 63 2.2. Games in EFL Teaching ................................................................................................. 66 2.2.1. Games in the EFL Classroom ................................................................................... 66 2.2.2. The Contributions of Games to EFL Teaching .......................................................... 68 2.2.3. Considerations of Teaching using Games ................................................................. 70

2.3. ICT in EFL Teaching ...................................................................................................... 72 2.3.1. Online Computer Games in the EFL Classroom ....................................................... 73 2.3.2. The Contributions of Computer Games to EFL Teaching ......................................... 78 2.3.3. Considerations of Teaching using Computer Games ................................................. 81 CHAPTER THREE: Integrating Drama Techniques, Games and ICT into the EFL Classroom . 84 3.1. Software Teaching Methodology .................................................................................... 85 3.1.1. Integration of drama techniques and games through an online platform .................... 86 3.1.2. Curricular Integration and EFL Teaching.................................................................. 87 3.2. Software Curriculum....................................................................................................... 88 3.2.1. NB2 EFL Curriculum Contents ................................................................................ 89 3.2.2. Curricular Integration in the EFL Classroom ............................................................ 97 3.2.3. Fundamental Objectives and Transversal Fundamental Objectives ......................... 100 3.3. Software Interface and Playability................................................................................. 104 3.3.1. Interface ................................................................................................................. 104 3.3.2. Playability .............................................................................................................. 105 Conclusions ............................................................................................................................ 125 References .............................................................................................................................. 128

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Introduction “Our students have changed radically. Today students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach” (Prensky, 2001b, p. 1). This is one of the sentences with which Marc Prensky, an American writer on learning and education, begins his paper on digital natives and digital immigrants, two terms that he has developed to refer to people born during and before the digital age respectively. This digital age, an age in which technologies have become essential to students’ lives, has changed the way they behave, think and learn. These new learners, the digital natives, have grown up surrounded by new technologies and spent most of their time using them for several purposes. Computers, cell phones, videogames and digital cameras, among others, belong to these new technologies, which educatees have made part of their lives. Despite the fact that Prensky’s statement about the existence of digital natives and digital immigrants has been criticized by authors who claim that there is no such a thing as natives and immigrants, it is clear that students from current and past societies differ greatly. Although Prensky is mainly talking about today's American society, we are not so far from that reality. According to the Consejo de Innovación (Chilean Innovation Council) (n.d.), Chile is the Latin-American country that uses Information Technologies the most. Our students deal constantly with technologies which can be used to educators’ advantage when teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Therefore, the traditional teaching methodologies used for educating these new generations have become unsuitable. This leads us to think of the need for incorporating new ways of teaching 21 st century students. In this regard, this paper attempts to contribute to the development of innovative methodologies for educators, focusing on the teaching of English as a foreign language in the

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Chilean classrooms. For that reason, the first chapter of this paper expounds the current situation of the EFL and ICT didactics, being divided into four sub-chapters. The first of them presents the definitions for the concepts of didactics, approach, method, technique and strategy, terms which will be employed throughout this paper. The second sub-chapter provides the reader with the definition for EFL and ESL, along with some of the teaching approaches, methods and techniques used in the teaching of English to second and foreign language learners. In addition, it depicts the situation of English teaching in the Chilean educational system. Then, the third subchapter illustrates the current context regarding technologies and innovation in education, explaining what several authors have called the “Information Society”. Furthermore, it presents the policies, visions and strategies expounded by the UNESCO in relation to the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the school setting, portraying later the current situation of their use in Chilean education. Finally, the last sub-chapter deals with the necessity of incorporating new methodologies in order to improve the area of EFL and ICT didactics. Having acquainted the reader with a general view of the situation of education in both areas, EFL and ICT, the second chapter of this paper presents three innovative techniques which can be incorporated to the EFL classroom practice in order to contribute to students’ acquisition of the English language: drama techniques, the use of games and the integration of ICT. For that reason, this chapter is divided into three sub-chapters, each of them dealing with one of the abovementioned techniques. Each sub-chapter provides a definition for the technique presented, along with their contributions to the teaching of English as a foreign language, and the considerations that teachers must bear in mind when implementing them. Consequently, this

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chapter attempts to expound the benefits these techniques can bear for both students and teachers when being incorporated into the EFL classroom. As a way of integrating the abovementioned techniques jointly, the last chapter of this paper presents an educational initiative developed as part of the project DID-S-2009-16 English: Acting out Language (Ortiz de Zárate et al., 2009), which proposes the creation of a free-access online educational computer game aimed at NB2 EFL students from Chile, who are in third and fourth grade. In this way, this chapter is divided into three sub-chapters. The first of them deals with the teaching methodology which will be employed in the computer game. The second subchapter presents a brief research of the most common contents in the teaching of English to young learners, which will be used for the Fundamental Objectives proposed in the game. Finally, the third sub-chapter deals with the game’s interface and playability, defining the concepts and describing their elements in relation to the software design. In this sense, the aspects presented in this chapter shape the design of the computer game proposed in this paper. This initiative represents an attempt to contribute to improving the teaching practices carried out in the Chilean EFL classrooms. Through this proposal it is hoped that drama techniques, games and ICT can provide motivating and meaningful opportunities for practicing the language, helping students in the acquisition process.

Drama Techniques, Games and ICT in Chilean NB2 EFL Teaching

CHAPTER ONE: EFL and ICT Didactics

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EFL and ICT Didactics Discussions on the practices carried out in EFL teaching have taken place throughout the last decades, as there has been a great concern by the educational entities on the success of such praxis. Several authors have claimed that educational institutions are in crisis (Brunner, 2000; Coll & Monereo, 2008; Coll et al., 2008; Hargreaves, 2003; Lankshear & Knobel, 2005; López Yañez, 2007; Pérez Tornero, 2000; Rueda, 2007), an adversity that affects not only the EFL field. They argue that existing educational practices must be modified in order to make teaching and learning successful in nowadays society. In this way, it is essential for teachers and other educational agents to get acquainted with the implications of this crisis in order to contribute to resolving it in the best way possible. The incorporation of ICT into the education area has not been out of this debate. On the contrary, it has been one of the main matters in the discussion of the quality and effectiveness of today’s education. In this sense, EFL and ICT didactics represent relevant topics in the area of education. For that reason, not only must English teachers be aware of the essential aspects of EFL teaching, but they also need to inform themselves about the concerns regarding the effective incorporation of ICT into the school setting. Only in this way can teachers play an active role in the current education debate. In this sense, this chapter attempts to provide teachers with the sufficient knowledge to take part of the education debate and to contribute to the improvement of the teaching praxis in the EFL area. In the first part of this chapter, the following concepts of didactics, approach, method, technique and strategy are defined. The second sub-chapter clarifies the acronyms EFL and ESL and acquaints the reader with some widely known approaches for the teaching of

Drama Techniques, Games and ICT in Chilean NB2 EFL Teaching English, along with some methods and techniques. Additionally, it gives a general view of the teaching of English in Chile. The third part of this chapter deals with the integration of ICT into the school setting; beginning with a discussion on the innovation crisis and continuing with a general description of the Information Society. Furthermore, this sub-chapter presents the UNESCO’s policies, visions and strategies regarding the integration of ICT, and a general outlook of the Chilean reality. Finally, the last part provides the reader with a conclusion of the matters discussed throughout the chapter. 1.1. Basic Definitions on Didactics First of all, it is necessary to give definitions for a variety of concepts that will be used throughout this paper: didactics, approach, method, technique and strategy. Defining these concepts will contribute to the understanding of the literary discussion presented in this work. Thus, this sub-chapter will start by defining the term “didactics” and its limitations within the educational area. Finally, the last four concepts will be delineated in order to clarify their differences and restraints. 1.1.1. Didactics The concept of didactics deals with the organization and orientation of the educational practice, covering the study of teaching methods and resources that educators use to stimulate students’ learning and integral formation in a positive way (Fernández, Sarramona, & Tarin, 1977).3 While pedagogy provides the teacher with theories and the foundations of the teachinglearning process, didactics elucidates how to put these theories into practice, clarifying the processes within the teaching act (Torres & Girón, 2009). Thus, pedagogy and didactics cannot be seen completely separate because they complement each other. This work will focus on the

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teaching component of pedagogy – didactics –, since an educational resource will be presented as a result of this paper. In terms of etymology, the word “didactics” comes from the Greek words didasko (to teach) and techné (art) (Zaragozà, 2009). Accordingly, a literal definition of “didactics” could be: the art of teaching. In this regard, the authors Hernán Torres and Delia Girón, in their work Didáctica General (2009), assert that the previous was its main definition when the concept of didactics was firstly used in the 17th century. This was later expanded, not only involving the art but also the science of teaching. In this fashion, didactics, as a science, implies the research of methods for better and more effective teaching. Therefore, didactics is made up of a series of procedures, techniques and other educational resources that initiate the teaching-learning process; in other words, didactics is composed by educational methodology. Since didactics refers to the teaching procedures and techniques that can be applied to any discipline or to specific subjects, two types of didactics can be identified: general and specific didactics (Torres & Girón, 2009). On the one hand, general didactics provides the teacher with all the principles and techniques that are valid for the teaching of contents belonging to any discipline within the educational area (Picado, 2006). As its name reveals, this sort of didactics studies the teaching process in a general way, without the specific aspects that vary from one discipline to another. Through the study of teaching as a whole, general didactics intends to instigate procedures that can be applied within the teaching practice no matter the discipline the educator belongs to, and that make the educational act more efficient. On the other hand, specific or subject didactics explicates the procedures and techniques that can be employed only in a certain discipline or

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subject in order to make the educator’s teaching practice more efficient and successful (Torres & Girón, 2009). In this paper, specific didactics corresponds to the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) subject. When speaking of EFL didactics, the concepts of approach, method, technique and strategy become essential. For that reason, the following section will describe each of them by giving definitions that help the reader to differentiate between one concept and another. 1.1.2. Approach, Method, Technique and Strategy For an educator, it is essential to know the difference and correlation between an approach, a method, a technique and a strategy, as they are important concepts within the education discourse. The relationship between these concepts is hierarchical: a technique underlies a strategy, a strategy underlies a method, and a method underlies an approach. In other words, a technique is based on a strategy, a strategy is based on a method, which is based on an approach; therefore, all of them must follow the same educational philosophy in order to effectively achieve the objectives proposed in the curriculum. Edward Anthony (1963), in his article Approach, Method and Technique, says that the concept of approach refers to a series of conjectures dealing with the nature of both language and language learning. In this sense, the notion of approach has to do with how language is learnt and acquired, and therefore how it is developed in human’s mind. It is the way in which language and the process of learning a language is seen. Consequently, an approach cannot essentially be proved, as it states beliefs and deductions. Thus, it corresponds to the assumptions about the characteristics of language and language learning and acquisition.

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Contrary to an approach, a method deals with the procedures of language teaching; it takes the theories stated in the approach and puts them into practice. In this manner, a method is a general plan for the teaching of a language (Anthony, 1963), as it dictates the actions that ought to be carried out in order to present the language material in an orderly manner. With the aim of accomplishing the beliefs on language acquisition, methods must be consistent with the approach they underlie. Additionally, the procedures proposed in the educational plan (method) must be undertaken in an effective way. For that reason, the use of strategies attains great importance. The concept of strategy implies the decisions that teachers have to make in relation to the educational plan (method) based on techniques and activities used to achieve the learning objectives (Dirección de Investigación y Desarrollo Educativo [DIDE], n.d.). Educators do not only have to choose the methods and techniques that they will apply in the classroom, but also do they have to reflect on the best actions to carry out in order to complete particular purposes. Strategies cannot work alone; they must base their actions on methods. Contrary to methods, strategies are flexible and take shape depending on the goals that need to be accomplished. When strategies are put into practice, all the teaching actions have a clear orientation (DIDE, n.d.). A technique refers to the implementation of certain practices in the language classroom (Anthony, 1963). These practices correspond to activities that contribute to the achievement of the educational objectives. The purpose of any technique is to carry out the method and strategy on which it is based, as they are the procedures involved in the educational plan (method). Hastings states that “a ‘technique’ often refers to specific ways of presenting material to be learned” (A. Hastings, personal communication, June 9, 2010). Consequently, at this point of the teaching practice, the coherence between approach, method, strategy and technique is proved; if

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their relationship is consistent, there are more possibilities of achieving the goals that have been proposed by educators. Thus, in order to accomplish the particular educational objectives pursued by the strategies used, it is necessary to carefully choose the techniques that will help in undertaking this task. While strategies focus on more general aspects of teaching, techniques have influence on specific sections of a subject. In addition, a technique can include a variety of activities that contribute to the achievement of each specific objective (DIDE, n.d.). In relation to what was said before, the didactics components: approach, method, strategy and technique give orientation to the educational process in general and specific areas, being the approach the element that orients the whole process of teaching and the technique being the constituent that orients the most specific aspects of the teaching act. The definitions showed in the above paragraphs are intended to clarify the differences between these four concepts in terms of educational practice, as they take an important part in the educational discourse on the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The next section deals with the didactics of EFL and some other essential definitions related to this area. 1.2. English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Didactics When talking about English Language Education, it is essential to know the different concepts and theories that arise in the discussion of the issue. Accordingly, this sub-chapter intends to clarify some crucial elements in the discourse of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) didactics. In the first section, the definitions of EFL and English as a Second Language (ESL) will be given in order to acquaint the reader with the differences and similarities between them. In the second section, diverse teaching philosophies will be briefly described to subsequently focus on three of them: Communicative Approach, Natural Approach and CBI (Content-Based

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Instruction). Then, two educational plans will be explicated: Natural Method and Total Physical Response (TPR) Method. Finally, in the third section, the teaching of EFL in Chile will be depicted in relation to the information provided throughout the whole sub-chapter. 1.2.1. EFL vs. ESL For an English language teacher it is necessary to know the definition of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and its main difference with English as a Second Language (ESL). With reference to that, the term EFL is employed to mean people learning English in an English speaking country; on the contrary, the notion of ESL is used to imply people learning English in a non-English speaking country (“What are the differences,” n.d.). The latter is the case of Chile, since its only official language is Spanish, and English is considered a foreign language (SIL International, n.d.). Therefore, this paper will focus on the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). 1.2.2. EFL Teaching Approaches, Methods and Techniques Throughout TEFL history, many approaches have been developed as attempts to accomplish students’ educational needs. Hence, there has been a constant debate on which approaches are more effective when it comes to acquiring the language. In order to take part of this discussion, educators must be able to understand and distinguish different approaches to the teaching of EFL. For that reason, this sub-chapter will present a brief description of three of these theories: Grammar-Translation Approach, Direct Approach and Audiolingual Approach. Then, the Communicative Approach, the Natural Approach and the CBI (Content-Based

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Instruction) Approach will be explained in order to familiarize the reader with their importance in current EFL teaching. In their book Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (2001), Jack Richards and Theodore Rodgers give a brief description of the first approach that will be described in this chapter: the Grammar-Translation Approach. They explain that the origins of this approach come from the 16th century, when the study of dead languages such as Latin became part of the school curriculum in Europe, which was taught with a main focus on grammatical rules and translation. Two centuries later, the introduction of modern languages into the European school curriculum occurred. However, the approach underlying the study of Latin, which objective was “to learn a language in order to read its literature” (p. 5), became the standard way of teaching and learning a foreign language. This approach was later known as the Grammar-Translation Method; a method which continues to be used by language teachers throughout the world. According to the authors, educators who follow this approach give lessons in the students’ mother tongue, teach vocabulary through bilingual word lists, provide students with translation exercises, give explanations of grammar structures and focus students’ learning on the reading and writing skills. Contrary to the Grammar-Translation Approach, in the Direct Approach teachers do not use students’ mother tongue; lessons are always given in English (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Actually, the latter was developed as a response to the first approach in an effort to incorporate the constant use of the target language in the classroom (Mora, 2010). Educators who follow this approach do not give grammatical explanations; students acquire grammar through practicing and experiencing with the target language (Finch, 2002). Regarding oral speech, educators

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emphasize and encourage students’ correct pronunciation (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). In addition, they consider culture as an essential element of learning the language (Mora, 2010). The third theory presented in this section is the Audiolingual Approach, which states that “language learning is a process of habit formation” (Nunan, n.d., p.8). Accordingly, language is learnt through dialog memorization and repetition drills (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Teachers who follow this approach use the students’ mother tongue only when necessary; however, they discourage its use among and by the students (Mora, 2010). Similarly to the Direct Approach, grammar is learnt in context, through practice and experience. Consequently, educators provide students with little or no grammatical explanations (Brown, 2000b). However, just as in the Grammar-Translation Approach, vocabulary is learnt through lists in which words are isolated (Nunan, n.d.). Within this philosophy, pronunciation takes great importance (Brown, 2000b). Having described these three theories about language learning, the following section will provide the reader with a detailed explanation of the Communicative Approach, the Natural Approach and the Content-Based Instruction (CBI) Approach since the three of them are fundamental elements in the development of the project DID-S-2009-16 English: Acting out Language1 (Ortiz de Zárate et al., 2009), which this degree paper is part of. a. Communicative Approach, Natural Approach and CBI

1

The project DID-S-2009-16 English: Acting out Language has been carried out since 2008 by professors from the Linguistics and Literature Institute and students from the English Teaching major at Universidad Austral de Chile. Its main objectives are: a) to identify the EFL teaching strategies used nowadays by teachers at educational establishments in Valdivia, and b) to implement teaching methodologies related to drama techniques which can motivate students’ oral production and involve educatees in the learning process in an effective and responsible way.

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As it was previously said, the Communicative Approach, the Natural Approach and Content-Based Instruction (CBI) are essential components of the philosophy behind the project for which this teaching proposal has been developed. Therefore, it is essential to describe each of them in order to help the readers in their understanding of the rationale behind the didactic proposal that will be presented as a result of this paper. In this way, this sub-section will acquaint the reader with the models and hypotheses each approach involves. -

The Communicative Approach

The first philosophy described in this section is called the Communicative Approach. This theory puts its main emphasis on meaning rather than on structure (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Consequently, what matters the most is the meaning expressed, leaving the structures employed in second place. Jeremy Harmer (2001) supports this idea saying that learners should preferably focus more on language and less on language structures and form. However, although the Communicative Approach puts great emphasis on communicating meaning, the grammatical and lexical aspects of language are still considered as significant elements of the learning process. Taking this into account, this philosophy intends to help learners know: the situation in which, the place where, and the person with whom to use the words and expressions they have acquired (Richards, 1985); thus, supporting the students in the development of their ability to use language in order to convey meaning successfully. This ability is part of what Hymes (as cited in Brown, 2000a) calls the communicative competence, which is the competence that enables learners to interpret and express messages and “to negiotiate meanings interpersonally within specific contexts” (p. 246). In this way, the main focus of this approach is on the acquisition of

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the language for communication purposes, contrasting the Grammar-Translation Approach which was focused on the study of literature. Using communicative activities is a technique that supports the teacher in the achievement of the main aim of this approach. In this sense, it is necessary to consider some essential characteristics of this type of activities. They must involve real communication in order to promote the actual learning of the language (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). In addition, they have to be purposeful; they must make students focus on content rather than on form; they should include a variety of language; and teachers’ interventions to tell students about their mistakes ought to be avoided (Harmer, 1982). Therefore, the use of activities that provide students with a purpose to communicate motivates them to use the language. -

The Natural Approach

The second theory explained in this section is called the Natural Approach. This set of assumptions about language learning was developed by Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell in 1977, and attracted a wide interest in the language teaching area (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). This approach proposes five hypotheses: Acquisition/Learning, Monitor, Natural Order, Input and Affective Filter. The Natural Approach makes a distinction between language acquisition and language learning; this differentiation is called the Acquisition/Learning Hypothesis. According to Krashen (1982), when students acquire the language, they develop an unconscious process in which they internalize the language and its rules through the conscious use of the language. “Grammatical sentences ‘sound’ right, or ‘feel’ right, and errors feel wrong, even if we do not

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consciously know what rule was violated” (Krashen, 2009, p. 10). On the contrary, learning is a conscious process where students know the rules, are aware of them and are able to talk about them. In simple words, when students acquire a language, they know the language; while when students learn a language, they know about the language (Krashen, 1982). Another proposition contained in this approach is the one called the Monitor Hypothesis, which claims that “conscious learning can function only as a monitor or editor that checks and repairs the output of the acquired system” (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 181). That is to say, when students consciously learn, they can supervise both oral and written production, correcting the mistakes they may make. A third tenet of the Natural Approach is the Natural Order Hypothesis, which states that “that the acquisition of grammatical structures proceeds in a predictable order” (Krashen, 2009, p. 12). In other words, in the acquisition of a language there are certain grammatical structures that are acquired before than others; this order ought to be respected by educators when teaching a second or foreign language. In this way, teachers must consider students’ errors as “signs of naturalistic developmental processes” (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 182). Accordingly, educatees need to make errors in order to find out the correct grammatical rules of the language. The third belief on which the Natural Approach is based is called the Input Hypothesis. Krashen states that people acquire language by receiving input from messages that are slightly beyond what they know, arguing that “we acquire by ‘going for meaning’ first, and as a result, we acquire structure!” (p. 21). However, in order to make comprehension possible, educators must use hints based on the specific situation and context in which both teachers and students are

