Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Serious Games Providing Real-World Spanish Language Practice

Practice Spanish: Study Abroad the new addition to McGraw-Hill Practice Series


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Practice, the line of 3D, multiplayer Serious Games developed by Muzzy Lane for McGraw-Hill Education, which already includes Practice Operations, Practice Marketing and Government in Action, has got a new addition:  Practice Spanish, Study Abroad.

Practice Spanish: Study Abroad is a multiplayer, personalized Spanish language Serious Game that provides college students with an immersive "study abroad" experience. Designed to be played on mobile devices and computers, the game enables players to practice Spanish vocabulary, grammar, reading, and conversation, while allowing them to explore the Spanish language in real-world cultural settings.

Conceived by McGraw Hill Education to accompany any Introductory Spanish title or as an independent practice tool for students interested in putting their developing language skills to the test, Practice Spanish: Study Abroad takes students to Colombia, where they will problem solve, communicate, and navigate through a variety of cultural scenarios and adventures as they "study abroad" in a fictional Colombian town reminiscent of Bogota.

The entire experience includes 12 “Quests” to be completed over the course of a typical first-year language program. Each real-world task or virtual experience is preceded by a series of short pre-Quest activities called “mini-games”, focused on the necessary vocabulary and grammar to play the game, earn points, and rewards. These mini-games must be mastered in order to “unlock” the full Quest experience, ensuring that all students demonstrate a degree of core competencies before attempting the full Quest.

The first set of mini-games and Quest #1 is now available via http://www.mhpractice.com and the full game will be available by August 1, 2014.

The Mini-games in Practice Spanish are fast-paced games designed to help you master the vocabulary and grammar needed to unlock the Quest that follows. Whether you’re dragging and dropping words into a logical order, selecting falling words in a certain category, or labeling visual images, your goal is to earn as many points as possible in the limited time available. Once completed, you are ready for the Quest!

You might be challenged to find your classes on campus, plan weekend excursions, buy souvenirs and possibly seek medical attention to assist a fellow classmate. You will interact with other non-player characters like your host family. In the multiplayer setting you will have the opportunity to interact with your fellow classmates from within the game, providing you with the opportunity to speak Spanish with your real-world classmates from within the virtual setting.

Instructors will have the ability to assign specific tasks, monitor student achievement, and incorporate the game into the classroom experience.

Your performance will be measured by your ability to successfully complete the tasks while also maximizing your avatar’s achievement across four key variables: money, time spent, well-being, and language mastery. You can play the game as often as you like- exploring different parts of the city and meeting new people along the way.


Practice Spanish: Study Abroad will be accessible online through http://www.mhpractice.com and will be available to students taking the Introductory Spanish course at participating institution. Play the Demos at http://www.mhpractice.com/products/Practice_Spanish/demo

Have a taste of it!