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Minecraft as an immersive language teaching world: English teachers’ TPACK
Since schooling has been affected by the pandemic, educators are beginning to be more open to distance learning and might become more open to immersive virtual worlds, such as Minecraft (Cleave & Geijsman, 2020; Egbert, 2020). However, in order to integrate new technology into their practice, teachers need to be provided with training that promotes the development of their Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). This study identifies the level of TPACK teachers need to integrate Minecraft English teaching by investigating twenty-nine elementary school English teachers who created Minecraft English lessons after receiving Minecraft professional development for 16 hours in two months. A Minecraft TPACK instrument for English teachers was developed based on Schmidt et al. (2009) and Bagheri (2020) and administered before and after the training. Five Minecraft English lessons were created as a result of the training. The results showed an overall improvement in Minecraft TPACK scores. The English teacher’s Minecraft content knowledge gained from M=1.98 to M=3.79, Minecraft Technological Pedagogical Knowledge gained from M= 1.86 to M=3.6, and the TPACK mean score gained from M=2.5 to M=3.93, indicating that they are more knowledgeable of how to teach English through Minecraft. In the presentation, the results of the study will be discussed with a focus on an analysis of the content, technology, and pedagogy incorporated in the Minecraft in-world lessons and supplementary materials using Kahoot, Bamboozle, and Nearpod that the English teachers have created. Also, the merits, affordances, and challenges for teachers to integrate Minecraft as a language teaching environment will be discussed.
Dr. Jane Chien is an assistant professor in the Department of Children’s English Education at the National Taipei University of Education. During the past 16 years, she has been engaged in pre-service EFL elementary school teacher training and in providing professional development to in-service teachers. Her most valuable experience actively participating in the international CALL community has been from serving on the TESOL’s CALL-IS Electronic Village Online coordination team since 2018 and as TESOL CALL-IS Chair-Elect since March 2021. Her most recent publication is an article for TESOL-EJ entitled The Language of Massively Multiplayer Online Gamers: A Study of Vocabulary in Minecraft Gameplay, after moderating EVO Minecraft MOOC.
Rosemere Damasio Bard has been an English teacher since 1998. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education (UNISUL) and holds a MSc. in Information and Communication Technology with a focus on Educational technology (UFSC). She has also specialized in instructional design (SENAC) and in Methodologies, Trends and Learner-centered approaches (PUCRS). She was a co-moderator of EVO Minecraft MOOC for Educators for 6 years. She is also a Minecraft Education Global Mentor. She is passionate about learning, creating learning experiences and gaming for learning. She is currently designing a program to teach English in Minecraft, creating experiences in and outside the game with digital tools and nurturing learning strategies and 21th century skills through Minecraft-based lessons.