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involved. They also ought to consider extralinguistic information and acquirers’ knowledge of the world (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Finally, the fifth principle on which the Natural Approach is based is the Affective Filter Hypothesis. This precept affirms that the emotional state of the language learner can function as a filter, impeding or blocking input that is necessary to achieve the acquisition of the language (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). The idea of a filter that impeded language acquirement was firstly proposed by Heidi Dulay and Marina Burt (as cited in Krashen, 1982), who named it Affective Filter. Motivation, self-confidence and anxiety are some of the affective variables that influence the success of acquiring a second or foreign language. This hypothesis explains why some acquirers who are given a good deal of comprehensible input cannot acquire the language the way they are expected to, or why they suddenly stop acquiring it. This phenomenon is due to the Affective Filter, since if the students’ filter is at a high level, the input given by the teacher can be blocked (Gass & Selinker, 2008). -

Content-Based Instruction

Content-Based Instruction (CBI) is another approach to the teaching and learning of English, and which is one of the philosophies behind the didactic proposal presented as a result of this paper. According to Stephen B. Stryker and Betty Lou Leaver (1997), within this approach language learning and content learning are integrated, and “language proficiency is achieved by shifting the focus of instruction from the learning of language per se to the learning of language through the study of subject matter” (p. 5) Therefore, language is acquired through the direct exposure to contents. Additionally, the authors point out three main characteristics of a curriculum within this approach. Firstly, within the CBI curriculum the acquisition and

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development of the communicative competence occurs through the process of learning content related to other school subjects. Secondly, language and learning materials must be authentic. Furthermore, learning activities must “focus on understanding and conveying meaningful messages and accomplishing realistic tasks using authentic language” (p. 8). Finally, the CBI curriculum must suit students’ actual needs. Consequently, through the CBI approach, language acquisition occurs in natural contexts which provide real and meaningful opportunities for practicing the language. In their book, Content-Based Instruction in Foreign Language Education: Models and Methods, Stryker and Leaver (1997) present five CBI models: sheltered content courses, adjunct courses, themed-based modules, Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) courses, and Foreign Languages across the Curriculum (FLAC). According to Stryker and Leaver, sheltered content courses are especial subject-matter courses designed for second language learners in order to make contents from subjects such as mathematics, science, etc. more accessible to them. In this type of courses, teachers use special methods and techniques in order to help students in the learning of those contents. Another model presented by Stryker and Leaver (1997) corresponds to the adjunct courses, which are used as a means of connecting ESL classes to content classes. The objective of adjunct courses “to prepare students for ‘mainstream’ classes where they will join English L1 learners” (Davies, 2003, para. 3). Theme-based modules are the third model presented by Stryker and Leaver (1997). Within this model, teachers design the entire language course around topics related to other subjects from the curriculum. The fourth model presented corresponds to LSP courses. In this type of courses, students learn English according to their special academic purposes. For

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example, LSP courses for Law students would be different from the LSP courses for students of Medicine. Finally, the last model presented by Stryker and Leaver (1997) is called FLAC. Students within these programs use their abilities in the foreign language to consult primary sources of information when researching. In this sense, this model incorporates “the use of a foreign language as a research tool in selected courses across the entire university curriculum” (p. 5). As it can be seen, the CBI models presented by the authors correspond to both second language and foreign language teaching. However, as stated before, the focus of this paper is on the teaching of English as a foreign language. From the models described, the theme-based model is the one which will be used for the educational proposal presented as a result of this paper. Therefore, another view of theme-based courses will be considered as a way of having a more detailed perspective of how their implementation in the classroom works. In their article A Conceptual Framework for the Integration of Language and Content in Second/Foreign Language Instruction, Marguerite Snow, Myriam Met and Fred Genesee (1989) propose a way of integrating language and content, which they describe as “an alternative model that calls for a reconceptualization of the roles of teachers working in schools where second/foreign language education is a primary goal” (p. 204). In this model, learning objectives come from both the language curriculum and the content-area curriculum; therefore, the language and content teachers must work together in developing the CBI curriculum. The elaboration of the curriculum will also depend on the type of application to be used. In this sense, the authors present four settings in which the model proposed can be implemented: the

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mainstream class, the ESL class, the immersion class, and the FLES class. This paper will focus on the FLES class, as it implies the teaching of foreign languages. In the FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) class, the language teacher is not required to work jointly with the content teacher. On the contrary, it is the language teacher who must develop the educational curriculum for the entire course. For doing that, the educator looks for points of coincidence between the language curriculum and the curricula from other school subjects in order to integrate the contents from both areas. Then, language and content objectives must be set compatibly. Within this setting, students learn vocabulary and expressions related to the contents being covered in the other subjects. If comparing the FLES class with the theme-based module mentioned above, it can be seen that both CBI models integrate language and content in the same way. As it was said earlier, this type of integration will be used in the development of the educational proposal presented as a result of this paper, which integrates contents from the areas of mathematics, science, social studies, artistic education and physical education in the teaching of NB2 (Third and Fourth grade) EFL students. As a conclusion of this sub-section, the Communicative, the Natural Approach and CBI seek the development of students’ natural production in meaningful communicative contexts. These philosophies involve the use of educational plans that contribute to the achievement of that objective. For that reason, the following sub-section presents two widely known methods used in the teaching of EFL, which principles are in accordance to the assumptions underlying the abovementioned approaches.

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b. Natural Method and Total Physical Response (TPR) Method During the year 2009, four members of the project DID-S-2009-16 English: Acting out Language (Ortiz de Zárate et al., 2010) carried out in-class observations and their teaching practice in four eight grades from different schools in Valdivia, Chile. The results obtained through these two processes revealed that the Natural Method and the Total Physical Response (TPR) Method contributed positively to the acquisition of the English language in this city. For that reason, this project emphasizes the use of both educational plans in the EFL classroom. Hence, these two methods will be used in the creation of the educational software presented in this paper. Consequently, each of them will be explained in order to familiarize the reader with the techniques and activities they involve. -

Natural Method

The first educational plan to be explicated is the Natural Method. It comes from the Natural Approach, developed by Krashen and Terrell (1983). These authors actually elaborated the approach as a method, which was based on four principles. These beliefs will be presented in the following paragraphs according to the way they appear in Patricia Richard-Amato’s book Making it Happen (2003). 

The first tenet states that students’ comprehension precedes their production; thus, a silent period must be permitted, in which students develop their comprehension of the English language. In this stage, teachers must provide educatees with comprehensible input and communicative situations that help them acquire the

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language. Educators must not force acquirers to speak but encourage them to start using the language orally as soon as they feel comfortable with it. 

The second principle is related to students’ production, which must be allowed to appear in flexible stages: (1) nonverbal communication; (2) single words; (3) twoand three-word combinations; (4) phrases and sentences; and (5) complete discourse.



The third precept has to do with the course syllabus. This tenet states that the program of study must be focused on communicative goals rather than on grammatical objectives. Accordingly, the acquisition of grammar must be produced by the use of relevant communication activities in the EFL classroom.



The fourth belief on which the Natural Method is based involves the Affective Filter described in the previous section. This principle claims that educational activities ought to be designed to lower this filter. Educators must engage students in interesting ideas in order to reduce their levels of anxiety, and create a friendly and non-threatening atmosphere in which all educatees have the best possible opportunities for acquiring the language.

Furthermore, the Natural Method can be used with other set of procedures and techniques in order to contribute to the generation of educational environments in which knowledge, learning and acquisition are reinforced in diverse ways. One of the general plans compatible with the Natural Method and that will be described in the following paragraphs is the Total Physical Response (TPR) Method (Richard-Amato, 2003).

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TPR

The Total Physical Response (TPR) Method was originated by the teacher, writer and researcher, James Asher (1979), and it belongs to the TPR approach. It was developed in 30 years of research, being applied in “thousands of classrooms with children and adults learning languages such as English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, and even the sign language of the deaf!” (“About the originator,” n.d.). The reason why TPR can greatly complement the Natural Method is that it is also within a naturalistic view of language learning (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). When talking about a definition for TPR, Asher (2009) expresses that it “is an experience rather than a concept” (p.1). In his book Learning another Language through Actions (1979), he explains the procedures that the method involves, and states that when teachers use TPR, students react with physical actions and movements to voiced stimuli produced by the educator in form of spoken words. According to Asher (1979), the educational technique used in this method consists of two main stages: the first one is centered on the teacher’s instructions, and the second one on the students’ instructions. In the first stage, the educator says the command (for example, “hands up!”) at the same time as he performs the action; then, he repeats the command and both the teacher and students carry out the physical movement. After this, the educator says the command and only the educatees move. Finally, the teacher asks one student at a time to perform the action instructed. In the second stage, the roles of educator and educatee are inverted, being one student at a time who gives commands to the teacher and to the other students in the classroom. Finally, the

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teacher and the students expand the commands (for example, “hands up and down”) or produce new sentences. Consequently, through the use of their kinesthetic sensory system, students show their understanding of the instructions given. Similarly to the Natural Method, this educational plan also emphasizes that educatees must not be forced to speak, and that the teacher must encourage them to do so as soon as they feel comfortable and confident with the language (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). According to the results obtained by the teaching practices carried out within the project DID-S-2009-16 English: Acting out Language (Ortiz de Zárate et al., 2010), the two methods presented in this sub-section have shown to be of great benefit for EFL teachers to help students comprehend the input given, acquire the language, and increase their production in English. However, these procedures must be complemented with others, so both educators and educatees can take more advantage of the time spent on the English lessons in the pursuit of the acquisition of the language. For this reason, the educational software design presented as a result of this paper proposes the implementation of drama activities and educational games through an online digital platform to contribute to the creation of a well-balanced course by incorporating various teaching techniques to suit every student’s interests and needs. 1.2.3. EFL Didactics and the Chilean Educational System The teaching of English in Chile has taken great priority in the last years. This major emphasis started under the government of the ex-president Ricardo Lagos, when Sergio Bitar was Minister of Education (Romero, 2010). Since that time, several efforts to improve the

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English Education area have been made. However, the purpose of this sub-section is not to reveal those attempts but to present, in general terms, the pedagogical praxis that has been carried out by EFL teachers during the last two decades. In 1997, Minerva Rosas, head of SONAPLES (Chilean National Society of Higher Education Foreign Language Professors), affirmed that a large number of teachers considered grammar as the most relevant objective in English education. She added that lessons were teacher-centered and that educators presented grammatical structures in form of dialogs and narrations, and provided students with exercises and drills to practice the grammar taught. She argued that the methodology used in public and subsidized educational establishments was causing that their students finishing high school did not have a good quality performance in the English language. Consequently, Rosas declared that the teaching of English in Chile was not effective. Seven years later, the Education Ministry launched a program “to provide diagnostic testing, professional development for English teachers and on-site support for schools” (Dowling, 2007, p.1). Its general aim was that educators teach the English language in English and not in Spanish (Educarchile, 2005). The program was called English Opens Doors (Inglés Abre Puertas in Spanish). With Rodrigo Fábrega as director, it is an initiative that has been carried out from that time up to the present, and nowadays is called Languages Open Doors (Idiomas Abren Puertas in Spanish). Unfortunately, although the release of the English Opens Doors program, the pedagogical practice in EFL classrooms was not showing good results. Nine years after Minerva Rosas’ statement, Lucia Ramos and Michelle Espinoza (2006), members of SONAPLES, claimed that

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the methodology that English educators used was based on approaches and methods that were successful in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, but that were inappropriate and inadequate to be applied with 21st century students. The Audiolingual Method and the Grammar-Translation Method were among the general plans that educators used for teaching the English language in Chile around the year 2006. Then, in 2008, another author gave information that showed that the educational practices carried out in the EFL classroom were not succeeding. This author was Fernando Vera2 (2008), who claimed that the teaching of English in Chile did not promote significant learning. He argued that lessons were based on memorization exercises by using traditional resources, which led to low students’ performance and motivation, and an increasing lack of interest in the English language. The statements presented by these three authors have a close connection to the information collected in the in-class observations carried out in 2009 by four members of the project DID-S-2009-16 English: Acting out Language (Ortiz de Zárate et al., 2010). This part of the investigation showed that the Grammar-Translation Method and the Audiolingual Method were the educational plans that EFL educators from Valdivia used to teach the English language. Although these two methods are the most implemented, there are some schools in Chile that have applied communicative methodologies in their EFL classrooms. For instance, most bilingual schools (English-Spanish) in Chile have implemented Content-Based Instruction through immersion and partial immersion programs (Ramos & Esponiza, 2006). Another example is the case of Samka Arumanti School from Iquique, in which educators focus their teaching on the 2

Fernando Vera is Teacher of English, MG in Education Science, MG© in University Teaching and Research, PhD in Education Science, and CALL specialist with training in Israel.

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communicative aspects as a way of helping students acquire the language, making a distinction between acquisition and learning (Educarchile, 2005). In this institution, teachers are applying methods that seek the development of students’ communicative competence. Consequently, efforts in the renovation of the EFL teaching practices can be already seen in the Chilean education system. However, in relation to the didactic materials used in the EFL classroom, Ramos and Espinoza (2006) declare that English teachers use textbooks as a basis, and in some occasions, as the only resource for teaching the language. The results from the in-class observations for the project DID-S-2009-16 English: Acting out Language (Ortiz de Zárate et al., 2010) support the first idea. Teachers who were observed used textbooks provided by the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) as a basis for their lessons, adding activities and exercises that they considered pertinent for what they were teaching. However, they neither incorporated own-created activities, materials and resources nor did they comment their interest in doing so. In this regard, Richards and Rodgers (2001) states that, by and large, educators do not generate innovative educational resources but they just reproduce was has been already created. The information presented above shows that a change in EFL teaching in Chile is needed. Although the English Opens Doors program emphasizes the constant use of English in the classroom, most educators use Spanish as their means for teaching the language. This practice was considered acceptable in the past, “but now we’ve shown [teachers] that this scenario has changed and that they must teach English in English,” says Fábrega in an interview for the Business Chile Magazine (Dowling, 2007). However, for this change to occur it is necessary to move from the old approaches and methods (Vera, 2008) to methodologies that: (a) meet the

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demands from nowadays society and educatees’ interests and needs, and (b) develop the communicative competence (Ramos & Espinoza, 2006). Consequently, the content proposal presented as a result of this paper will offer a scheme to be developed and implemented as an educational software program in order to include pedagogical practices that contribute to students’ communication in the English language through the use of technologies and EFL teaching techniques such as educational games and drama activities. For that reason, the following sub-chapter will acquaint the reader with another kind of didactics that has become essential in the Education sector: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) didactics. 1.3.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Didactics

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) didactics is one of the main topics in the education discussion nowadays. The necessity of integrating ICT into the school system and the classroom is one of the major concerns of educational agents, as the effective integration of these tools requires a process of innovation on the part of schools and other educational institutions. Despite the efforts made by different governmental and non-governmental organizations in the pursuit of a successful implementation of ICT in the classrooms, there are still difficulties to involve schools into this process of transformation and innovation. Therefore, it is essential for teachers and other educational agents to be aware of the relevance of these new technologies in the current society, and the changes that social practices are experiencing nowadays. For that reason, the following sub-chapter attempts to acquaint the reader with the need of integrating ICT into the school system, and more specifically, into the classroom setting. This sub-chapter will be divided into four sections. The first one will deal with the necessity of

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transforming schools in order to meet the needs of today’s students. The second section will expound this new social paradigm called the Information Society. The third section of this subchapter will familiarize the reader with the UNESCO’s policy, visions and strategies regarding the implementation of ICT at schools. Finally, the fourth section will give a general perspective on ICT didactics in the Chilean education system. 1.3.1. ICT and Classroom Innovation In his book Educación: Escenarios de Futuro (2000), José Joaquin Brunner mentions the three revolutions that have taken place in the history of formal education. The First Revolution involved the creation of the school as an institution and the beginning of formal education. The Second Revolution meant the creation of public education systems. Finally, The Third Revolution entailed the origin of massive education under which all individuals had access to schooling and teaching of basic literacy. These three revolutions were established on the traditions of the society in which they arose. Therefore, the cultural, social, political and economical background of each society had significant influence over the education paradigm from each revolution. However, two centuries have passed from this last revolution, and changes in society, from that time to the present, have been considerable; therefore, the transformations that The Third Revolution implied are no longer pertinent in current settings. In relation to this, Rocío Rueda (2007) states that today’s society is in crisis; a situation that extends to every social institution, including the school. She claims that there is a crisis regarding educational and social objectives which has not been solved. Likewise, José Manuel Pérez Tornero (2000) affirms that teacher’s role in today’s society is also in crisis. Consequently, there is a strong need of

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transforming the existing education model into a paradigm according to the requirements of current society. Traditionally, educational institutions have been the centers in charge of providing and controlling information and social knowledge. However, with the advent of new technologies, information sources have increased and spread, providing people with more and more access to it (Pérez Tornero, 2000). As a result of this, schools are no longer the only means for new generations to gain access to knowledge and information (Brunner, 2000), and therefore, teachers are no longer considered the ones amassing the necessary wisdom and skills (Pérez Tornero, 2000). This situation represents a challenge for educational institutions, which will have to take on new responsibilities and roles to fulfill the demands of today’s society (Brunner, 2000). Furthermore, today’s educators must commit themselves to carry on, update, control and evaluate their own professional learning (Hargreaves, 2003) in order to enhance their educational practices on behalf this new role. This situation also occurs when talking about the methodology implemented at schools. Educational institutions have based their methods and techniques on practices from a past society, which differs from the society in which students are living nowadays (Brunner, 2000). For example, in first medieval schools, before the 15th century, education was carried out through means of oral culture, in which memorization and repetition were essential methods for acquiring knowledge, as very few people had access to written texts. Although six centuries have passed, memorization and repetition are still being used in the language classrooms. In relation to this, Andy Hargreaves (2003) affirms that today’s educatees should not deal with knowledge as

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something that they have to memorize and repeat but as something that they must apply to familiar problems and communicate effectively to others. In addition, Brunner (2000) claims that education is still built on the assumptions imprinted by the Industrial Revolution, in which the main educational aim was focused on labor; thus, the contents taught and the methodologies implemented were in accordance to the needs of the society. Therefore, the educational practices from the Industrial Revolution are not appropriate to be implemented in today’s society, in which labor is not the main necessity but knowledge and technologies have become the support for this new type of social organization (Brunner, 2000). In this regard, Peter Drucker (as cited in Hargreaves, 2003), author of the book Post-Capitalist Society (1994), states that productivity and innovation are the basic economic resources of the society. For that reason, schools have to adapt their pedagogical paradigm which is based on content transmission and memorization in order to fulfill current students’ needs. Hence, their educational curriculum should be centered on the learning process, and on the cognitive and metacognitive skills suitable for the contemporary multimediatic scenario of which educatees are part (Rueda, 2007). Thus, the need of new learning approaches requires the development of new teaching approaches (Hargreaves, 2003). Consequently, schools have to reinvent their educational curriculum, teaching and learning methods and technical support (Brunner, 2000). As a result of this transformation, schools and other educational centers would be able to fulfill students’ needs in relation to the demands of current society, helping them succeed in their lives outside the classroom. Nevertheless, this transformation also involves the true commitment of educational institutions to innovate in terms of teaching tools and resources. Schools continue basing their

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educational practice on traditional resources derived from the teaching practices carried out by past societies. In relation to this, Brunner (2000) states that education has been basically a low tech institution in which educator’s speech and printed texts are the main resources, followed by the board and the projector. He adds that although these traditional technologies have stopped being the only available resources for teaching and learning, school’s routine and structure is still based on the assumptions that magisterial speech and written texts are the actual supports for school communication. For that reason, Pérez Tornero (2000) states that there is a crisis of technical resources at schools, which makes these institutions not only be distant from the spirit of the period in which students are living, but also lose credibility and reliability. Consequently, a process of innovation in the teaching resources used by educational institutions is also needed to transform the way in which students are taught. With the advent of new technologies, new opportunities for innovating in the teaching and learning practice arise. In spite of this, schools seem not to realize about the power that the new technologies can have for transforming the educational praxis. In this regard, Hargreaves (2003) states that bringing new technological tools to schools and keeping them “safe” in a laboratory, absent from the real educational practices, does not represent a challenge for teachers. Moreover, even if educators use these tools, they often do not generate innovation, as these potential tools are commonly used to underpin existing practices instead of renovating them (Cuban as cited in Coll et al., 2008). In relation to this, César Coll et al. (2008) claim that simply incorporating and using ICT does not generate innovation processes and learning and teaching improvements. The specific uses given to these tools in different educational contexts determine these processes and enhancements; however, in general, their use in schools is restricted. In order to change this situation, one of the main aspects that educators should bear in mind is that the

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new multimedia technologies and the Internet represent powerful instruments for promoting learning by providing schools with new educational resources and possibilities, which should be used appropriately to generate innovation in the classroom. Nevertheless, in the case of the Internet, its more frequent use is for incrementing and improving access to information, being rarely used as a tool for innovating in the learning and teaching practices, or for collaborating, creating and spreading information (Gibson & Olbeg, 2004; as cited in Coll et al., 2008). Therefore, the incorporation of ICT into the school practice needs to be carefully planned by teachers and school administrators in order to have the outcomes expected. Although it has been claimed that the crisis that educational institutions are facing nowadays can be solved by modifying their teaching methodologies, this transformation also involves a process of innovation in terms of the contents taught and the competences developed at schools. In relation to this, Pérez Tornero (2000) claims that educational institutions do not provide students with the required freedom for exploring the dispersed knowledge of today’s society. On the contrary, it is the teacher who manipulates the interactions and situations in which learning occurs. Moreover, the school, as an institution, has become not much practical, as it finds significant problems in turning its education into something actually usable by students outside the classroom (Pérez Tornero, 2000). Regarding this situation, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (as cited in Hargreaves, 2003) claims that it raises meaningful questions about the type of knowledge that educational centers provide and should provide educatees with, as there is a gap between what students are supposed to learn and develop, and the learning situations that schools actually offer.

