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English-Teaching Zombies

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No, no, not me and my mentor-teacher after we graded a stack of 30 multi-draft essays–we’re talking about a videogame. English of the Dead is not a joke, but an honest-to-goodness game produced in Japan for all those gamers who would like to work on their English and destroy a few zombies.

You can even try out the demo yourself: Flash demo of English of the Dead! Wait for it to load. If you want to hear sound, click on the “No” symbol labeled “ON” in the upper right corner (how nice that it defaults to silent, if you’re in the office!). Then click on the bottom of the two screens displayed on the DS. When the zombies pop up, click on the correct English word to fill in the gap. Unfortunately, you may be at a disadvantage–my Flash doesn’t display the Japanese translation correctly, so I missed one due to two possible answers.

This probably isn’t the most pedagogically sound piece of software in the world, but if it’s entertaining and keeps a user interested in learning English, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. At the very least, it gave me a laugh, and I hope it amused you, too.

Japan is actually pretty serious about educational games. The DS is a perfect platform for this, because it’s very portable, has both button and stylus input, and is popular with people who’d otherwise be considered non-gamers. (It’s also relatively inexpensive, and I actually really recommend the DS Lite for English teachers who need to blow off some steam, particularly those who commute on public transportation. More on this later–and no, Nintendo’s not paying me! I spent my own money on that Wii.)

If you are dying (HA!) to know more, DS Fanboy has all of the relevant posts collected under a tag.

(N. B.: A quirk of DS Fanboy–besides the noninclusive blog name, darn them–is that links to external sites that are the main point of a post are hidden under the “Read” link at the bottom of the post.)

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6 comments to English-Teaching Zombies

  • Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.14 Windows Vista

    Thank you for sharing this informative, engaging post about a cutting edge educational game. Virtual reality also has the potential to dramatically reshape the educational experience. We may be on the cusp of a new revolution in how to learn, explore, and teach languages.

  • Sushiko
    Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.14 Windows XP

    That was fun. I have a colleague who is trying to use Second Life as an interactive way to learn English. His first attempts have such a steep curve to learn the GUI that I don’t think they will go well.

    It may take a little while for it to work well. I like SL myself, but I’m not able to maneuver in it easily.

  • admin
    Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.14 Mac OS

    Yes, I have a SL account but I find it hard to get around there even though I’m a computer geek. It really needs to be more user-friendly.

    Thanks for the comments!

  • Opera 9.23 Windows XP

    As a fan of both the English language and the zombie genre, I can’t thank you enough for pointing this out to me.

    BTW, you’re now part of the ELT World blog wall of fame!

  • admin
    Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.14 Mac OS

    Thanks, David!

  • Internet Explorer 6.0 Windows XP

    I’m in Japan and hadn’t heard of this- thank’s for sharing

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