Minecraft, here we come.

I have downloaded Minecraft in English to the laptop that I carry to lessons. This afternoon, after reading two chapters of Felipe Alou with a 17 year old student, I suggested we play Minecraft. I gave him the mouse, and off we went. I once thought that Minecraft was just another shoot-to-kill game, but it is much more than that.

For one thing, you have an option at the beginning which allows you to eliminate all monsters. My student is more interested in building his world, so we opted for “Creative”. Then we began exploring. I named what we saw, trees, sheep, a cave, etc., and my student showed me how to collect wood and wool and make a bed to sleep on. We spent the rest of our time looking for materials to make a lighter (steel and flint) and digging for minerals. He’s very familiar with the game and was happy to explain things to me, all in English. We both thoroughly enjoyed the game and will definitely continue playing next week.

It was compelling comprehensible input, since not only was I furnishing oral vocabulary, but the same words popped up on the screen all the time. I could ask him how many blocks of wood he had and how many pieces of wool he needed. He used stone blocks to make a stairs and dug holes. I could ask him to go right, go left, go straight ahead, turn back.  He has set the game to “calm” so we don’t have to make decisions too quickly and can talk things over. As I grow more familiar with how the game works, I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about.

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