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Furthermore, the transformation needed involves the school’s efforts to promote the literacies according to the current culture (Pérez Tornero, 2000). In that sense, educational institutions must help students develop not only the traditional literacies, which refer to the ability to read and write (Lanham, 1995; as cited in Lankshear & Knobel, 2005), but also the new literacies that educatees need to acquire to succeed in the current society. Paul Gilster3, in an interview given to Carolyn Pool for her article A New Digital Literacy: A Conversation with Paul Gilster (1997), points out that these new literacies implicate the ability to understand and make use of information presented through computers and the Internet; that is to say, the ability to read and produce digital information. However, the view that teachers and other members of the school community should have about these new literacies must regard thinking of ‘digital literacy’ not as something unitary, and certainly not as some finite ‘competency’ or ‘skill’ – or even a set of competencies or skills. Rather, it means that we should think of ‘digital literacy’ as a shorthand for the myriad social practices and conceptions of engaging in meaning making mediated by texts that are produced, received, distributed, exchanged, etc., via digital codification. (Street as cited in Lankshear and Knobel, 2005, p.9) These social practices will vary according to the contexts in which they are carried out. In addition, Gilster claims that in order to help students succeed in today’s society, teachers should educate them in the proper and critical use of the web for them to assimilate, evaluate and reintegrate information (Pool, 1997). For this reason, teachers and people involved in education should be acquainted with what is happening outside schools in relation to the interactions 3

Paul Gilster is the author of the books Digital Literacy (1997) and The Web Navigator (1997).

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mediated by these new technologies. As a result of this, educators would be in a better position to judge “how best to integrate (or not) new technologies into school work” (Lankshear and Knobel, 2004, p.3), in this case, the classroom practice. As it has been stated throughout this sub-chapter, education is facing the necessity of a major transformation, which implies the updating of the school’s contents, methodologies and function (Rueda, 2007) to be compatible with the socio-cultural practices occurring outside the classroom. Brunner (2000) names this change in education as The Fourth Revolution, a new paradigm in which the learning settings and objectives must be renovated. Now the question for teachers and educational institutions is how classroom practices can be renovated. In this sense, Brunner claims that the society in which The Fourth Revolution is taking place establishes certain standards that have influence over the education system. According to Pérez Tornero (2000), these principles pretend to change the state in which education has been carried out so far: 

Information and education should be spread and controlled by individuals through the use of networks.



Media syllabi and educational curricula should be flexible and optional.



Education paradigms should be interactive and constructive instead of instructive.



Educational resources and learning procedures should be diversified and personalized.



Students should be active participants in the educational settings

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In addition, Antoni Colom and Joan-Carles Mèlich (as cited in Rueda, 2007) state that for the education system to be successful this should be interactive, dynamic, adaptable, ubiquitous, democratic and globalized. This is what is expected from the 21st century school; however, as it has been mentioned before, the actual educational practices differ in many aspects with these expectations. Consequently, The Fourth Revolution requires significant changes in the teacher’s role, the methodology and the competencies developed at schools, among other aspects. Firstly, educators must be the main intellectuals of the society, by assuming one of the central roles in the teaching and learning processes. Therefore, they should be able to innovate in relation to the educational programs and the actual teaching practices carried out in the classrooms (Hargreaves, 2003). Additionally, the teacher’s role needs to be redefined. Consequently, educators must take on the role of tutors, guides and trainers, supporting students in their self-learning processes. They must also encourage and promote a school community, create new educational settings and didactic tools, mediate in conflicts and educate students to succeed under today’s world’s requirements (Hargreaves, 2003). However, the need of the teacher’s role transformation should not be considered as underestimating their function in schools and in the society. Educational institutions and teachers continue being the main agents in educating the new generations, as reading and writing – which eventually are taught at schools – are essential components to become a competent ICT user. Furthermore, the significance of learning to filter, sort, select, contextualize, assimilate and produce information and knowledge are fundamental to be proficient in the use of these new technologies, and educators are the most appropriate agents to be in charge of teaching and preparing students for carrying out these tasks (Coll & Monereo, 2008). As Hargreaves (2003) claims, the “teacher’s role as vital socializing agent in preparing future generations must never be underestimated or overlooked” (p.72). In

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that way, although educators must adapt their role to suit their educatees’ needs, they must continue playing one of the main roles in students’ education by guiding, monitoring and supporting them through their learning process. Secondly, this major change in schools should involve flexibility in the curriculum, valuing each learner’s particular features; thus, leaving aside the imprints from the massive, standardized education system. In that manner, schools and educators should pay further attention to each student’s individual characteristics in order to help them develop their multiple intelligences4 (Brunner, 2000); therefore, teachers should be flexible to include various methodologies in their classroom practice. As a result of this, educatees should be able to solve complex and changing real life problems, carry out collective work and communicate appropriately by means of the development of the new literacies. In addition, educators should support students in the development of: personal initiative, willingness to take on new responsibilities, and reading and computing skills (Brunner, 2000). Regarding this, Hargreaves (2003) states that educatees must have the capacity to take advantage and develop their collective intelligence in relation to inventiveness, creativity, problem solution, cooperation, flexibility, network development, changes in the society and lifelong learning commitment. Thus, it is relevant to prepare students to face the changing culture in which they are living, as their future prosperity depends on their capacity to adapt to this new world. In relation to this, Lewis Mumford (as cited in Rueda, 2007) affirms that 4

The concept of multiple intelligences corresponds to the Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory (MI theory), which proposes “the existence of at least seven basic intelligences” (Armstrong, 2009, p. 5-6), through which the author objects the traditional notion of intelligence developed at the beginning of the 20th century. In recent years, Gardner added an eighth intelligence to the list. The MI theory, developed around the 1980s, provides “a means of mapping the broad range of abilities that humans possess” (p. 6). In this way, Armstrong explains that the theory groups humans’ capabilities into eight intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodilykinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist.

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man has been and continues to be the most valuable and significant reality [and] tools and machines could not have reached the place they take nowadays without the previous and simultaneous existence of more major events such as language, rituals and social organization. (p.79) Finally, education at schools must help educatees make sense of the world that surrounds them. In the pursuit of this, educators must teach them how to interact with this new world and how to solve the problems that might arise. In this sense, ICT are ubiquitous; therefore, knowing how to appropriately take part in social practices mediated by these technologies is essential in order to succeed in today’s society (Coll & Monereo, 2008). For that reason, helping educatees in developing the new literacies becomes a must for teachers and other educational agents. In relation to that, the UNESCO, in their document Information Technology in the Primary Education (2000), states that [new literacies serve] as a prime educational springboard, or a latch-key to the doors of all consequent stages and realms of organized teaching-and-learning. [They enable] schoolchildren to continue and build upon fruitful communications and interactions with their teachers and experts in all subjects, disciplines and fields of knowledge. (p.15) As it can be seen, it is crucial for educatees to have the necessary knowledge to search for, process and transform information in order to use it productively for their own purposes (Castells, 2001). Hence, for teachers to support students in becoming proficient ICT users, they must be aware of the new literacies to be developed by them; thus, educators should be informed about the social practices that these new literacies involve in order to reflect upon and improve their pedagogical work (Lankshear & Knobel, 2004). In this way, supporting students in the

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development of new literacies is not an option for educational institutions; it is rather a must. In this regard, UNESCO (2000) claims that it is vital for every person to have “at least a general notion of his/her technological surroundings” (p. 10) and it is school’s duty to be equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills to help students be aware of the considerable opportunities that these new technologies “open to them in all human pursuits” (p. 10). This will enable them to properly and effectively use the new technologies in benefit of their learning processes. In this sense, changes in current classroom educational practices are necessary. According to Julián López Yañez (2007), the school, as a complex system, is constantly open to conflict and change. Therefore, it should be flexible enough to adapt its practices to meet the needs of the new generation of students. Although all the changes required from education have not yet occurred, Brunner (2000) states that the society is exerting influence over the school, saying that the setting in which the school takes place, as well as the own purposes of education, are being transformed drastically and quickly by material and intellectual forces which are beyond the educational community’s control, but whose effects over it will be inevitable5 (p. 9) There is an obligation of constantly renovating the elements that constitute schools in order to maintain a compatibility with the society which they are part of (López Yañez, 2007). As a result, sooner or later, the total transformation of this institution to suit the requirements of today’s society will take place. The forces which Brunner (2000) mentions come from the current social organization in which the new student generations are being educated, a social 5

All the translations of this paper have been made by the author.

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paradigm that has been named by many authors as the Information Society (Becerra, 2003; Castells, 2001; Coll & Monereo, 2008; Hargreaves, 2003; and Yelland, Tsembas & Hall, 2008). In this sense, it is essential for every educational agent to be aware of the events, elements and principles that are part of this new social model, as they result from the social interactions among members of the society which students are part of. 1.3.2. Information Society The Information Society is an age of social development in which information is the raw material (Coll & Monereo, 2008). According to Hargreaves (2003), countries which do not participate in the Information Society “are progressively marginalized by it” (p. 29); therefore, it is essential for every nation to develop what is necessary to join this new society successfully. As César Coll and Carles Monereo (2008) state, the Information Society is characterized “by the ability of its members to obtain and share any quantity of information in a practically immediate way, from any place and in the preferable way, and with a very low cost” (p. 24). In this way, information becomes a central element of social interactions. In addition, this new type of society is based on three central ideas: liberalization, deregulation and global competition (Becerra, 2003). Therefore, in order to participate in this worldwide competition, it is necessary for society members to be able to manage information effectively to use it on their own benefit and wellbeing. During the last two decades, the growth and development of ICT have influenced the way in which goods and services have been produced and distributed; thus, transforming the workplace (Comisión Europea (CE) as cited in Becerra, 2003). As previously stated, the focal point of this new society is information and knowledge, in contrast to the past societies which

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focus was on the workforce. Nowadays, social interactions are mediated by the information technologies; ICT have “reshaped the nature of everyday activities” (Yelland et al., 2008, p. 95), as current society’s sources of productivity come from the generation of knowledge technology, the information processing and the symbolic communication (Hargreaves, 2003). In this regard, Martín Becerra (2003) claims that when it comes to the development of productive powers, the infocommunication technologies play a prominent role. Thus, the development, expansion and distribution of digital information and entertainment based on informatics are the foundation of this new social paradigm (Castells as cited in Hargreaves, 2003). In this sense, the new technologies, the distribution and generation of information, and the social interactions mediated by these technologies have had an impact on people’s way of living and working. According to Manuel Castells (2001), the Internet is the nucleus of this new sociotechnical paradigm; it is the essential means of social interaction, free communication and social organization, on which the current society is based. He calls this new social structure as the net society, stating that the “Internet is the society; it expresses the social processes, interests, values and institutions … [.] It constitutes the material and technological basis of the netsociety” (p. 35). In addition, Castells claims that the Internet is the technological and organizational environment that makes the development of new forms of social relationships possible; however, the Internet does not change people’s behaviors, but amplifies and potentiates them. For that reason, the Internet represents more than a technology; it is a way of living, behaving and expressing oneself. As it can be seen, it is vital for every member of this new society to have access to the different possibilities that these new technologies provide them with. However, although one of

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the main concerns of several societies is to provide all individuals with equal access to the ICT, a second matter is the use that is given to these technologies in the actual settings. In this regard, Coll and Monereo (2008) declare that, nowadays, nations are facing the complex challenge of educating people to make a constructive, creative and enriching use of the ICT. This is due to the fact that current society is overload with information which is occasionally malicious, biased or inaccurate. Regarding this, the OECD (2003) (as cited in Becerra, 2003) claims that policy makers should promote a working environment which helps institutions and enterprises take advantage of ICT. Therefore, not only does access to new technologies become crucial when talking about joining the global competition, but so does the proper use of available resources and tools. In this way, one of the educational institutions’ duties is to provide students with the sufficient opportunities to become efficient ICT users. Consequently, the integral implementation of these technologies in school settings can be only carried out after developing appropriate policies, visions and strategies for accomplishing the expected outcomes. 1.3.3. ICT Policies, Visions and Strategies As seen in the previous section, the implementation of ICT in education settings rarely involves innovation processes. Most of the time, educators make use of them to reinforce the existing practices, without making any changes to the learning activities and objectives, the teaching strategies and the traditional program (UNESCO, 2004). Therefore, seldom do education agents modify the educational practices to fulfill the requirements of the current society. Thus, “the potential of ICT may not be optimized if there is no shift in the learning paradigm” (UNESCO, 2004, p. 75). In this regard, in 2004, UNESCO carried out a collective case study in six Asian countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and

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Thailand. The name of the study was Integrating ICT into Education: Lessons Learned, and it intended to acquaint educators with some guidelines to follow as a way of improving the school practices by avoiding “re-making mistakes and losing good opportunities” (p. 5). This paper will deal only with component 2: ICT in Schools - Policy, Vision and Strategy. Within this component, the lessons learned have to do with the following aspects: a) the vision and plan for ICT in schools, b) supporting policies that facilitate ICT integration, c) managing ICT resources, d) transforming the laws into school-level regulations, and e) involving parents and communities. 

Vision and plan for ICT in schools: sharing a clear vision of the integration of ICT in schools by all the members of the institution promotes an effective use of these technologies in the classroom. Furthermore, to assure effective integration of ICT, the school must formulate an ICT plan according to their vision and socio-cultural setting.



Supporting policies that facilitate ICT integration: firstly, school leaders should primarily implement strategies that make ICT part of teachers’ daily routine and tasks, therefore encouraging the integration of ICT in the school setting. Secondly, the Ministry of Education should set tentative procedures on ICT integration in the school curriculum, as guidelines that schools can follow or adapt to their own settings. Thirdly, in order to facilitate the use and integration of ICT in schools, leaders should employ strategies to provide educators with platforms and support. Finally, every school should designate an ICT coordinator or head of the ICT department to ensure that teachers receive administrative and pedagogical support in relation to these technologies.



Managing ICT resources: in order to optimize the use of ICT resources, it is advisable to utilize a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.

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Transforming the laws into school-level regulations: in order to provide a clear plan for schools regarding the use of ICT, it is necessary to translate ICT in education policy and laws into school-level regulations and guidelines.



Involving parents and communities: firstly, ICT connect and support the relationship between the school and students’ homes, and encourage the involvement of parents in the school community. Secondly, motivating parents to participate in and contribute to change the ICT master plan is necessary for the school’s transformation to occur more quickly. Finally, schools should set up connections to different organizations and local and international communities to help develop students’ general personality. It is essential that schools formulate and implement their own vision, policy and strategy

regarding ICT to suit their specific educational settings. These three elements are significant in effectively and productively integrating ICT into school, and they should help educators in modifying the existing teaching and learning paradigm to obtain a model that facilitates ICT integration. Only in this way, the potential of ICT will be optimized. 1.3.4. ICT and the Chilean Education System According to Pablo Toro (2010), at the beginning of the 90s, the necessity of introducing technological devices into the educational settings became one of the main concerns of the Chilean government. He claims that the discussions held during the military government did not include a reflection about promoting educational technology; however, during the first years of the 90s decade, the topic of incorporating ICT in the classroom setting took great priority. He add that in this context, and having financial support from the World Bank, which was interested

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in promoting educational technology as part of the MECE Program (Education Quality and Equity Improvement Program), a creative and positive response to those demands arose. In that way, the Enlaces program was one of the first attempts to incorporate digital technology into the public educational system as part of the teaching and learning practice carried out at subsidized and semi-subsidized educational establishments throughout the country. Ten years after the creation of this program, another initiative was generated: the TIC EDU program. In addition, the private sector of the country, also interested in the incorporation of ICT into the school curriculum, has developed various projects to improve the education in Chile. Arquimed and Núcleo Educativo are two of the companies that have contributed to the generation of instances to implement ICT into the classroom work. All these efforts have been made as a way of enhancing students’ learning process and results in relation to their educational life. a. The Enlaces Program In the year 1992, the MINEDUC created a program to incorporate digital technologies in Chilean subsidized and semi-subsidized educational establishments. Its aim was to provide teachers and students with enough access to the information technologies and new resources for learning and teaching at schools (Enlaces, n.d.). This program, called Enlaces (Links in English), started its implementation in 12 schools from Santiago de Chile and then extended it until the Araucanía Region, covering one hundred establishments (Toro, 2010). It provided each school within the program with “computers, local networks, educational and productivity software, free and unlimited Internet access,” and technical and pedagogical support from 24 Chilean universities participating in the program (Hinostroza, Hepp & Laval, 2000, p.2). In that way, the

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program represented a reaction from MINEDUC to the necessity of incorporating educational technology in the curriculum. After almost two decades of implementation, Enlaces has benefited more than two million students from urban and rural subsidized and semi-subsidized educational establishments throughout the country, covering pre-school (2%), primary (82%) and secondary (16%) education level (Donoso, 2010). As a result, Enlaces has contributed to significantly reduce the digital gap in the country (Enlaces, n.d.). Additionally, this initiative has helped students in the development of new competencies appropriate for the Information Society (Enlaces, n.d.). Consequently, the implementation of Enlaces has supported the digital inclusion of Chilean students in order to help them deal with the situations and challenges characteristic from the Information Society. In addition, the Enlaces program has provided teachers with training in the pedagogical use of the new technologies. According to Gonzalo Donoso (2010), more than one hundred thousand teachers have been trained to implement ICT as part of their educational praxis inside and outside the classroom. This number represents more than 75% of the teachers working at state-subsidized and semi-subsidized educational establishments in Chile (Enlaces, n.d.). In this way, educators have been provided with access to digital technologies and with enough knowledge to incorporate these tools into their classroom practice. As a result, the implementation of this educational technology program of the MINEDUC has supported establishments in the integration of the new technologies into the school curriculum and practice. On the one hand, it has played a significant role in helping teachers and students get access to ICT and become digitally literate. On the other hand, it has contributed to

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improving classroom environment, as well as the teaching and learning processes (Hinostroza et al., 2000). Nowadays, Enlaces corresponds to the Center of Education and Technology (CET), the MINEDUC’s division specialized in the incorporation of technology in education (Bilbao, 2010). b. The TIC EDU Program In the year 2002, FONDEF (Fondo de Fomento al Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico), within the framework of the Innovation and Technological Development Program launched in 2001 by the Chilean Government, created the Effective Information and Communication Technology for Education Program (TIC EDU Program), which was intended to contribute to the improvement of education and the development of the educational ICT production in Chile (CONICYT, 2008). This initiative was created as a response to the necessities of the Chilean society regarding the new technologies, as the education area was considered to be one of the priority fields for the development and application of ICT (TIC EDU, n.d.). Until the year 2006, the TIC EDU program was focused on the development of products and services to enhance the effectiveness of ICT for education developing companies (CONICYT, 2008). However, from that year on, its focus was reoriented and the program concentrated on improving the learning processes through ICT-related educational products and services (TIC EDU, n.d.). According to CONICYT (2008) the program is oriented, at the same time, to four specific objectives. Firstly, TIC EDU intends to promote the development of applied research projects on the use of ICT as a means for improving students’ learning processes. Secondly, the program is focused on the generation of ICT-for-education solutions, through the development of scientific and technological competence in research institutions and businesses. Thirdly, the program aims

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to ensure that the results “proven to be effective are transferred widely and quickly to the education sector” (p. 5). Finally, TIC EDU seeks to develop the necessary abilities to create and manage longer term national and international projects in relation to ICT for the education area. In its website (http://ticedu.fondef.cl), the TIC EDU program talks about its implementation stating that it has fostered the active relationship between universities and companies. This relationship has been established in accordance to the interests and benefits of both the university area and the company sector. TIC EDU has also stimulated the links among the projects within the framework of the program, as well as the connections among the projects and other significant initiatives from the education system. In addition, the TIC EDU program has made great efforts to expand the international collaboration relationships in the area of ICTfor-education. Some of the projects carried out within the framework of the TIC EDU program are the following: 

Virtual Experiences with Atoms, Numbers and Planets (2006): an online platform “based on visualization technologies and haptic elements” (CONICYT, 2008, p. 6), objective of which is to update and support the teaching of mathematics, physics and chemistry in elementary and middle schools. The project was developed by the School of Engineering at Universidad de Concepción, and provides teachers and students with online digital resources for teaching and learning, such as teaching modules, 2D and 3D contents, among others (www.visualizacionmatematica.com).

