Recording (35min):

Talk to any of your learners and, chances are, video games are an important part of their life outside the classroom. Understanding the games learners are into and integrating them into your teaching will not only help you find out what motivates your learners – it can also help add more imagination, curiosity and fun to your classes. What’s more, digital game based learning can develop the language and literacy skills learners need in the real world.

Games have intrinsic educational value. Just like good teaching, good video games promote communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving – as well as meaningful opportunities to practise English in an authentic context. However, much of the educational value of games also depends on how you integrate them and the tasks you design.

In this hands-on session, you’ll explore language- and skills-focused activities based on an online adventure game. You’ll also think about how to integrate a wide range of other game genres into your teaching.

Dave Gatrell is a teacher, teacher trainer and writer. He has taught English since 2001 in the Czech Republic, Spain and Hong Kong and has trained teachers in using technology in the classroom in Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan and Taiwan.

He is particularly interested in mobile and digital game-based learning and runs the website He co-wrote the British Council teacher development programme, Learning Technologies for the Classroom, and is responsible for managing, developing and writing other British Council online teacher training courses worldwide.

He lives in Hong Kong.

Email: david.gatrell[at]

Dave Gatrell: The next level: Digital game-based learning and language development

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