ALL was a partner in the Erasmus+ project “THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN” (2015-18) which developed an online game for the assessment of language skills at primary school level, now available free of charge to teachers who register here. The project produced:
• A manual
• A Quick Guide
• A video tutorial
• Classroom Resources
• A Speaking module
• A song
• A cookbook (– nominated for the Free Food Award)
The game itself provides children with language challenges, some to test knowledge and others to test flexibility and skills. The game (which lasts under 40 minutes) is at two levels, and is probably most useful when pupils are working at sentence level. The game is fun and non-threatening and allows teachers to track the progression of individual students without putting the students in a test situation. It is available with challenges in five languages : English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
The corpus of language and assessment criteria were compiled by comparison of curricula in the partner countries and linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages as a benchmark. The storyline and characters were created with the input of the project partners and in collaboration with the Austrian-based award winning software company OVOS. The students assume the role of a young magician, who has to free several animals that have been locked up in a tower by an evil magician. By solving different language tasks from floor to floor, the young magician can free the animals and defeat the evil magician.
The project was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission. An important element of the strategic partnership is ongoing research about language learning conducted by the partners. It offers insights for teachers and education organisations as well as support for learning and teaching in the project countries. Research articles can be found here along with UK specific pieces e.g. Steven Fawkes’ article Could it be magic – how The Language Magician could support the teaching of Languages in the UK’s primary sector.
THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN partners are extending their collaboration beyond the end of the funded project and news will continue to be reported through ALLNet and the ALL website.
At the end of 2018 THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN received the Erasmus+ Quality Seal Award and being marked as good practice project on the Erasmus + project result platform.
Researchers have also surveyed the first few months of usage of the game. Countries where the game was played, and number of times:
United Kingdom 4454
United States 21
Congratulations, UK teachers !