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Collaborative Learning based on Learning Objects Repositories (2006): an initiative to improve the quality and equity of education through the use of ICT and the implementation of learning communities throughout the country (www.agrilearning.cl). This project was developed by the School of Agricultural Sciences at Universidad de Chile, REUNA Corporation and Universidad Arturo Prat. Through the support and contribution of the TIC EDU program to the educational sector,

new projects have had the possibility to be implemented in the pursuit of improving the learning processes through the incorporation of ICT into the educational field. In that way, this program represents a beneficial initiative for the Chilean education system and a great effort in the improvement of the quality of the education in the country. c. The Private Sector: Arquimed and Núcleo Educativo In addition to the efforts from the public sector to incorporate ICT into the educational curriculum, new initiatives have been also developed by private institutions and organizations as a reply to the demands of the current society. The presence of the private sector in the Chilean education system as stakeholders, in the case of private schools, has demanded more freedom in relation to school management and private property, calling for “a broader autonomy of schools and a more limited role of the State in the area of education” (MINEDUC, 2003, p.31) In that way, the roles of the State regarding education in our country have decreased, at the same time that the private sector has assumed new roles in this area. Furthermore, private institutions and organizations have received financial support from the public sector to carry out projects in benefit of the education in the country.

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Arquimed and Núcleo Educativo are two of these institutions, which have developed projects to incorporate the new technologies into the classroom practice. One of the companies from the private sector that had contributed to the incorporation of ICT into classrooms is the technological innovation company Arquimed, which offers diverse products and services in the area of medicine, industry and education. In the year, 2000, Arquimed created the Division of Educational Technologies and Services with the aim of ensuring the appropriate pedagogical use of the educational technologies implemented in each project developed by the company (Arquimed, n.d.). Then, in 2004, this work team started developing constructive educational methodologies for the teaching of Spanish, mathematics and science in educational establishments throughout the country, methodologies that were successfully certified by the CET (Arquimed, n.d.). The Division is focused on three main objectives which lead the work carried out by its members. The first goal has to do with the development and implementation of educational projects to improve students’ academic results through the use of didactic materials and educational technologies. The second objective involves putting into action permanent teachers’ training processes in order to enhance the pedagogical practice carried out at educational establishments in the country. Finally, the third aim of this Division is to contribute to the local and national educational dialog through the educational knowledge generated during the implementation of the projects (Arquimed, n.d.). By means of these three objectives, Arquimed intends to promote innovation in the educational methodology through which Chilean students are educated.

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Since its creation, the Division of Educational Technologies and Services has been carrying out diverse projects to incorporate new technologies into the classroom practice. In this way, in 2006, Arquimed and País Digital (www.paisdigital.org) worked together to create the project [email protected] en la Pizarra: Experiencias de Enseñanza-Aprendizaje con Pizarras Interactivas6, which entailed the incorporation of interactive whiteboards into the classrooms of the educational establishments which were part of the project to be used in the different subjects and levels. [email protected] also meant the creation of educational material according to the programs proposed by the MINEDUC, initiative for which Arquimed was praised by the leading interactive whiteboard manufacturer, Promethean (Arquimed, 2009). As shown in the Division of Educational Technologies and Services’ webpage (www.servicioseducativos.cl), other projects developed by Arquimed involved the creation of English laboratories at educational establishments from the north and the south of Chile. In this way, English laboratories were implemented in two schools from Taltal, two high schools from Aysén and one high school from Chile Chico. For these projects, the company provided each of these educational establishments with the software English Discoveries for its use in the English laboratory. Due to the software’s success as a learning resource, it was awarded with the Premio Enlaces 2007. In addition to the projects mentioned, Arquimed has implemented science laboratories in elementary and middle schools, carried out studies on in-class teaching practices using ICT, teachers’ English training through e-learning modalities, and Mathematical Olympiad using mobile math laboratories, among other initiatives (www.servicioseducativos.cl). Furthermore, in its webpage, the educational division of this company provides educators with

6

[email protected] through the whiteboard: Experiences on the Learning-Teaching Process using interactive whiteboards in English.

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digital teaching material for diverse subjects such as English language, science, mathematics, among others. Through all these initiatives, Arquimed attempts to contribute to the improvement of the educational practices carried out at educational establishments from Chile, promoting the incorporation of technological tools in the teaching and learning processes. Besides Arquimed, another private organization that has contributed to the incorporation of ICT into the school practice is the Chilean company Núcleo Educativo. This company, founded in 2000, has spent efforts and resources to develop individual and collaborative learning spaces in organizations (Briones, 2003). Together with Arquimed and I-Education Holding, Núcleo Educativo contributed to the implementation of teachers’ English training courses using the e-learning modality. This initiative was developed by the MINEDUC through the English Opens Doors Program, and has trained more than one thousand English teachers throughout the country (Programa Inglés Abre Puertas (PIAP), 2010). Additionally, this company took on the challenge presented by the MINEDUC in relation to the online portal www.educarchile.cl. The challenge implied meeting the need of having diverse high quality educational resources at the portal’s disposal, which had to be available within a short period of time and in accordance to the MINEDUC’s programs (Núcleo Educativo, 2009). In this way, Núcleo Educativo, having the global company Young Digital Planet (www.ydp.eu) as the content provider, carried out their agenda regarding the selection and positioning of learning digital objects for the abovementioned educational portal. 1.4. EFL and ICT Didactics and the Classroom Innovation Crisis As it can be concluded from the previous sub-chapters, the innovation crisis is also present within the areas of EFL and ICT didactics. One way of contributing to solving this crisis

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is through the implementation of tools which provide both teachers and students with more opportunities for improving the learning and teaching practices. However, for this implementation to be beneficial, it must be accompanied by an innovation process in the classroom praxis. As stated previously, the changes in our society have forced EFL teachers and other educational agents to reconsider the way in which students should be taught at schools (Hargreaves, 2003; Pérez Tornero, 2000; and Rueda, 2007), including the teaching of English as a foreign language (Dowling, 2007; and Vera, 2008). In this way, innovation starts by rethinking which learning and teaching practices are appropriate for today’s generations of students; then, the incorporation of new tools into the classroom setting can have concrete positive effects on students’ learning. Earlier in this paper, the Communicative Approach, the Natural Approach and CBI were presented as a form to reconsider the way in which EFL students should learn (acquire) the English language at schools. That is to say, they represent new approaches to the teaching and learning of a language within the classroom setting. Therefore, the inclusion of these approaches to the educational thinking regarding the area of EFL should lead to the incorporation of new techniques that support the teaching and learning processes.

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CHAPTER TWO: Innovative Teaching Techniques for the EFL Classroom

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Innovative Teaching Techniques for the EFL Classroom As a means for supporting the process of innovation within the classroom scenario, this paper presents three techniques that can be used jointly to enhance students’ acquisition of the English language: drama techniques, educational games and the use of digital resources. For that reason, the abovementioned educational techniques will be expounded in the following subchapters: ‘Drama Techniques in EFL Teaching’, ‘Games in EFL Teaching’ and ‘ICT in EFL Teaching’, being the latter the sub-chapter that will deal with the implementation of computer games within the classroom setting. Finally, the incorporation of these three techniques into the EFL classroom will be described in the last chapter of this paper, which presents the proposal of an educational software program that contains drama activities and games aimed at NB2 EFL students. 2.1. Drama Techniques in EFL Teaching The implementation of drama techniques in EFL teaching has been a subject matter in education for a number of decades. Several authors have declared the benefits these techniques have for second and foreign language acquirers (Berry, 1973; Maley & Duff, 1977, 1982, 2005; Holden, 1981; Heldenbrand, 2003; and Schreiber & Barber, 2005). Thus, the purpose of this subchapter is to acquaint the reader with the integration of these teaching techniques. For that reason, in the following paragraphs, the definition of drama techniques will be presented along with some examples and the contributions these practices make to EFL teachers and students.

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2.1.1. Drama Techniques in the EFL Classroom First of all, it is necessary to be acquainted with the concept of drama techniques. They refer to the use of dramatic activities, which, according to Alan Maley and Alan Duff (2005), are resources that give educatees the opportunity to employ their own personalities in the creation of learning materials and situations for the English class. As Wan Yee Sam (1990) states, “the participants in the drama activities are … learners and not actors,” so the implementation of these techniques does not mean that students will perform plays but that they will use their bodies and all their senses to experience significant learning processes. In this sense, Susan Holden (1981) claims that drama techniques involve the use of any activity that requires students to portray themselves or other people in an imaginary situation; therefore, drama can be seen as about pretending to be someone else or to be in some other place. In his book Games for Actors and Non-Actors, Augusto Boal (1992) presents numerous drama activities in relation to senses, integration, relaxation, etc. Nine of these activities were taken and adapted as examples of dynamics that can be carried out in the language classroom to improve the acquisition of English: 

Person to person: Students get in pairs; they can be sitting, lying or standing. The teacher/leader names some body parts. Each player in the couple must touch his/her partner using the body part required (e.g. the teacher says ‘foot to knee’ and one student’s foot must touch the other student’s knee). Students must not separate any of their joined body parts while performing the exercise. After four or five commands, the educator says “Person to person” (p. 78) and students separate and look for a different partner to carry out the new instructions.

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The rhythmic shoes: Students sit in a circle; each of them has a shoe in front. They sing a song or rhyme which every participant knows. As they sing the song/rhyme, they pass the shoe in front of them to their right-hand neighbor. There are some occasions in which they do not have to pass on the shoe but keep hold of it, beating it in front of the neighbor. For instance: Old Mac- (pass on the shoe) Donald (pass on the shoe) had a (pass on the shoe) farm E- (pass on the shoe) I-E (pass on the shoe) I-O (the participant does not pass on the shoe but beat it in front of the neighbor), And on (pass on the shoe) his farm (pass on the shoe) he had (pass on the shoe) a cow (pass on the shoe) E-I- (pass on the shoe) E-I- (pass on the shoe) O (the participant does not pass on the shoe); this continues until the song/rhyme ends. The teacher/leader can also add more difficulty to the game by suddenly saying ‘left’ to make students pass on the shoe to their left-hand neighbor, and so on.



Saying a number and a geometric shape: The participants must walk around the classroom quickly, without running, making sure that their bodies are all the time more or less in equal distance from each other and distributed throughout the entire space of the classroom. Suddenly, the teacher/leader says a number and a geometric shape and students must arrange themselves according to the number of shapes specified by the teacher/leader (e.g. ‘three squares,’ ‘four triangles’ and ‘five circles’). When the students get together in groups to form the geometric shapes, they must ensure that they are distributed evenly in the room.



Saying a number and a part of the body: It follows the same procedures as the previous activity, but this time the teacher/leader names body parts instead of geometrical

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shapes. The body parts named must make contact; for example, if the teacher says ‘four heads and six knees,’ then four heads and six knees must be touching. 

Calling out a color and an item of clothing: This activity also follows the same procedures as activity number three, but, in this case, numbers and geometrical shapes are replaced by colors and items of clothing. Students must get into groups according to the teacher/leader’s instructions. For example, if the teacher/leader says ‘gray skirts’ and ‘blue sweaters,’ people with gray skirts must group together and people with blue sweaters must group together.



Countable and uncountable nouns: Participants must walk quickly (as if they were in a hurry) around the classroom. Occasionally, the teacher/leader says a number of countable nouns (e.g. three bananas) and immediately the students must get together in groups of three, but without stopping. Then, the teacher/leader says an uncountable noun and the participants must separate and keep walking alone, and so on.



The mirror: This can be implemented as an affective activity. Students get in pairs, facing each other. They must think they are looking themselves in a mirror; the image they see is their partner. Participants must try to show, through the use of their bodies, the positive features of their partners.



What is their relationship?: One student initiates an action. Then, a classmate comes up on stage and starts up a relationship with him, expressing through his/her movements and gestures the type of relation both characters have (e.g. a mother and a son, a sister and a brother, etc.), to which the first participant must respond accordingly. After that, a third

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student approaches and establishes a relationship with both of the characters on stage, and so on. Finally, the rest of the students must guess the relationships between the characters. 

Animals: Each participant is given a card with the name of an animal, specifying if it is a male or a female. However, at this stage of the game, students should not be aware that there are couples of animals. At the same time, learners start playing their animals; they must behave accordingly and show their features through the use of movements and gestures, but they produce no sounds. After some minutes, the teacher/leader encourages students to show how their animals behave when they are hungry, thirsty, angry and asleep. In this part, while participants are showing the way in which their animals sleep, the teacher/leader tells them to wake up and find their female or male partner. In order to do this, they must keep playing their animals while they try to recognize their mate. When both female and male have encountered each other, they must perform what Augusto Boal calls “the love scene” (p. 136). That is to say, they have to behave the way their animals behave when mating; some animals nuzzle, some others do not, etc. It is important to remind students that they cannot reveal to the rest of the group what animal they are. Finally, the teacher/leader encourages some couples to replay their “love scene,” and the rest of the participants to guess what animal they represent. This game can be also played with professions, sports, nationalities, etc.

Most of these activities involve the use of the body through movements and actions. However, it is important to remember that drama techniques also engage breathing, relaxation and concentration (Berry, 1973). In these cases, relaxation exercises are not intended to make

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students be floppy and quiet but bring them into a state of readiness, in which they are “relaxed but ready for action, alert but not tense” (Berry, 1973, p. 22). Hence, there are some relaxation exercises that can be carried out in these contexts and others that cannot. For example, some yoga exercises would make learners be passive and laid back, but they would not energize them to work in the right way (Schreiber & Barber, 2005) which is what is needed in the language classroom. 2.1.2. The Contributions of Drama Techniques to EFL Teaching Using drama activities in the EFL classroom benefits both teachers and students in numerous aspects. Firstly, they are excellent didactic resources for complementing EFL lessons and carrying out well-balanced pedagogical praxis. Secondly, they benefit educatees in the development of their communicative competence. Thirdly, they support educators in helping students reduce their anxiety levels and increase self-confidence and esteem. Finally, they foster students’ motivation and creativity. The use of drama activities in the classroom is a great tool for EFL teachers to complement their lessons. According to Maley and Duff, “any well-balanced course should be flexible enough to include various approaches to learning” (1982, p. 16). Consequently, educators must be aware of the significance of implementing a methodology that incorporates a variety of educational methods and techniques to suit their students’ learning styles in the pursuit of the acquisition of the English language. In this sense, through the use of drama techniques, lessons are less monotonous and classes become more learner-centered (Gaudart, 1990). As a result of implementing this kind of activities in the classrooms, educatees become active

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learners, trespassing the traditional way of acquiring the language in which only their mental processes are involved (Sam, 1990). Besides representing useful didactic resources, drama techniques provide educators with tools for helping EFL students develop the communicative competence. As Maley and Duff (2005) state, “by fully contextualising the language, [the use of drama techniques] brings the classroom interaction to life through an intense focus on meaning” (p. 1). Therefore, through dramatic activities, students can acquire the language through scenarios in which words and expressions are contextualized. Furthermore, the use of drama techniques promotes communication between students, motivating them to use English in diverse situations that replicate real-life events (Sam, 1990). However, drama techniques do not only enhance verbal communication skills. According to Maley and Duff (2005), their use “integrates verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication, thus bringing together both mind and body, and restoring the balance between physical and intellectual aspects of learning” (p. 1). In this way, educatees become better communicators in the target language, using also their bodies to fully convey the messages intended. Additionally, the use of drama techniques in the EFL classroom facilitates the development of discourse strategies. Regarding this, Robin Scarcella (1978) claims that using drama activities can help students learn different strategies as attention-getter, topic initiating and topic changing ones, which enables them to participate in conversations more naturally. For all these reasons, drama techniques in the classroom prepare students for real-world interactions in the target language. In this regard, Brian Heldenbrand (2003) affirms that “making the classroom a small stage for everyday learning will better engage students for the larger stage known as life” (p.28). Consequently, the use of drama activities in the learning place supports educatees in becoming efficient users of the language, prepared to face real-world communication.

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Another significant aspect of using drama techniques is that through their implementation teachers can contribute to lowering acquirers’ affective filter and increasing their selfconfidence and esteem. In relation to this, Patricia Richard-Amato (2003) states that “when students lose themselves in the characters, plots, and situations, they are more apt to experience lower anxiety, increased self-confidence and esteem, and heightened awareness” (p. 230). Consequently, educatees are more open to learn the contents taught and to acquire the language with less difficulty. In this sense, it is important that educators take into account students’ emotional and affective needs since the “pedagogical goals should not only include supplying comprehensible input, but also creating a situation that encourages a low filter” (Krashen, 2009, p. 39). In this regard, Maley and Duff (1982) emphasize that learning depends for the most part “on the student’s feeling of well-being and self-esteem” (p.21). For that reason, the use of drama activities becomes a great technique for teaching the language as it promotes students’ self esteem and confidence, through which motivation is developed. Thus, having students feel comfortable, safe and confident in the classroom must be one of the main tasks of being a teacher. In this regard, Krashen (2009) claims that an effective language educator is able to provide comprehensible input in a situation where the affective filter is at a low level. For that reason, teachers must be aware of the influence of this emotional filter on students’ learning, for it can facilitate or impede their acquisition of the language. A fourth benefit that the use of drama activities bears for the EFL classroom is that it increases students’ creativity and motivation. According to Maley and Duff (1982), through the use of drama techniques, teachers can encourage acquirers to get dynamically and creatively involved, help students develop their creativity and imagination, and foster their motivation. The authors add that when participating in these activities, students work together to use the language

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and their imagination actively, without being restrained by the teacher. For this reason, educators who use drama techniques in their classrooms must bear in mind their role of guides through the process of acquiring English. Furthermore, the incorporation of drama activities provides students with the opportunity of becoming explorers of the language (Maley and Duff, 1982). As a consequence, classroom environment is affected; an ambiance of confidence, participation and enthusiasm is generated since students who are motivated to learn English “spread their excitement to their classmates” (Heldenbrand, p.31). As a result of participating in drama activities, students become more creative and motivated users of the language. For the reasons above, the use of drama techniques benefits students’ acquisition of the English language. When teachers implement drama activities in the EFL classroom, they make their lessons more dynamic, help students develop the communicative competence and contribute to lowering educatees’ affective filter, thus creating a significant learning environment. Nevertheless, implementing these techniques in the classroom can also have some difficulties, as explained in the following section. Fortunately, these difficulties and problems can be controlled, so they do not affect students’ acquisition negatively. 2.1.3. Considerations of Teaching using Drama Techniques As it was exposed previously, the use of drama techniques in the EFL classroom has great benefits in support of students’ acquisition of the English language. However, as in every pedagogical practice, there are some difficulties and disadvantages that educators might encounter when implementing them as a component of their praxis. In order to minimize the problems and difficulties, there are some considerations that teachers should bear in mind when

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using drama techniques. In that way, their implementation can become a great experience for both the teacher and students. Regarding the difficulties and disadvantages of using drama techniques in the EFL classroom, Hyacinth Gaudart (1990) reveals some of the problems resulting from a study in which teachers had to use these techniques in their classrooms: 

Students were shy and reluctant to participate



Students made a lot of noise which disturbed the other classes



Some students dominated the activities



Teachers were afraid their superiors might feel that they had lost control over the class

These difficulties represent some of the real problems that may occur when carrying out drama activities in the EFL classroom. There are some classroom management problems that could arise according to the context in which they are applied. However, no matter the circumstances in which drama techniques are implemented, there are certain factors that play a significant role in the success of this kind of activities. In order to manage the disadvantages that might come up, there are some considerations that teachers need to bear in mind when implementing drama techniques in their classrooms. These points, presented by Maley and Duff (2005) in the third edition of their book Drama Techniques in Language Learning: A Resource Book of Communication Activities for Language Teachers, are intended to help teachers in the integration of drama techniques into the classroom praxis.

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The first aspect has to do with the time given for discussion. As the authors point out, it is essential for students to have enough time to discuss how work will be carried out and how the product will be presented, as the quality of the outcome will depend on the quality of those agreements. The second point is related to the use of students’ mother tongue. Maley and Duff state that although students should be encouraged to use English at all times, “it may be sensible at first to allow a limited use of the mother tongue in discussion … while insisting on the use of English in the actual activity” (p. 4). The third consideration deals with primary function of using drama techniques in the language classroom. In this regard, the authors claim that although drama activities can help students in the learning of new language, its main purpose is not to teach new things, but to provide students with opportunities to use the language already learned. Therefore, it would be more useful to implement them as practice rather than teaching activities. Finally, the fourth point of that list corresponds to the teacher’s role in the language classroom. They affirm that educators who want to implement drama techniques as part of their teaching praxis do not need to be trained drama experts. What it is essential is that teachers are convinced the activities will work well, as it will largely determine their success. As a conclusion, the use of drama techniques in the EFL classroom can provide students with situations in which they can practice the language meaningfully, fostering their creativity and increasing their motivation towards the language. However, in order to obtain these benefits, it is necessary that educators bear in mind the possible difficulties and problems that may arise when implementing these techniques in the classroom, and the potential solutions. In this way, teachers and students will have a beneficial experience when using drama activities.

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2.2. Games in EFL Teaching Using games in the teaching of English does not represent a new subject matter in education. Several authors have already stated the advantages of their implementation in the language classroom (Hadfield, 1987; Kerr, 1977; Lee, 1979; Martínez, Pérez, & Portillo, 2007; Richard-Amato, 2003; and Wright, Betteridge & Buckby, 1984). For that reason, the purpose of this sub-chapter is to acquaint the reader with the implementation of games in the EFL classroom. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, the definition of games will be presented along with some examples and the contributions these practices make to EFL teachers and students. 2.2.1. Games in the EFL Classroom It is necessary to begin with a definition for what a game is. In that sense, Jill Hadfield (1987) states that “a game is an activity with rules, a goal and an element of fun” (p.3). It is also a practice that engages participants in a simulated conflict resulting in an outcome that can be proven (Salen & Zimmerman, 2004). In relation to the instructions given for the development of the game, Richard-Amato (2003) recommends teachers to state as few rules as possible and to clearly explain and demonstrate them and, as Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman (2004) claim, specifying what students can and cannot do. As indicated by Maritza Martínez et al. (2007), games can be classified into different groups in relation to the following criteria: (1) students’ age, (2) students’ level, (3) location, (4) number of students, (5) skills and (6) sub-skills. Here is a list of the categories according to each criterion:

Drama Techniques, Games and ICT in Chilean NB2 EFL Teaching 

Students’ age: children, teenagers, youngsters and adults.



Students’ level: elementary, intermediate and advanced.



Location: indoor and outdoor.



Number of students: individual, in groups, in pairs and with the whole class.



Skills: listening, speaking, writing and reading.



Sub-skills: grammar, vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation.

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Additionally, games can be classified into four more categories according to two criteria. On the one hand, they can be grouped in terms of the way participants interact: (a) competitive games and (b) cooperative games. While in competitive games players or groups participate to be the first to achieve the goal, in cooperative games students work jointly towards a mutual objective (Hadfield, 1987). In relation to the first type, although Martínez et al. (2007) claim that competition helps in the development of students’ motivation, they state that educators should skillfully and carefully manage this factor because making participants compete “may result in affecting feelings of inadequacy” (p. 50). On the other hand, games can be categorized in relation to the educational objective: (a) linguistic games and (b) communicative games. While linguistic games involve the way language works (for instance, differentiating long and short vowel sounds, nouns and adjectives, etc.), communicative games require participants to complete a task using language appropriately in the context of that very activity (Hadfield, 1987).

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2.2.2. The Contributions of Games to EFL Teaching The use of games in the classroom is considered an essential component of the teaching practice and a beneficial technique that any educator should be able to implement in order to help students in the language acquisition process (Martínez et al., 2007). In relation to that, RichardAmato (2003) claims that educators must not think of games only as fun recreational activities but consider the pedagogical value that they have in second language teaching. In that sense, games as educational tools bear great benefits: (a) they work as a complement for the English lessons; (b) they help in the development of the communicative competence; (c) they facilitate the generation of a non-threatening environment; and (d) they increase students’ motivation and creativity. Firstly, games represent a useful didactic resource for teaching and learning as they can be adapted to different ages, levels and interests (Martínez et al., 2007), thus working as a great complement for the language class. In this sense, William Lee (1979) and Jill Hadfield (1987) encourage the use of games by claiming that they should symbolize a fundamental constituent of the language educational program, as they provide students with opportunities for real communication, representing a connection between the classroom and the real world (Hadfield, 1987). Secondly, nearly all language games help students use language instead of thinking about language (Lee, 1979), which contributes to its acquisition, as explained in previous sections. Therefore, the most significant function of using games in the classroom is to give students the opportunity to practice communication (Richard-Amato, 2003). In relation to this, J. Y. K. Kerr

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(1977), in the article Games and Simulations in English Language Teaching contained in The British Council’s book Games, Simulations and Role-playing, states that [games] ensure that communication is purposeful (in contrast to the inescapable artificiality of so many traditional exercises and drills) [and they] … require an integrative use of language in which communicating one’s meaning takes proper precedence over the mere elements of language-learning (grammar and pronunciation). (p.10) Regarding that, this technique helps teachers in the creation of contexts and situations in which educatees apply language meaningfully and in a useful way (Wright et al., 1984), which potentiates the development of the communicative competence (Chen, 2005). Thirdly, the use of games contributes to generate a positive ambience in the classroom. As Martínez et al. (2007) state, using games in the classroom helps educatees build confidence to use the language and to speak in real-life situations. Furthermore, negative affective factors that might arise when learning the language are decreased. In this regard, Richard-Amato (2003) claims that the use of this type of activities reduces students’ anxiety and therefore lowers the affective filter. As a result, using games as a teaching technique facilitates the creation of a nonthreatening teaching and learning environment. Finally, as games are entertaining, their implementation in the classroom increases students’ motivation (Richard-Amato, 2003; and Chen, 2005) by providing them with enjoyment and challenge. In this way, through the use of games, educatees’ motivation towards the English language is encouraged, which makes them perceive English as a language they are

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interested to learn (acquire) and not only as a school subject. As a result, their curiosity for learning is increased, and their abilities of learning can be developed or improved (Martínez et al., 2007). In the same way, implementing games in the EFL classroom fosters students’ creativity and engages students in situations in which they must use language spontaneously (Chen, 2005). Consequently, through the use of games, educatees are involved in ingenious situations which motivate them to learn, thus facilitating the acquisition of the language. 2.2.3. Considerations of Teaching using Games Although the implementation of games in the classroom has several advantages for students’ learning, it also has disadvantages and difficulties. These involve aspects such as time and the affective filter, among others. These aspects must be considered by the educator before using games in the EFL classroom, as some of the problems that may arise when implementing this type of learning activities can be prevented. Some games may be time-consuming for educators due to their preparation and set-up (Kurmangalieva & Nurbaeva, 2006). Therefore, many teachers would avoid using games in their teaching praxis and prefer activities that do not require them to spend too much time in preparing them. Moreover, there are some games that increase competition, which may cause arguments among learners (Kurmangalieva & Nurbaeva, 2006). Consequently, students’ affective filter is affected negatively. In this regard, Andy Wright et al. (1984) claims that competition against classmates does not represent a necessary component of games; on the contrary, it is an aspect that must be minimized. They add that competition can be destructive for some students as they can make them anxious and think of themselves as ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ only because of the

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results of a game. In this sense, competition can lower educatees’ self-confidence and esteem, which can clearly impede learning. As games can present some difficulties when being implemented in the EFL classroom, careful planning is necessary for teachers to take full advantage of their benefits. In this sense, it is necessary for educators to bear in mind the following considerations: 

For a game to proceed efficiently, players must fully understand what they are expected to do. Therefore, before starting the game, teachers should check that all students have properly understood the instructions (Kerr, 1977).



In order to have everyone taking full part of the activities, educators can give learners a few minutes for silent preparation in which they can think or make notes. This makes the game go more quickly, and all students, even the shy ones, have something to say. At elementary levels, teachers can put reminder words or phrases on the board to help students when they are not certain about a word or structure; entire sentences could be used with slow classes (Lee, 1979).



When asking learners to raise their hands, teachers should take care not to allow the same students over and over again to participate. Educators’ attention must be distributed over the whole class (Lee, 1979).



In relation to error correction, teachers “may be able to indicate mistakes and make corrections during the natural pauses in the game, or require the group of students to act as a watch-committee ready to correct one another” when suitable (Kerr, 1977,

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p.9). However, the level of correction required will depend on the linguistic objective of the interactions: error-free language or successful communication (Kerr, 1977). 

When scoring points, it is prudent to consider that, psychologically speaking, giving points for success is better than taking them away for failure (Lee, 1979).



Large classes (twenty or more people) may have difficulties to benefit from certain language games (Kerr, 1977). For example, the games in which students are required to perform individually in front of the class, as each intervention should be extremely short and that could stress them out more than lowering their affective filters.

Taking these aspects into account can help educators have an enriching experience when using games in the language classroom, as the proper use of them will lead to have both teachers and students enjoying their benefits. 2.3. ICT in EFL Teaching The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the teaching of English as a foreign language is not a new topic. Numerous authors have pointed out the benefits that the use of these technologies bear for the English classroom (García-Carbonell, Rising, Montero & Watts, 2001; Garris, Ahlers & Driskell, 2002; Hinostroza et al., 2000; Ilter, 2009; Peshette & Thornburg, 2006; Prensky, 2001a; Richard-Amato, 2003; Sandford, Ulicsak, Facer & Rudd, 2006; and Vera, 2008). Therefore, it is essential for teachers and other educational agents to be aware of the advantages ICT have in order to implement them effectively. For that reason, this sub-chapter aims to acquaint the reader with the relevance of these technologies in the EFL

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classroom, and more specifically, with the incorporation of computer games as part of the teaching and learning processes within the classroom setting. The first section presents initiatives developed by different organizations to provide teachers and students with digital learning resources for the EFL classroom. The second section deals with the benefits of computer games as a teaching and learning tool. Finally, the last section discusses on the considerations teachers should bear in mind when integrating digital games into the EFL classroom. 2.3.1. Online Computer Games in the EFL Classroom Today’s educational system has made significant efforts to incorporate ICT into the classroom practice. Computer games are one of the technologies that have been implemented in this setting. However, despite the growth of the video game industry, there is not much availability of educational games that really suit students’ needs. In Can Games Be Used to Teach?, David Thornburg and Alix Peshette (2006), two ICT specialists, argue about the use of games for teaching. In this discussion, Peshette claims that remarkable educational computer games cannot be found frequently, stating that one of the reasons is that “commercial entities that create computer games have noticed education’s parochial disdain for edutainment and focused their sights on the general consumer market” (p. 2). However, even if commercial entities create more educational computer games, Oblinger (2006) states that cost is also one of the factors that can impede their use in educational settings. As in education in general, various attempts have been made to include computer games as part of the EFL curriculum. The following paragraphs aim to acquaint the reader with some educational games that can be used in the EFL classroom. Due to one of the factors that can

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impede the implementation of computer games in education has to do with the cost, only free online educational computer games designed to be used in the EFL classroom will be presented. The description will be divided into two main aspects: strengths and weaknesses; both aspects of each game will be considered in the design of the educational computer game expounded as a result of this paper. The games that will be presented are the following: Trolley Dash and Word Hurdles from the British Council’s website LearnEnglish Kids (www.britishcouncil.org/ learnenglishkids); BRAVO! Spin Off and Billionaire from ESL Games World (www.eslgamesworld.com); and Mingoville. The first game is Trolley Dash, a one-player game which is provided by the British Council in its website LearnEnglish Kids. In this game, players have sixty seconds to collect products from a supermarket, according to a shopping list. On the one hand, one of the strengths of this game is that it contains graphics which are attractive for children, clear instructions and a simple interface. Additionally, it keeps students attentive, as they have to carry out the actions within a limited time. On the other hand, one weakness can be found in the game. This weakness has to do with the difficulty that the game presents to the player in terms of the mouse movements; it takes time to achieve an appropriate coordination between the mouse movements and the supermarket car, which could make players lose the game although they are able to recognize the vocabulary. The second game, Word Hurdles, can be played by one or two players at the same computer. In this game, players have to look at an image illustrating an Olympic sport and choose the correct sport name among three options presented. On the one hand, one of the strengths of this game is that it can be played by two people using the same computer, which is a

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relevant aspect in schools were there are not computers for every student. A second strength is that both players can be winners, thus promoting good clean competition. On the other hand, one weakness can be found, which has to do with the images used to illustrate the various Olympic sports. Some of the images used do not show the sport in a clear way, which can make students choose the incorrect answer although they know the vocabulary. The third game is BRAVO! Spin Off, which is one of the template platforms developed by C3 SoftWorks (http://www.c3softworks.com). The version described here was customized by ESL Games World and is available in the website of the same name. In this game, students participate in a game show in which they have to spin a roulette wheel which indicates the questions they have to answer. On the one hand, one of the game’s strengths is that it is a multiplayer game in which from one to ten teams can participate using the same computer. Furthermore, it covers a variety of topics and it is useful for revision. On the other hand, one of the weaknesses of the game has to do with its duration. Each topic has about four to nine questions to answer, which makes the game last longer than the others presented. This can make students get bored, thus losing their attention. Another weakness is related to the image file size. There are some questions which contain images according to which players have to answer; for example, the question “How many books are there?” requires the player to look at a certain image in order to answer. When playing with slow Internet connections, image download can take more time than usual, making students lose part of the time given to answer. The fourth game considered in this revision is Billionaire. It is also a customized version using the template of the same name by C3 SoftWorks. In this game, students participate in a game show similar to the popular television game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, in

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which they have to answer multiple-choice questions correctly in order to win each category’s price. On the one hand, the main strength of the game is that its format is familiar to students, which makes it more significant for them. On the other hand, its major weakness is that although it can be played by two people or teams, it does not favor students’ equal participation. That is to say, if a team (or person) chooses the right answer, it is given the opportunity to pass to the next question, and so on, until the final prize is won. In this sense, if a team does not get an incorrect answer, the other team will not have the chance to play. Finally, the last game is called Mingoville, which is supported by the Chilean Ministry of Education through its campaign Chile Habla Inglés (Chile Speaks English in English). It is an online virtual learning environment which contains missions on a wide variety of topics aimed at children. Each mission contains different activities, covering the topics in different ways. On the one hand, one of the strengths of this game is its diversity of topics and activities, which cover both the receptive and productive language skills. Furthermore, it provides teachers with utilities to plan online homework and evaluations, to track educatees’ achievements within the game, and to create new users according to the number of students the educator has. On the other hand, the main weakness of the game is the fact that some of the pages take longer than expected when working with slow Internet connections. Nevertheless, the detailed design and development of the game makes Mingoville be a very practical tool for EFL teachers and students. The computer games presented above are examples of games designed to be used in educational settings for the teaching of English. They were selected as examples due to the following reasons: a) they are aimed at children; b) they contain attractive graphics; and c) they were designed for EFL settings. However, none of the games presented corresponds to

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simulation games, which use has become of great importance in the area of education due to its efficacy as a learning tool (Castro, 2008). According to James Paul Gee (n.d.), in simulation games players have surrogates who are virtual characters. In this way, players control their characters to act and interact within the simulation of a virtual world. Through the characters, players solve problems and carry out tasks to achieve specific goals. David Crookall and Danny Saunders (as cited in Garris et al. 2002), authors in the area of gaming, view simulation games as representations of real-world systems which can have aspects of reality, and in which “the cost of error for participants is low, protecting them from more severe consequences of mistakes” (p. 443). Hence, simulation games allow students to experience situations which emulate real-life events, but without the risk and consequences real-life situations involve, which can positively influence their affective filter. In this sense, the importance of computer simulation games in the area of EFL education lies on the fact that these practices provide students with opportunities to practice language in situations similar to those which can be experienced in real life. As a result, language is used in meaningful contexts, which contributes to its acquisition. However, although simulation games can represent a useful tool for the acquisition of the English language, it is not possible to find sources that offer high quality free online simulation games especially designed for the EFL classroom. Despite the lack of simulation games aimed at EFL teaching, there is a great variety of games which have not been made for educational purposes, but can be also used by teachers in the English classroom. Nevertheless, they must be adapted in order to work as successful tools for the acquisition of the English language. When computer games are used appropriately, whether they are educational or not, they can bear significant benefits for the EFL classroom.

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2.3.2. The Contributions of Computer Games to EFL Teaching Similarly to the use of drama techniques and educational games, the incorporation of ICT in the classroom can serve as a helpful means to make teaching and learning activities effective (Ilter, 2009). Digital games are one of the tools that these new technologies offer in benefit of the education of young generations. Researchers have found that computer games have a significant educational value which teachers can take advantage of when educating the new generations of students, as they stimulate learning (BBC News, 2002). In that sense, computer games as educational tools have significant benefits. First of all, they represent an effective complement for the English lessons and facilitate the development of students’ communicative competence. In addition, they contribute to the generation of a positive affective environment and foster educatees’ motivation and creativity. As it was mentioned before, in order to have a well-balanced curriculum for the English class, educators should include a variety of methods and techniques that fulfill students’ educational needs. By doing so, teachers can make possible that all students have the chance to learn the way they feel more comfortable with, opposing the traditional approach to teaching, which Peshette claims to be “an aural learning style that suits a very few students” (Peshette and Thornburg, 2006, p.1). In addition, a study carried out by Binnur Genç Ilter (2009) revealed that EFL students are interested in using technology and want their teachers to incorporate it in their classrooms. For that reason, it is essential to integrate ICT into the classroom practice, as they provide the teacher with new tools to complement the EFL lessons, making them more dynamic and productive (Vera, 2008). According to Marc Prensky (2001a), digital games are one of the resources that ICT can offer in benefit of students’ learning. While Thornburg claims that

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using them can be very troublesome, Peshette states that, in contrast to the traditional techniques for teaching the language, computer games provide teachers with interesting activities that can suit most educatees, as a good educational computer game gives students the chance to interact with learning in a multisensory environment, including a variety of resources (Peshette & Thornburg, 2006). In this sense, and as supported for most of the abovementioned authors, the implementation of computer games in the EFL classroom helps to complement the curriculum to transform it into an educational program that suits every student’s learning style. Another benefit of using digital games as part of the teaching praxis is that they contribute to the development of students’ communicative competence (García-Carbonell et al., 2001). Through the incorporation of digital games into the teaching practice, educators can transform the traditional classroom to provide students with more flexibility and opportunities to communicate. In this regard, Amparo García-Carbonell et al. (2001) state that “simulation and gaming is a way of ‘declassrooming the classroom,’ thereby giving impulse to real-world communication” (p.485). In this way, interactions become more meaningful, as they resemble the use of the language in real life situations. Additionally, this aspect of ‘declassrooming the classroom’ is linked with the process of innovation which has been claimed by several authors as a key factor for the improvement of students’ learning. Furthermore, Richard Sandford et al. (2006) claim that playing computer games in the EFL classroom can also help students develop competencies to communicate effectively in the current century. As a result, the use of computer games for acquiring the English language represents a beneficial initiative for teachers to incorporate in the EFL classroom.

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Not only does the use of technology in the EFL classroom help students in the development of the communicative competence, but also facilitates generating a low-anxiety learning environment. García Carbonell et al. (2001) state that when using computer games and simulations “negative affective filter variables such as anxiety and stress decrease” (p. 488). Additionally, the more horizontal social organization produced within the classroom increases students’ participation, enabling them to feel proud of their involvement and therefore increasing their confidence and self-esteem (Hinostroza et al., 2000). Furthermore, the use of games and simulations in the classroom can provide an environment in which students “can perform tasks without facing the real-world consequences of failure,” which influences their confidence positively (Garris et al., 2002, p. 453). In this regard, Prensky (2001a) states that games give players enjoyment and pleasure through its element of fun, and ego gratification through the win states a player can achieve. In this way, the use of computer games into the teaching practice can positively influence the learning environment, decreasing negative factors such as anxiety, stress and low self-esteem. As well as drama techniques and games, the use of technology in the classroom contributes to increasing students’ motivation, creating a learning environment that fosters creativity and imagination. According to Ilter (2009), the use of these new technologies provides meaningful and interesting situations for learning the language, which can clearly motivate educatees. Furthermore, through the appropriate use of technology educators can help students reach the language and academic objectives proposed (Richard-Amato, 2003). In the specific case of digital games, they involve students actively providing them with control over the actions occurring in the game, which in turn increases their motivation and improves their learning (Garris et al., 2002). Similarly, Marc Prensky (2001a) states that playing games provides users

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with motivation, as they contain goals a player has to achieve. Consequently, the use of games in the EFL classroom can be a great motivator for students. Regarding creativity, the results shown by the Enlaces program in relation to the impact of the implementation of ICT into the Chilean education system point out that “between 1993 and 1999 … there was growth in students' creativity, capacity for gaining knowledge about the world and reading comprehension levels” (Hinostroza et al, 2000, p.7). In the same way, computer games can foster students’ creativity and imagination. Marc Prensky (2001a) stresses the use of games as a learning tool in relation to creativity. He claims that games provide students with opportunities to develop their creativity through problem-solving situations. As a result of incorporating these non-traditional techniques for teaching the language, educatees become active, creative and more motivated learners. The abovementioned benefits place digital games and virtual simulations at a privileged position among other techniques and strategies for teaching English as a foreign language. For that reason, this paper attempts to encourage educators to incorporate computer games into their teaching praxis. However, in order to effectively implement them, teachers do not only need to bear in mind their benefits, but also their difficulties or disadvantages. Being aware of the difficulties digital games may have, teachers can prevent and control possible problems. 2.3.3. Considerations of Teaching using Computer Games As pointed out previously, digital games represent beneficial techniques to be implemented by EFL teachers to complement their lessons in order to have a well-balanced curriculum and generate a positive learning environment which facilitates the acquisition of the

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English language. Nevertheless, it is not correct to think that all games are successful as learning tools. Diana Oblinger (2006), Executive Director of Higher Education for Microsoft Corporation, states that “not all games are effective, nor are all games educational. Similarly, not all games are good for all learners or for all learning outcomes” (p. 4). In this sense, it is necessary for teachers to select appropriately the computer games to be incorporated in the EFL classroom and carefully plan their implementation. In addition, Oblinger (2006) gives some recommendations that educators should bear in mind before incorporating games and simulations into the English lessons. Firstly, the author states that games’ value must be assessed using rubrics and evaluation strategies that demonstrate whether a game will contribute to students’ learning process or not. Secondly, she claims that the way in which games are used is also relevant, as “use is not synonymous with integration” (p. 4). The mere use of games may not represent an effective practice for obtaining the benefits that digital games can have. In this sense, this ‘use’ must be accompanied by a process of innovation that actually incorporates computer games into the classroom practice in order to contribute to learning. In this regard, Oblinger affirms that “using games … in education will require ‘unlearning’ many unconscious beliefs, assumptions, and values about teaching and learning, as well as the structure of education” (p. 5). This aspect that Oblinger claims has to do with the process of innovation that the education sector needs to generate in order to contribute to resolving its crisis (Brunner, 2000; Coll et al., 2008; Hargreaves, 2003; Pérez Tornero, 2000; and Rueda, 2007). In this sense, this ‘unlearning’ process that Oblinger (2006) mentions means that not only should new tools be integrated in the classrooms, but also new methodologies for teaching the language.

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Furthermore, Oblinger (2006) affirms that, when games are integrated, educators ought to understand the context in which they are incorporated. This understanding involves knowing how the games are associated with the subject, the instructional strategies to be used, every student’s learning style, and the educational objectives to be achieved. Similarly, educators should receive guidance on the way in which games can be integrated effectively into the classroom practice, otherwise, “without this, games will continue to be only used by teachers who are themselves games players” (McFarlane, Sparrowhawk & Heald, 2002 p. 30). In this sense, integrating computer games into EFL teaching does not only have to do with bringing them to the classroom, teachers should receive the necessary information which enables them to take the best from games and use it to improve educatees’ learning. As a conclusion, the use of computer games in EFL teaching can be a successful technique to improve students’ acquisition of the English language if the implementation is carefully planned according to the context in which games will be used. When the necessary considerations are taken into account, computer games can be great tools for teaching and can be incorporated along with other educational tools to offer a motivational environment for practicing the language. For this reason, the following chapter proposes a way of integrating drama techniques and educational non-digital games into a game-based digital platform to provide teachers and students with ICT resources for complementing the EFL lessons.

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CHAPTER THREE: Integrating Drama Techniques, Games and ICT into the EFL Classroom

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Integrating Drama Techniques, Games and ICT into the EFL Classroom As stated before, the lack of innovative techniques and resources in the teaching of English as a foreign language is an issue which must be solved. In the previous chapter, three techniques were proposed for its integration in the EFL classroom: drama techniques, traditional games and computer games. For that reason, this paper proposes the development of an online computer game, as a way of complementing teachers’ methodology. Therefore, this chapter presents the software design in terms of teaching methodology, curriculum, and interface and playability. In this way, three sub-chapters will be presented. The first sub-chapter deals with the incorporation of the abovementioned techniques, and the reasons behind the curricular integration in the EFL classroom. The second sub-chapter deals with the software’s EFL curriculum, the contents for the curricular integration, and the educational objectives. Finally, the third sub-chapter deals with the software’s interface and playability. 3.1. Software Teaching Methodology As it was mentioned earlier in this paper, the methodologies used to teach English as a foreign language need to be reconsidered. Not only the methods for teaching the language are outdated, but also the tools. This situation calls for a transformation in the way students are being educated in the EFL classroom; therefore, innovation must occur. With the purpose of contributing to the resolution of this crisis, this paper proposes the integration of ICT into the EFL classroom as a means for promoting innovation within the EFL area. In this sense, the use of these technologies will serve as a platform to incorporate two additional techniques to the teaching of the English language: drama techniques and games. This

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proposal also involves the integration of other areas of the school curriculum which will be named later; in this way, CBI is also incorporated. The integration of various school subjects and drama techniques and games is intended to contribute to students’ acquisition of the English language in the NB2 EFL classroom. Consequently, this sub-chapter will deal with the integration of the abovementioned techniques and other school subjects. The first section will explain the incorporation of drama techniques, games and ICT into the teaching of English in the NB2 Chilean classrooms. Then, the second section will explicate how CBI will be incorporated in this proposal and which school subjects will be used. Both sections seek to acquaint the reader with the two types of integration that will be part of the educational proposal. 3.1.1. Integration of drama techniques and games through an online platform As stated throughout this paper, integrating diverse techniques into the teaching praxis is essential to meet students’ needs. For that reason, the proposal presented in this paper encourages the use of these three techniques as a way of complementing EFL teachers’ methodology: the use of drama activities, educational games and ICT. In chapters ‘Drama Techniques in EFL Teaching’, ‘Educational Games in EFL Teaching’ and ‘Online Computer Games in EFL Teaching’, the benefits of each technique are mentioned. When talking about EFL teaching, these three techniques help teachers complement their lessons, support students in the development of the communicative competence, lower the affective filter, and increase students’ creativity and motivation. Consequently, they can be implemented jointly in the pursuit of the abovementioned objectives.

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As a way of integrating drama techniques, educational games and ICT into the EFL classroom, this paper proposes the creation of an online virtual world in which students can experience different situations which simulate real-world interactions. The development of a simulation game for the EFL classroom allows the integration of the three techniques presented in this paper in the teaching of English. The reasons are simple: firstly, simulations correspond to a type of drama activities (Gaudart, 1990); secondly, the simulation will take the form of a game, as it will be a simulation game; and finally, it will be presented in an online platform. Consequently, drama techniques, games and ICT will be integrated to generate an educational resource for its use in the EFL classroom. 3.1.2. Curricular Integration and EFL Teaching The integration of various subjects of the school curriculum is a matter which the MINEDUC has been promoting within the educational establishments of the country. On the occasion of the 2011 curricular adjustment, in a Ministry release about the adjustment and the new Planes y Programas de Estudio (Plans and Programs of Study in English), the MINEDUC (n.d.) recommended the integration of diverse school subjects into different occasional activities throughout the year. In this way, the proposal presented in this paper intends to follow the MINEDUC’s recommendation and integrate four of the school subjects into the teaching of English as a foreign language. The approach that will be used in the integration of contents from other areas to the EFL classroom corresponds to the Content-Based Instruction approach, which was described in the first chapter of this paper. As it was stated before, the use of content helps in the contextualization of the language, which contributes to students’ effective acquisition. Therefore,

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the subject-matters taken from the areas of physical education, artistic education, mathematics, science and social sciences will contribute to providing students with opportunities to receive meaningful input and experience language in significant situations. As it can be seen, the concern for carrying out curricular integration is not only part of the local educational debate, but also part of the global discussion about the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. For that reason, it becomes essential to think of curricular integration when generating new educational proposals which intend to contribute to students’ acquisition of the English language. In this sense, the following sub-chapter presents the EFL curriculum that underlies the development of the educational proposal of this paper, determining the points of coincidence with the curricula from various school subjects. 3.2. Software Curriculum Having determined the teaching methodology that will be used in the computer software, it is now time to define the language contents on which the game will be based. Therefore, this sub-chapter has been divided into three sections: NB2 EFL Curriculum Contents, Curricular Integration in the EFL Classroom, and Fundamental Objectives and Transversal Fundamental Objectives. The first section presents the most common contents used in the teaching of English to young learners. Then, the second section deals with the integration of varied school subjects into the EFL classroom. Finally, the third section presents the Fundamental Objectives (FO) and Transversal Fundamental Objectives (TFO) to which achievement the computer game attempts to contribute.

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3.2.1. NB2 EFL Curriculum Contents With the purpose of selecting the curriculum to be covered by the activities of the software program proposed in this paper, a brief research on the common contents in the teaching of first and second year EFL students was carried out. However, the number of publicaccess EFL curricula is quite limited which represents a significant factor in the definition of sources to be consulted. The first source is the English course for beginners Happy Street published by Oxford University Press. The reason why it was considered in the research lies on the fact that it is an English course for beginners and is aimed at children who already know how to write in their own mother tongue, which is the case of NB2 students. The course contains two levels, which were taken as a reference for the selection of contents. The second and third sources correspond to the pilot curriculum developed by the Ministry of Education of Cyprus, and the curriculum from the Lebanese Ministry of Education. Both curricula were considered in this research as these are some of the few countries which information about the EFL curriculum is of public-domain, and they were designed for an educational system in which English is taught as a foreign language. Examples from South American countries or other countries in which English is taught as an FL were not found; therefore, Cyprus and Lebanon were the most similar realities. On the one hand, the Cypriot curriculum provides educators with a content guide of a six-year EFL course based on language functions. The first two courses, which correspond to the first two years of English, were kept in mind in the content selection. On the other hand, the Lebanese curriculum offers an English language program for elementary and secondary education based on topics. Similarly,

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the first two courses of this source were taken into consideration in the process of content selection. The fourth source is the British Council’s educational website LearnEnglish Kids (www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglishkids). It was considered in the research as it is a website which offers free online educational computer games and activities for children who are learning English as a second or foreign language. Furthermore, the contents covered in the games and activities appear in many textbooks and educational programs for EFL teaching (British Council, n.d.). Finally, the fifth source is the website English4Kids (www.english4kids.com), which offers course lessons for kids and beginners. This website mainly focuses on ESL teaching; however, it was considered in the content selection process as it contains a three-year course for beginners which topics are aimed at children. The contents of the five sources were compared in order to know which of them are the most common in the teaching of young EFL learners. Firstly, the content-themes of Body Parts, Animals, The Family and Classroom Objects are present in all the sources considered in this research (see Table 1). Secondly, the content-themes of Numbers, Colors, Likes and Dislikes, The Weather, My House and Food appeared in four of the sources consulted (see Table 2). Thirdly, the content-themes of Greetings, Self-introduction, Object Location, The Alphabet, Daily Routines, and Toys feature in three of the sources mentioned (see Table 3). Finally, the content-themes of Weekly Activities, Shapes, I can – I can’t, Demonstrative Pronouns, Identifying People, Jobs, Transports, Countries, Clothes, How much is it?, Sports, Birthday

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Wishes, Christmas Wishes and Possessives are present in only two of the sources consulted in this research (see Table 4). Table 1 Content-themes Present in All the Sources Consulted Content-Themes Body Parts Animals The Family Classroom Objects

Happy Street X X X X

Cypriot Curriculum X X X X

Lebanese Curriculum X X X X

British Council X X X X

English4Kids

British Council X X

English4Kids

X X X

X

X X X X

Table 2 Content-themes Present in Four of the Sources Consulted Content-Themes Numbers Colors Likes and Dislikes The Weather My House Food

Happy Street X X X

Cypriot Curriculum X X X

X X X

X

Lebanese Curriculum

X X X X

X X X

X

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Table 3 Content-themes Present in Three of the Sources Consulted Content-Themes Greetings Self-introduction Object Location The Alphabet Daily Routines Toys

Happy Street X X X X X X

Cypriot Curriculum X X X

Lebanese Curriculum

X

British Council

X X X

English4Kids X X X X X

Table 4 Content-themes Present in Two of the Sources Consulted Content-Themes Weekly Activities Shapes Can – Can’t Demonstrative Pronouns Identifying People Jobs Transports Countries Clothes How Much is it? Sports Birthday Wishes Christmas Wishes Possessives

Happy Street X

Cypriot Curriculum

Lebanese Curriculum

British Council

X X

X X X

X

X X X X X X

X

X X X

English4Kids

X

X X X X X X X

X X X

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As it can be concluded from the above tables, the following content-themes were selected to be part of the contents of the educational simulation game since they are present in the majority of the sources consulted: Body Parts, Animals, The Family, Classroom Objects, Numbers, Colors, Likes and Dislikes, The Weather, My House, Food, Greetings, Selfintroduction, Object Location, The Alphabet, Daily Routines, and Toys. However, after selecting the themes, it is necessary to define the specific contents that the software will cover in order to generate the language objectives. For this reason, three of the abovementioned sources were consulted, as their curriculum is divided in levels or years of study: Happy Street, the Crypiot curriculum, and English4Kids. The Lebanese curriculum was not considered in this table, as it does not specify the contents for each theme. The following table shows the specific contents for each theme and the year in which the contents are covered. Table 5 Specific Language Contents for Each Theme Theme Selfintroduction

Greetings

Source Happy Street Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids Happy Street

English4Kids

Specific Contents 1st year: What’s your name?, my name is ______. 1st and 2nd year: I’m + name. My name is ____. What’s your name? 1st year: what’s your name?, my name is ______. 1st year: Hello, hi, how are you?, fine, thanks, thank you, good bye, bye, see you 1st year: Hello! Goodbye! 2nd year: Good morning! Hi! Hello! Good bye! 1st year: Hello, Hi, Goodbye.

Happy Street

1st year: numbers, one, two, three, 2nd year: numbers

Cypriot Curriculum

Numbers

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Cypriot Curriculum

English4Kids Classroom Objects

Happy Street Cypriot Curriculum

English4Kids

Colors

Happy Street Cypriot Curriculum

English4Kids

Toys

Happy Street

Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids

Food

Happy Street

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four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, up to one hundred eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. 1st year: One, two, three, four, five. 2nd year: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. 1st year: one, two, three, four, five, six, 2nd year: numbers seven, eight, nine, ten. up to one hundred. 1st year: plural s, what’s, it’s, pencil, pen, rubber, ruler, pencil-case, book, scissors, glue, calculator, what’s this?, a. 1st year: What’s this? It’s a book, pen, 2nd year: What’s pencil, ruler. this? It’s a book, pen, pencil, ruler, pencil case, sharpener, board, picture. nd 2 year: what’s in your school bag?, there is, sharpener, pencil box, book, what’s in the pencil box?, pen, pencil, ruler, eraser, a, an, what’s this?, it’s a… 1st year: Red, blue, green, yellow, black, brown, orange, pink, white, purple. 1st year: What color is it? Blue, red, 2nd year: It’s blue / yellow, green. red / yellow / green My cat is black/yellow/brown / grey / white / black / pink / orange. st 1 year: colours, what colour is it?, it’s red/ yellow/ green/ blue/ white/ black, pink, purple, brown, it’s a + color + noun, and the letters of the alphabet. 1st year: it’s, is, what’s, this, a, car, doll, robot, train, lorry, dinosaur, rocket, red, white, yellow, blue, brown, ball, kite, plane, boat. ----2nd year: my toys, teddy bear, balloon, kite, bicycle, car, blocks, drum, ball, train, plane, a. Where is my _______? It’s on the chair. 1st year: apple, orange, cake, pear, 2nd year: likes, banana, ice cream, I like, I don’t like. doesn’t, pizzas, steak, pasta, biscuits, chocolate, mushrooms, olives, peppers, she, he.

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The House

Happy Street

Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids Object Location

Body parts

Happy Street Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids Happy Street Cypriot Curriculum

English4Kids

The Alphabet

Happy Street Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids

The Family

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1st year: I like eggs/ bread/ cheese/ milk/ apples/ bananas. 1st year: fruits, what fruits do you like?, bananas, pear, orange, apple, and peach; I like ______; what color is the _____?; it’s a + color + fruit; this is a _____.

2nd year: food, I want something to eat, ice cream, sandwich, pizza, cake, hamburger, ice cream, bread, egg, chocolate, hot dog. I want an ice cream. I like ice cream. st 1 year: it’s, what’s this? table, chair, bookcase, cupboard, bed, wardrobe, kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, bedroom, rug, fireplace, sofa, vase, painting, house, flat. 2nd year: This is my house. This is the kitchen/ bedroom/ bathroom/ living room. ----1st year: they’re, where’s, under, in, on. 1st and 2nd year: Where’s the _____? It’s on/in _______. 2nd year: Where is my _______? It’s on the ______. 1st year: Are, is, plural s, ‘s (verb to be), foot, feet, leg(s), body, arm(s), hand(s), head, hair, eye(s) 1st year: head, feet, hands, body 2nd year: my head/ feet/ hands/ body / face / hair / eyes / ears / fingers / tummy / toes. 1st year: head, eye, ear, mouth, face, nose, hair. This is my _____. I have + numbers + body parts. Arms, body, hands, feet, legs. 2nd year: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, how do you spell?, letter. -----------1st year: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z. 2nd year: mum, dad, brother, sister, grandpa, grandma, uncle, auntie, cousin 1st year: this is my mum, dad, sister, 2nd year: This is my brother, grandma, grandpa. mother, father, sister, brother. 2nd year: my family, family members. How many people are in your family? There are ______ people in my family. Father, mother, brother, sister, grandpa, grandma. This is my + family member. Family member + is _______ years old.

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Happy Street

Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids

Animals

Happy Street

Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids

Daily Routines

Happy Street

Cypriot Curriculum English4Kids The Weather

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1st year: I like, I don’t like, apples, 2nd year: She likes, oranges, cake, pears, bananas, ice he likes, she doesn’t cream. like, he doesn’t like, pizzas, steak, pasta, biscuits, chocolate, mushrooms, olives, peppers. st 1 year: I like…, eggs, bread, cheese/ 2nd year: I like…, I milk/ apples/ bananas. don’t like… 1st year: what fruits do you like?, I like. 2nd year: I like, what animal do you like? Do you like _____? Yes, I do. No, I don’t. 2nd year: cat, dog, dinosaur, penguin, monkey, tiger, snake, lion, elephant, hippo, giraffe, frog, kangaroo, swan, chicken, tortoise, rat, dolphin. 1st year: my cat is black/yellow/brown. 2nd year: my cat is big/small. nd 2 year: animals, what’s your favourite animal?, what animal do you like?, dog, pig, cat, mouse, chicken, duck, sheep, goat, cow, horse. I like ________. Do you like _____? Yes, I do. No, I don’t. 2nd year: have breakfast, get up, have a shower, go to school, do my homework, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, go to bed. ------2nd year: today, it’s, is, today, hot, sunny, to rain, to snow, foggy, cloudy, cold, what’s the weather like? ---2nd year: What’s the weather like today?, it’s windy, it’s rainy, it’s sunny, it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s cloudy, it’s dry, it’s wet. It’s rainy and wet. What’s the weather like in _______ today? It’s cloudy and rainy in ______. What’s the weather like in your town/city today?

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As it can be seen, the specific language contents from each source are compatible and can be joined to structure the EFL curriculum for first and second year students, which in the case of this paper’s proposal correspond to third and fourth grade students. The contents are divided into first year and second year, according to the sources consulted. However, the year in which the activities will be carried out will depend on the order of the contents from the school’s EFL curriculum. Many of the contents are present in both years of study, which makes the NB2 EFL program similar to the NB2 programs from the school subjects selected for the CBI. These subjects, and the points of coincidence of their programs with the EFL curriculum, will be presented in the following section. 3.2.2. Curricular Integration in the EFL Classroom Having defined the themes and specific language curriculum the software will cover, it is essential to define the parts of the curriculum from the school scubjects to be integrated in the EFL classroom. For this reason, the EFL contents presented earlier were compared to the ones from the NB2 programs for the subjects of science, social sciences, mathematics, artistic education and physical education in order to come up with the compatible aspects between the EFL curriculum and the other school areas. In this way, the subject matters to be incorporated in the software activities were selected according to their compatibility with the ones presented as part of this software’s EFL curriculum. The number of matters selected are in accordance to each subject’s temporal dedication in the school curriculum. Therefore, in the subjects of Mathematics and Understanding of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment, they correspond to four per each subject; while in the subjects of Artistic Education and Physical Education, correspond to two. Each one is connected

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to various language contents and to one of the sample activities that will be presented in the following sub-chapter. Most of them are transversal, featuring in many of the educational activities. Below, there are four tables that show the subject-matters from each school area and its connection to the EFL curriculum and the sample educational activities presented in the following sub-chapter. Table 5 Compatible Contents from Mathematics Obligatory Minimum Contents (CMO)

EFL Contents

The use of bar charts to select and organize data. (act. 1)

Self-introduction, the alphabet, toys, likes and dislikes, and numbers.

Multiplication and division problems which contribute to the awareness of the environment. (act. 2)

The family, greetings, colors, numbers and food.

The use of numbers in diverse situations such as communicating results. (act. 3)

Greetings, classroom objects, colors and numbers.

Quantity and measurement estimation and comparison problems which contribute to increase students’ knowledge in relation to the environment, particularly regarding the use of money and measurement units of common use. (act. 4)

The house, numbers, the family and colors.

Note: The Obligatory Minimun Contents (CMO) presented in this table come from the Program of Study for the subject of Mathematics for NB2.

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Table 6 Compatible Contents from Understanding of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment Obligatory Minimum Contents (CMO)

EFL Contents

Location of Chilean aboriginal cultures, and main characteristics of their life style. (act. 5)

The family, daily routines and food.

Recognition of the components of the Solar System and identification of our galaxy. (act. 6)

Self-introduction, colors, the alphabet and object location.

Description of the main components of nomadic and sedentary peoples’ culture, especially regarding housing, clothing and food. (act. 7)

The house, numbers.

Groups of animals according to own criteria and simple biological categories (quadruped-biped; vertebrate-invertebrate; aquatic-terrestrial; herbivorous-carnivorous). (act. 8)

Self-introduction, body parts, animals, daily routines and food.

object

location,

food

and

Note: The Obligatory Minimun Contents (CMO) presented in this table come from the Program of Study for the subject of Understanding of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment for NB2.

Table 7 Compatible Contents from Artistic Education Obligatory Minimum Contents (CMO)

EFL Contents

Observation and appreciation of lines, colors, shapes, textures, spaces and movements in the nature and in sculptural and pictorial expression. (act. 9)

Colors, numbers, animals, likes and dislikes, and food.

Expression through imitative dances. (act. 10)

Self-introduction, greetings, colors, the alphabet, body parts, animals and numbers.

Note: The Obligatory Minimun Contents (CMO) presented in this table come from the Program of Study for the subject of Artistic Education for NB2.

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Table 8 Compatible Contents from Physical Education Obligatory Minimum Contents (CMO)

EFL Contents

Individual and collective pre-sports activities. (act. 11)

Body parts, object location, toys, food and classroom objects.

Regional folk dances. (act. 12)

Body parts, likes and dislikes, the family and numbers.

Note: The Obligatory Minimun Contents (CMO) presented in this table come from the Program of Study for the subject of Physical Education for NB2.

As it can be noted, most of the EFL themes that resulted from the research can be joined to the contents from the integrated subjects. The theme The Weather will be used as a transversal content, as instead of being a single activity, students will deal with it every occasion in which they play the game. The next sub-chapter explains in more detail the role that the topic The Weather will play in the virtual experience. Having defined the contents which the computer software will involve, it is essential to establish the educational objectives of the curriculum for the design. For that reason, the following section expounds the Fundamental Objectives and the Transversal Fundamental Objectives that are part of the educational proposal presented in this paper. 3.2.3. Fundamental Objectives and Transversal Fundamental Objectives Determining the educational objectives becomes essential in the development of any didactic proposal. For that reason, this section intends to acquaint the reader with the objectives that are part of the educational program which the computer game is based on. While the Fundamental Objectives were determined in accordance to the language contents presented

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earlier, the Transversal Fundamental Objectives correspond to the ones established by the MINEDUC in the Programs of Study for NB2. a. Fundamental Objectives The Fundamental Objectives proposed for the educational software are divided into two categories: receptive skills and productive skills. In the case of productive skills, only the writing is included as the incorporation of speaking requires a type of software that is capable of analyzing human speech. Therefore, the skills involved in the educational software are the following: listening, reading and writing. Receptive skills (Listening and Reading) 

To recognize oral and written statements to greet people and introduce oneself.



To identify the numbers between 1 and 100 in oral and written statements.



To understand, in oral and written form, the statements “who’s this?”, “what’s this?”, “what…is this?” and “is it…?” in varied situations.



To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to colors, classroom objects, food, toys, animals, the house, the weather, body parts and the family.



To understand oral and written statements which indicate and ask for people’s likes and dislikes.



To recognize the location of an object through oral and written statements which use the prepositions of place “in”, “on” and “under”.

Drama Techniques, Games and ICT in Chilean NB2 EFL Teaching 

To differentiate the letters of the alphabet when listened.



To identify daily routines and activities in oral and written statements.

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Productive skills (Only Writing) 

To produce written statements to greet people and introduce oneself.



To produce written statements to communicate information using the numbers between 1 and 100.



To produce written statements to name diverse objects using the structure “it’s”.



To produce answers to yes/no questions by using “yes, it is” and “no, it isn’t”.



To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to colors, classroom objects, food, toys, animals, the house, the weather, body parts and the family.



To produce written statements to express and ask for likes and dislikes.



To produce written statements which indicate the location of an object using the prepositions of place “in”, “on” and “under”.



To produce written statements to name and talk about daily routines and activities.



To produce written words following the spelling listened.

The educational activities presented in the following sub-chapter are intended to contribute to the achievement of the abovementioned language objectives. However, it must not

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be thought that these objectives will be achieved by the mere use of the game. It is necessary to bear in mind that the incorporation of the computer game proposed should be accompanied by more opportunities in which students can practice the language. As it was mentioned in the first chapter of this paper, educators should include a variety of resources when teaching the language; this educational proposal intends to be one of the resources EFL educators use to create learning environments in which students can acquire the English language. In this sense, the use of the computer game proposed represents a complement for the EFL lessons. b. Transversal Fundamental Objectives Transversal Fundamental Objectives (TFO) have been also incorporated to this didactic proposal and these correspond to: 

To value English language as a useful communication tool for the current society.



To develop attitudes of respect and appraisal towards the differences between people.



To develop the ability to work collaboratively.



To increase their abilities to solve simple daily life problems, wondering about daily phenomena, investigating possible answers, searching the appropriate information and developing creativity and initiative.



To participate actively in activities in which all students are involved, developing attitudes of collaboration and appraisal towards their classmates’ contributions.



To foster the sense of and appraise for local, regional and national identity.

The TFO mentioned in this list belong to the three categories presented by the MINEDUC in the NB2 curriculum. These categories are: ethical formation, personal growth and

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self-affirmation, and the individual and the environment. In this way, through the inclusion of these TFO, the educational proposal of this paper intends to support students’ in their integral personal development. 3.3. Software Interface and Playability The previous sub-chapters have dealt with the aspects of the game that are mainly focused on education. However, when designing a game, there are two more aspects that need to be considered: interface and playability. For that reason, the following sections will deal with these two aspects. The first section will give a definition for the concept of interface, depicting later three elements: devices required, access and site load. Then, the second section will provide the reader with a definition for the term playability, describing later three components: avatars, life in the virtual city, and activities proposed. 3.3.1. Interface The interface is an element that must be considered in the design of software programs, whether it is a commercial or an educational one. In this sense, the concept of interface must be explained in order to know the elements which are part of it. According to Clayton Lewis and John Rieman (1993), the basic user interface includes the information channels through which the user and the computer communicate. It involves menus, windows, and devices such as the keyboard and the mouse, among other objects. Below, there is a description of the game’s interface, focusing on three main aspects: devices required, access, and site load. Firstly, the devices required to play the game will be the following: a keyboard, a mouse and speakers or earphones. Secondly, teachers and students will have access to the game through any computer connected to the Internet. However, user accounts must be created in order to save

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the changes and the progress made in the game. In the case that two or more students have to work at the same computer, they can create a shared user account. In this way, they employ the same avatar to work together during the EFL lessons in order to complete the missions and activities. Thirdly, the Internet connection speed will not be an obstacle for accessing to and load the game. Therefore, the file size of the game will be small, without reducing the quality of the game. In this way, students will be able to load the game no matter if they are using slow or fast Internet connections. In addition to these aspects, another feature which must be considered is the game’s graphic interface, which represents the esthetic elements of the game. One of the essential attributes the game will have is a user-friendly interface with simple and easy-access menus and buttons. In addition, it will use attracting images and illustrations according to eight to ten yearold children’s likes and interests. Furthermore, the game will be developed in 3D (tridimensional) graphics, in order to provide students with a virtual environment in which they can perceive volume, size and depth, thus experiencing a scenario similar to real life. In short, the game’s interface will not threaten students but motivate them to play. In this sense, complex menus and accesses will be avoided, as they do not contribute to the lowering of the affective filter. The game will have familiar scenarios and objects which connect to educatees’ background knowledge, encouraging them to get involved. Once the interface has caught students’ attention, it is time for playability to motivate them even more. 3.3.2. Playability Playability is a widely use term in the area of gaming. It refers to the properties which describe the experience undergone by the player when playing with a specific game (González,

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Padilla & Gutierrez, 2009). Therefore, the elements that are part of the player’s experience must be considered when designing an educational computer game. In this sense, three main aspects will be discussed in this section: avatars, life in the virtual city, and proposed activities. The first aspect to describe is the avatars. After creating their user accounts, students must customize their virtual avatars through which they will experience the activities contained in the game. In this way, the game has a third-person perspective. Players have the possibility to choose their avatars’ characteristics such as hair, eye and skin color, hair length and style, size and weight, sex, name and clothing. However, students cannot choose the avatars’ age, as all the avatars are pre-set to be 16-year-old students. The age of the avatars was determined to be 16 due to the fact that some of the activities in the software design deal with the teen-labor theme. The Law 19.684 of the Código de Trabajo (work code) specifies the abolition of any type of work for teenagers under the age of 15. In this sense, the age determined for the avatars complies with the law launched by the Chilean National Congress. Consequently, through this aspect, the software program intends to avoid illustrating and approving child labor. After students have created their avatars, they are taken to the first scenario of the game which is their home. Once there, they can customize their family, in terms of number of members, characteristics and names. However, they cannot modify their home immediately. For doing so, they must earn XP points (experience points) and coins with which they can buy objects and products and have their parents’ permission to make the changes wanted. Finally, with their avatars and family created, they can start their life in the virtual city. In this way, the second aspect to describe is the life in the virtual city. Every time students access the game, they enter their virtual home. That will be the first scenario they will

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encounter each time they start playing. Before going out, students must check the weather in order to know which clothes to wear. Therefore, and as explained previously, the weather represents a transversal content in the game. In order to check the weather, students must look through one of the windows to see the sky and people outside. The weather shown will be generated at random by the software. A box with multiple options will appear for students to choose the adjectives which describe the current weather (rainy, sunny, cold, warm, hot, cloudy, snowy, etc). After choosing the adjectives, they have to select the appropriate clothes. If they pick the wrong adjectives or inappropriate clothes, when they go outside they will be either too cold or too hot, so they will have to come home to choose the suitable ones. Once they have got the right choices, they can leave home and start their day. When walking through the city, players will encounter many places to which they can access. The total number of places is sixteen: the local school, two neighborhoods, the zoo, the sports center, the cultural center, the supermarket, the cinema, the city hall, the city square, the museum and the department, clothing, pet, stationery, toy and hardware stores (see Figure 1). Below, there are two images which illustrate how the map of the city will look like (see Figure 2 and 3). Most of the places are linked to some of the activities, except for the city square and hall. When students access to the city square, they can get to know people, buy candies (cotton candy, glace apples, etc.), listen to organ grinders, and watch jugglers and human statues. In addition, when players access to the city hall, they can get a city map, tickets for a show, and information about the city. They can also meet the mayor, who will offer them a city tour.

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1. School 2. Neighborhood 1 3. Neighborhood 2 4. Zoo 5. Sports Center

6. Cultural Center 7. Department Store 8. Clothing Store 9. Pet Store 10. Stationery Store

11. Toy Store 12. Hardware Store 13. City Square 14. Supermarket 15. Cinema

Figure 1. Graphic representation of the city. Created using the software program Google SketchUp.

Figure 2. Graphic representation of the hardware store and the museum. Created using the software program Google SketchUp

16. City Hall 17. Museum

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Figure 3. Graphic representation of the clothing store, toy store, stationery store and pet store. Created using the software program Google SketchUp.

Another characteristic of students’ life in the virtual city has to do with relationships. Players, through their avatars, can chat with other game users by using the conversation box. Only English is allowed. If students write a word in Spanish, they will be immediately alerted and will not be able to submit their phrase or word. Players can also add friends to their virtual community using the Friend Me button which will appear above the avatars’ heads. In that way, students can contact their friends later, without having to look for them through the city. As mentioned before, players can buy or obtain diverse objects using XP points (experience points) or coins, which they can get through playing. The activities in the game give either points or coins. In the case of XP points, they help students unlock elements such as permissions given by their parents, presents, prizes, among others. Every time players have unlocked an element, it will appear on their experience box. In the case of coins, students can use them to buy diverse products in any place of the city (supermarket, clothing store, pet store, etc.). Therefore, they can change their clothes, have a pet, buy a present for a friend or a family

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member, buy sweets and toys, etc. In this way, students are rewarded for every activity they play in the game. Finally, the third aspect to describe corresponds to the proposed activities, which were designed according to the contents to be covered by the game. These represent the core activities which students can play; however, as explained before, there are other experiences that are part of the game which are not necessarily linked to the EFL curriculum presented in the previous chapter. Each of the proposed activities involves some of the contents from the school subjects selected in integration with the vocabulary and grammar from the EFL program. The idea is that students can play each activity the times they need or want, without being restrained to one occasion. In addition, if they do not succeed in the activity, they will not be punished in terms of points or coins; they will still be given the reward they have won. In this sense, students can try again and again until they master the activity. The more they play, the more points or coins they win. The role of the teacher during the play experience is to guide students at the beginning of the activity and to monitor their process. For that reason, before using a specific activity, educators must generate situations to introduce the structures and vocabulary which are necessary for it. In this way, students can have enough input previous to the execution of each activity; otherwise, the play experience will not be successful. In the same manner, when the computer game is implemented in the classroom, the teacher must be the guide and monitor of students’ acquisition process in which the role of the learners is central and their participation active.

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In addition, it is essential to know that these activities and the computer game in general are proposed to be used as a support for the teaching of English. That is to say, it must be complemented with other techniques. This support is expressed through offering students opportunities in which to practice the language in a recreational and dynamic way. In this manner, the computer game design proposed is focused on supporting students in their practice of the English language after the input previously provided by the EFL educators. These opportunities for using the language attempt to contribute to an effective acquisition through situations similar to real life. In relation to this, it is important to bear in mind that the educational objectives determined for each activity, which correspond to the FVO, will not be achieved by the mere integration of the computer game in the EFL classroom. That is to say, the activities of the software only represent one of the means which will contribute to the achievement of the objectives mentioned. In this way, each of the activities is linked to four or five FVO, which accomplishment will be supported through the implementation of the software and the experiences offered in each activity. Table 9 Activity 1

Main Language Objectives

Language Contents

The Pollsters - To differentiate the letters of the alphabet when listened. - To understand oral and written statements which indicate people’s likes and dislikes. - To produce written statements to greet people and ask for people’s likes and dislikes. - To produce written words following the spelling listened. - To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to toys. Greetings: hello, good bye. Self-introduction: what’s your name?, my name is ... The alphabet: all the letters of the alphabet Toys: car, doll, robot, train, lorry, dinosaur, rocket, ball, kite, plane, boat.

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Likes and Dislikes: do you like…?; yes, I do; no, I don’t. Numbers: from one to ten Additional contents: boys, girls, children. Mathematics (3rd and 4th grade): the use of bar charts to select and organize data

Listening, reading and writing. In previous lessons, teachers must introduce the use of bar charts, connecting this content with the area of mathematics. Thus, before playing the game, students must be familiar with employing bar charts to organize numerical information. As a pre-gaming activity, teachers must ask students about their knowledge in relation to polls, encouraging answers regarding their use, the people who take it, etc. Then, teachers must introduce the scenario of the game, telling them they are going to be hired to take a poll about likes and dislikes in terms of toys, asking them to name their favorite ones. Finally, they must encourage students to start playing, guiding them through the process. Description The city toy store wants to carry out a poll about children’s likes and dislikes of Students’ regarding toys. For that reason, they hire students to take the poll. For doing so, they must go around the city, polling children from 6 to 10 years old. In order to Experience know the age of the children they encounter, they must roll over the avatars and a box with their personal information will appear, showing their age. They must greet every person they poll using expressions such as “good morning”, “hello”, etc., and ask their names, which each character will spell orally. Then, questions such as “do you like cars?” must be submitted by students. The answers will be computer-generated according to the personal information of the child polled, which is retrieved from the game’s database. The answers given by the children must be registered in a virtual questionnaire sheet which has a list with all the toys included in the poll. They have to tick the toys each person likes and mark a cross on the ones disliked. Furthermore, they must fill in another section with the avatars’ personal information (name, age and sex). Once they have polled 10 people (5 girls and 5 boys), they must organize their information in the Bar Chart Creator in order to present a bar chart which shows girls’ and boys’ preferences regarding the toys from the list. The last step is to press the Publish button in order to release their results; however, if these do not coincide with the real information, they will be alerted and will have to fix it. Once the results are correct and published, they will be shown in the newspaper of the city. Finally, students are paid with coins for their job.

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Table 10 Activity 2 Main Language Objectives

Language Contents

CrossCurricular Contents Skills

Party at my Place! - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to food and the family. - To identify the numbers between 1 and 100 in oral and written statements. - To understand oral and written statements which indicate people’s likes and dislikes. Greetings: hello, hi, how are you?, fine, thanks. Numbers: from one to one hundred Likes and Dislikes: she likes, he likes, she doesn’t like, he doesn’t like. The family: mum, dad, brother, sister, grandpa, grandma, uncle, auntie, cousin Food: pizza, steak, pasta, biscuits, chocolate, mushrooms, olives, peppers, apple, orange, cake, pear, banana, ice cream, eggs, bread, cheese, milk, peach, sandwich, hamburger, hot dog. Additional contents: cookies, juice, soda, water, coffee, tea, chips; ‘s for possession (“Catalina’s dad”). Mathematics (3rd and 4th grade): multiplication and division problems which contribute to the awareness of the environment Listening and reading.

Instructions In previous lessons, teachers must give students multiplication and division problems similar to the ones employed in the game, using the measurements units for the of liters and kilos (grams). Teacher As a pre-gaming activity, teachers must encourage students to talk about family parties and parties in general. Then, they must introduce learners to the situation they will experience in the game, telling them they are going to have a family party at their virtual home. Description Students are going to have a family party at home. Their virtual parents ask them to help with the cocktail, giving them a list with the family members’ likes and dislikes. They must serve the food according to what the guests like, as they will not eat what they do not like. Students must calculate how each food or drink item must be divided for being enough for all the guests, as every person must eat equally. Players must serve the food quickly; otherwise, visitors will get tired, stop dancing or talking, sit down, and even more, leave the party. If all guests have stayed until the end of the party, students win the challenge, receiving XP points.

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Table 11 Activity 3 Main Language Objectives

Language Contents

CrossCurricular Contents Skills

My Part-time Job - To recognize oral and written statements to greet people and introduce oneself. - To recognize, in oral and written form, the numbers between 1 and 20 and vocabulary related to colors and classroom objects. - To produce written statements to greet people and introduce oneself. - To produce written statements to communicate information using the numbers between 1 and 100. Greetings: good morning, hi, hello, good bye., thank you. Classroom Objects: pencil, pen, rubber, ruler, pencil-case, book, scissors, glue, calculator, sharpener, school bag, pencil box, eraser. Colors: red, blue, green, yellow, black, brown, orange, pink, white, purple. Numbers: from one to one hundred Additional contents: good afternoon; I want … Mathematics (3rd and 4th grade): the use of numbers in diverse situations such as communicating results. Listening, reading and writing.

Instructions In previous lessons, teachers must encourage students to practice the numbers from 1 to 100 in written words. for the As a pre-gaming activity, teachers must motivate students to talk about stationery Teacher store and what they sell. Then, they must tell learners they will have to replace one of the stationery store’s workers, who is sick. Finally, students start the game. Description One of the workers of the city’s stationery store is sick. Therefore, the owner needs to hire a person for one day. For that reason, students are called to replace the sick worker. They will have to serve clients as quickly as they can; otherwise clients will get upset and leave. They will ask for different school supplies through statements such as “I want one notebook and one pen”, and students must pick the objects and put them next to the cash register. The difficulty of the clients’ requests increases as the game progresses. After finding all the products requested, they must calculate the total price. Each product has the price written in words; therefore, students must recognize the digits of the number to enter them into the cash register. Finally, they must tell the clients the total, by writing it in the Total Price box. If it is incorrect, they will have to submit it again. Students must serve at least five clients within ten minutes. Additional clients give them extra XP points. As more than one student will be playing at the same time, the virtual time at which avatars are working will be different, so they will not see each other in the stationery store.

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Table 12 Activity 4 Main Language Objectives

Language Contents

CrossCurricular Content Skills

Mathematical Designers - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related the house and colors. - To identify the numbers between 1 and 100 in oral and written statements. - To produce written statements to communicate information using the numbers between 1 and 100. - To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to the house and colors. The house: table, chair, bookcase, cupboard, bed, wardrobe, kitchen, bathroom, sitting room/ living room, bedroom, rug, sofa, vase, painting, house, lamp. Numbers: from one to one hundred Colors: red, blue, green, yellow, black, brown, orange, pink, white, purple. Additional contents: how many?, how much?, bookshelf, paint, hardware store, furniture store, furniture. Mathematics (3rd and 4th grade): quantity and measurement estimation and comparison problems which contribute to increase students’ knowledge in relation to the environment, particularly regarding the use of money and common use measurement units. Listening, reading and writing.

Instructions In previous lessons, teachers must introduce the measurement units of square meters and liters, familiarizing students with the mathematical operations to be for the used. Teacher As a pre-gaming activity, teachers can encourage students to talk about hardware stores and furniture stores, and what each of them sells. Then, it is recommended to talk about the things they can buy in those stores if they want to remodel their houses. Finally, teachers must tell learners their avatars’ house will be remodeled, and they will be in charge of doing this. Now, students can start the activity. Teachers must guide their process, monitoring how they are doing and supporting them when needed. Description Students’ house will be redesigned. For that reason, their parents ask them to help with the shopping and design. They are given a list with the furniture and accessories their parents want for the house. However, the family’s budget is limited, so students must decide effectively which products to buy. In addition, the list includes some specifications such as the color in which each room needs to be painted, and the location of the objects in the redecorated room. First, they must estimate how much paint will be needed for each room. For doing so, they must calculate the square meters to be painted. Then, they have to make a virtual shopping list and go to the hardware store and furniture store to buy the products. When these are bought, they can start painting. Once finished, they will receive their payment in coins for being in charge of the design.

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Table 13 Activity 5 Main Language Objectives

Language Contents

CrossCurricular Content Skills

Aboriginal Cultures: Mapuche people - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to the family and food. - To identify daily routines and activities in oral and written statements. - To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to the family and food. - To produce written statements to name and talk about daily routines and activities. Food: apple, orange, pear, banana, eggs, bread, cheese, milk, peach, food. The Family: father, mother, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, cousin, auntie, uncle, family, members, how many people are in your family? The House: kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, house. Daily Routines: have breakfast, get up, have a shower, go to school, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, go to bed. Additional contents: take a bath, river, juice, strawberry. Understanding of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment (4th grade): location of Chilean aboriginal cultures, and main characteristics of their life style. Listening, reading and writing.

Instructions In previous classes, teachers must get students acquainted with the question “how many people are in your family?” for the As a pre-gaming activity, teachers must introduce the topic of aboriginal cultures Teacher in connection to the subject of social sciences, encouraging learners to talk about what they know about mapuche people. Then, teachers tell them to start the activity Original Cultures, and introduce the virtual social sciences teacher. The rest of the activity can be done by students having the teacher as a monitor and consultant. Description Students have to make a presentation for their social science class about indigenous families, talking about a family of aboriginal descendants. For that reason, they visit their friend’s grandpa whose family is mapuche. They stay for dinner to listen some of his stories about the family members who still preserve their traditions. He tells them about the way they live, what they eat, and what they do during the day. Using that information, students must fill in a virtual sheet which will be used to prepare their presentation. Finally, they take a picture of grandpa and themselves to show it in class. At school, the history teacher will ask them questions to know about the family they chose such as “how many people are in your family?”, “what does the mother do during the day?”, “what does the father like to eat?”, etc. If students succeed in answering the questions according to the information given by their friend’s grandpa, they win XP points.

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Table 14 Activity 6 Main Language Objectives

Language Contents

CrossCurricular Content Skills

Astronomers for a Day - To differentiate the letters of the alphabet when listened. - To recognize the location of an object through oral and written statements which use the prepositions of place “in”, “on” and “under”. - To produce written words following the spelling listened. - To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to colors, classroom objects, food, toys, animals, the house, the weather, human body and the family. Colors: red, blue, green, yellow, black, brown, orange, pink, white, purple. The alphabet: a, c, e, h, I, j, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u, v. Toys: car, doll, robot, dinosaur, rocket, ball, kite, plane, what’s. Classroom Objects: pencil, book, scissors, school bag. Object location: where’s the…?, under, in, on. Additional contents: behind, next to, between, solar system, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, planets, dwarf planet. Understanding of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment (3rd grade): recognition of the components of the Solar System and identification of our galaxy. Listening, reading and writing.

Instructions In order to carry out this activity, it is important for students to have enough practice with the alphabet and spelling. Therefore, in previous lessons, this must for the be reinforced. In addition, teachers must introduce the Solar System in the Teacher English language. As a pre-gaming activity, teachers must present a big picture, drawing or image of the Solar System and encourage them to name its components. Then, teachers tell students they are going to visit the museum’s virtual observatory, so they must go to the school and take the school bus which will take them to that place. The rest of the activity can be done by students having the teacher as a monitor. Description Students go to school and attend their science class. From there, they go to the museum’s virtual observatory to learn about the Solar System. They meet the guide, who gives them 3D glasses to wear during the simulation of a travel into space. In this simulation students participate in various activities. First, they listen to a cartoon alien who will spell the names of the planets which they must submit into their electronic traveler journal. Then, one of the alien’s suitcases flies over the space and opens scattering all its objects (toys and school objects). The alien asks students to observe the galaxy and answer questions such as “what’s behind Pluto?” by writing them into the Answer box. If these are correct, they receive points which they can exchange for objects from the museum store. In addition, after successfully completing the activity, students will win XP points.

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Table 15 Activity 7 Main Language Objectives

Language Contents

CrossCurricular Content Skills

To the Cinema! - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to the house and food. - To identify daily routines and activities in oral and written statements. - To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to the house and food. - To produce written statements to name and talk about daily routines and activities. The House: house, kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, table, chair, bed. Food: fruits, food, steak, milk, apple, pear, bread. Daily Routines: get up, have breakfast, in the morning, in the afternoon, go to bed. Additional contents: harvest, hunt, fish, man, woman, children, bonfire, big, small, water, cook, animals, sedentary, nomadic, move, stay, they. Understanding of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment (4th grade): description of the main components of nomadic and sedentary peoples’ culture, especially regarding housing, clothing and food. Listening, reading and writing.

Instructions In previous lessons, teachers must encourage students to talk about daily routines using the personal pronoun ‘they’. for the As a pre-gaming activity, teachers must motivate learners to say what they know Teacher about sedentary and nomadic peoples. Then, they are told to take their avatars to school, in which the activity will start. Before watching the documentary, teachers and students must read the questionnaire in order to know the questions they must answer while watching the documentary. As it can be paused, students can ask teachers to help them with a specific question and then continue watching. Thus, educators must be constantly monitoring students’ work and being aware of students who need help with the questionnaire. Description Students go to school and attend the social sciences class. Their teacher tells them they are going to the cinema to watch a documentary which illustrates the way in which nomadic and sedentary peoples live. For that reason, the group class will take the school bus to the cinema. As they watch the documentary, they must answer a virtual questionnaire which contains multiple-choice questions regarding elements of the culture depicted in the documentary: housing, food and daily routines. Finally, they go back to school and the teacher checks the answers to see whether they are correct or not; correct answers are equivalent to XP points.

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Table 16 Activity 8 Animal adventure - To understand, in oral and written form, the statements “what’s this?”, “what…is this?” and “is it…?” in varied situations. - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to body parts, animals and food. - To identify daily routines and activities in oral and written statements. - To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to animals. - To produce answers to yes/no questions by using “yes, it is” and “no, it isn’t”. Body Parts: body, head, eye, nose, ear, leg, foot, feet, hair. Language Food: steak, biscuits, apple, banana, eggs, bread, cheese, milk, food, fruits. Contents Animals: cat, dog, monkey, tiger, snake, lion, elephant, hippo, giraffe, frog, kangaroo, swan, chicken, tortoise, rat, pig, mouse, duck, sheep, goat, cow, horse. Daily Routines: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, go to bed. Additional contents: tail, paw, fur, meat, grass, water, eat, drink, sleep, wake up, quadruped, biped, vertebrate, invertebrate, aquatic, terrestrial, herbivorous, carnivorous. CrossUnderstanding of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment (3rd and 4th Curricular grade): groups of animals according to own criteria and simple biological categories (quadruped-biped; vertebrate-invertebrate; aquatic-terrestrial; Content herbivorous-carnivorous). Listening, reading and writing. Skills Instructions In previous lessons, teachers must introduce students with the words in English for the concepts quadruped, biped, vertebrate, invertebrate, aquatic, terrestrial, for the herbivorous and carnivorous. Teacher As a pre-gaming activity, educators must encourage students to talk about places in which they can find animals. They must also motivate learners to talk about the classification of animals covered in previous classes. Then, teachers must tell them to take their avatars to school and start the activity. Description Students go to school and attend to their science class. The teacher tells them they are going to visit places in which there are animals. For that reason, all the class take the school bus to each place. First, they go to the zoo. There, the guide tells them the animals’ names, characteristics and eating habits. Then, he asks them questions such as “what animal is this?”, “is it a quadruped?” etc., and students must submit their answers. Correct responses are equivalent to XP points. If they achieve a certain amount of XP points, they are given a free ticket to the zoo’s cinema. Then, they visit the pet store and meet its owner, a very grumpy man. He tells students about pets’ names, their characteristics and eating habits. Then, he encourages them to feed the animals. However, if they feed the animals with the incorrect food, he will get upset and close the shop earlier. On the contrary, if students succeed in feeding the animals, they will be given a pet. Additionally, per each correct answer (each correct food), they will win XP points. Main Language Objectives

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Table 17 Activity 9 The Art of Appreciating Art - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to colors, animals and Main food. Language - To understand, in oral and written form, the statements “what’s this?” and Objectives “what…is this?” in varied situations. - To recall, in written form, vocabulary related to colors, animals and food. - To produce written statements to name diverse objects using the structure “it’s”. Colors: red, blue, green, yellow, black, brown, orange, pink, white, purple. Language Food: apple, orange, cake, pear, banana, ice cream, eggs, bread, cheese, peach, Contents fruit. Animals: cat, dog, monkey, tiger, snake, lion, elephant, giraffe, frog, swan, chicken, pig, mouse, duck, sheep, cow, horse. Additional contents: painting, sculpture, museum, appreciate. Artistic Education (3rd and 4th grade): observation and appreciation of lines, CrossCurricular colors, shapes, textures, spaces and movements in the nature and in sculptural and pictorial expression. Contents Listening, reading and writing. Skills Instructions In previous lessons, teachers must encourage students to describe pictures, paintings, sculptures, etc., so they become familiar with appreciating art. for the As a pre-gaming activity, educators must ask students to share their knowledge Teacher about museums, paintings and sculptures. Description Students go to school and attend their art class. The teacher tells them they will visit the museum. For that reason, they take the school. Once there, they go through the museum appreciating a variety of sculptures and paintings, while the teacher asks them to recognize colors, objects, food and animals in the artworks, by asking questions such as “what color is this?”, “is this a monkey?”, etc. Students must submit answers such as “it’s red” or simply “red”. Correct responses are equivalent to XP points.

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Table 18 Activity 10 Main Language Objectives Language Contents

CrossCurricular Contents Skills Instructions for the Teacher

Description

Hip Hip Hooray! - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to colors, body parts and animals. - To differentiate the letters of the alphabet when listened. The Alphabet: a, c, d, e, f, g, i, k, m, n, o, r, s, t, y. Body parts: hand, arm, head, leg, foot, feet, body. Animals: cat, dog, snake, tiger, frog, monkey, giraffe. Additional contents: left, right, up, down, shake, move, your. Artistic Education (3rd and 4th grade): expression through imitative dances.

Listening and reading In previous lessons, teachers must make students learn and practice instructions such as “shake your head”, “move your arms”, etc. In addition, they should reinforce the concept of left and right. As a pre-gaming activity, educators must ask students what they know about cheerleading, encouraging to show steps and chants. Then, they must tell learners their avatars are part of the school’s cheerleading group, and that they will participate in a competition. After that, teachers must tell students they will have two sessions to practice the choreography, and ask them to go to the school’s gym in order to have the first session. As this activity is divided into two parts, teachers can choose if implementing them during the same or different lessons. Students are members of the school’s cheer leader group and next week they will participate in a regional competition. They have not had time to rehearse, so they must learn the choreography only in two sessions. They must go to the gym to have their first session. In this rehearsal, students must press the buttons according to the teacher’s instructions in relation to body movements. For example, if the teacher says “shake your legs”, students must press the image illustrating that instruction. Students must learn the choreography to participate in the regional cheerleading competition. For each correct movement students win XP points. The next day, they must attend the second rehearsal to practice new moves. This time, students perform moves based on animals’ behaviors and movements. First, the instructor yells animal names letter by letter, so students must guess the animal she is spelling. Then, she teaches them the animal movement, and so on. Finally, after students have guessed all the animals, the instructor will yell an animal name and students must perform that animal movement by pressing a button illustrating the corresponding animal. When students have learned the choreography they must take the school bus and press the button Hip Hip Hooray! for the bus driver to take them to the competition which will take place at the sports center. Once in the competition, for each correct move they win XP points.

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Table 19 Activity 11 Main Language Objectives Language Contents

CrossCurricular Content Skills

My School’s Anniversary - To recognize the location of an object through oral and written statements which use the prepositions of place “in”, “on” and “under”. - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to body parts, toys, food and classroom objects. Body Parts: arms, legs, head, mouth, hands, body. Object Location: on, in, under. Toys: doll, car, dinosaur, robot, ball, train. Food: apple, egg, banana, cake, pear, orange. Classroom Objects: pencil, pen, book, pencil-case, school. Additional contents: back, your, carry, bring, table, box, notebook, next to, behind, between, anniversary, competition. Physical Education (3rd grade): individual and collective pre-sports activities.

Listening and reading.

Instructions As a pre-gaming activity, teachers must encourage students to talk about schools’ anniversaries, saying if they have participated or not. Then, they must tell learners for the that their avatars’ school is celebrating its anniversary, so they will participate in Teacher the competitions. Finally, teachers must ask them to go to the school’s gym, in which the activities are taking place. Description Students’ school is celebrating its anniversary. For that reason, teachers have organized a contest among the blue, red and yellow alliances. Students go to the school to participate in a physical competition in which they have to take objects from one place to another using their body (which is controlled with the mouse). They must follow instructions such as “carry the book on your head” and “put the book under the table”, for example. If an object falls down when carrying it, learners must go back to the start and carry the object again. They have two minutes to move as many objects as they can; per each one they will receive XP points.

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Table 20 Activity 12 Main Language Objectives Language Contents

CrossCurricular Content Skills Instructions for the Teacher

Description

El costillar dancers - To recognize, in oral and written form, vocabulary related to colors, body parts and the family. - To understand, in oral and written form, the statement “who’s this?” in varied situations. Body Parts: body, feet, hands, legs, arms, head. Colors: red, blue, green, yellow, black, brown, orange, pink, white, purple. The Family: mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa. Additional contents: move, jump, stomp, left, right, stomp, your, up, down, lean, forward, backward, bottle. Physical Education (4th grade): regional folk dances.

Listening and reading. In previous lessons, teachers must make students learn and practice instructions such as “move your legs”, “stomp your feet”, etc. In addition, they should reinforce the concept of left and right. As a pre-gaming activity, educators must encourage students to talk about the regional folk dances they know, asking them to show some steps or sing a song corresponding to a specific dance. Then, they must tell learners their avatars’ family is going to participate in a competition in which they must dance el costillar, so they can win a car. During the activity, educators must be constantly monitoring students’ performance, helping them when needed. Students’ parents want to participate in a family contest organized by the cultural center of the city, in which the entire family must dance el costillar. The final prize is a car, so they are very enthusiastic about winning the contest. For that reason, they must take one intensive class of el costillar dance. First, the dance teachers will form the couples among the family members. For that reason, the teacher will ask students who each family member is, through questions such as “who’s this?” which students must answer by clicking on the right options. Then, they will start the lesson by choosing the clothing according to the colors named by the teacher. After that, students must follow the dance teacher’s instructions by pressing the correct buttons or moving the mouse accordingly (the moves made by students will be applied to all family members). For example, if the teacher says “move to the left”, they move to the left using the mouse; if he says “move your feet”, they must press the button illustrating the feet. They must learn the choreography before their participation. Once they feel prepared, they must confirm their participation by pressing the Let’s Do it! button. They will still have the help of the instructor who will tell them the steps to follow, but this time they will be evaluated by the judges. If they do the choreography correctly, they win the prize.

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The activities presented above shape the study plan of the computer game proposed in this paper. All the activities were designed considering the general context in which students are immersed, taking into account situations that are familiar for them, such as school life, family life, and entertainment, among others. It is essential to mention that the order in which the activities have been presented does not correspond to a succession which teachers must follow. That is to say, the order in which the activities are carried out depends on the school’s EFL curriculum, as the contents from third and fourth grades may vary in terms of sequence. It is important for teachers to get acquainted with the software before implementing it in the classroom. In this way, they can effectively support students in their play experience, thus potentiating the benefits the computer game can bear for the English class. As mentioned before, it is recommendable to use these activities as a way of practicing the language rather than teaching it, as they were designed for that purpose. It is also essential to consult the teachers of the areas included in this proposal in order to know if they have already covered the contents with which the software deals; it must be remembered that this proposal integrates the use of content-based materials and it is not the EFL teacher’s role to teach core concepts. If these recommendations are taken into account, the activities contained in the computer game can effectively enhance students’ acquisition of the English language.

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Conclusions As seen in the first chapter, existing teaching practices in the EFL area as well as in education in general sometimes differ from the methodology needed to help students succeed in current society. These practices do not help educators reach educatees and fulfill their needs and interests. According to the authors mentioned in the first chapter of this paper, in order to solve the current problems, educational agents must commit to innovating in the teaching methodologies used, which involves the incorporation of techniques and resources that provide educatees with opportunities to participate actively in their learning process. In the EFL area, the need of incorporating innovative techniques to contribute to students’ acquisition of the English language is urgent. For that reason, this research paper proposed the implementation of three techniques into the EFL classroom: drama techniques, the use of games and the incorporation of ICT, which were integrated jointly in the design of an online educational computer game. During the process of developing the software design, there were many aspects which represented a difficult task to carry out. Firstly, the creation of an EFL curriculum for students from third and fourth year of formal education was not as simple as thought, since the Ministry of Education has not yet implemented the EFL curriculum for kids in lower grades than fifth grade. Furthermore, as explained in the last chapter of this paper, there were few sources to consult in relation to the contents which should shape the curriculum and the succession in which they should be included. However, in spite of the lack of free available curricula for the EFL area, the creation of an English language curriculum for the computer game could be carried out. Secondly, contrary to what it had been previously considered, the integration of the school subjects with the EFL contents represented a difficult task. This was due to the fact that their

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integration had to result in significant activities for students, which had to be similar to real world situations. For that reason, it was complicated to establish relationships between the contents that could lead to the generation of interactions which were “realistic” for students, in order to provide them with contexts in which language is used meaningfully. In addition, several aspects which were not considered at the beginning of this experience came up as the computer game design was being developed. All of them reshaped the plan determined at the beginning of this process, improving the educational proposal. Firstly, the necessity of the creation of a simulation game instead of a game became of great importance. As simulation games offered students situations similar to real-life events, they represented a useful resource to provide learners with opportunities to use the language in a more “realistic” context. Consequently, through the use of simulation games versus simple games, students’ acquisition of the English language could be better achieved. Secondly, the incorporation of rewards to this virtual experience was necessary. This aspect was not considered in the first design; however, rewards became part of the game as they could enhance students’ motivation. Finally, regarding the description of the activities, it was considered that instructions for EFL teachers when implementing the activities had to be included, an aspect which had not been taken into account at the beginning of the software development process. For that reason, in the tables presenting each of the activities, a row called Instructions for the Teachers was added. These provided educators with what would be necessary for them to do before students carried out the activities contained in the game. As seen in the last chapter, the instructions dealt with the contents teachers must cover in previous lessons and the pre-gaming activities which would introduce students to the situation they would be immersed. In this way, it was intended to help educators

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when using the game as part of their EFL lesson in order to have effective results on students’ acquisition of the English language. As a result, it can be concluded that some of the reasons why EFL educators have not innovated by carrying out curricular integration or integrating other techniques as part of their teaching methodology is that it represents a difficult and time-consuming task which must be supported by the educational community in order to be successful. However, with or without the school’s support, it is urgent that teachers begin innovating, as it has been constantly stated that traditional methodologies are no longer effective. Through this first starting point, innovative teachers can spread their ideas, involving their colleagues in this process of improving nowadays’ Chilean education.

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