Dear Adventurers, we have arrived in Italy!
When an international student studies in Italy, it is almost mandatory in all tertiary learning institutions for these students to learn Italian. Dr. Simone Bregni, Associate Professor of Italian at St. Louis University (SLU) has been researching and testing out language learning lessons that involve an unusual supplementary activity - immersing yourself in some of your favourite video games!
“My interest in video games pushed me to explore other related content, which in foreign language acquisition is referred to as realia - authentic materials in the target language that help enhance language acquisition,” said Bregni.
More recently, he said videos games have evolved into interactive movies and that has opened the door to new uses in the classroom. Players follow an unfolding narrative, interpreting information information and making choices along the way. This format not only keeps the player engaged, it also helps facilitate learning.
Bregni uses about 10 different video games in his Intensive Italian for Gamers class, including the popular “Assassin’s Creed II” set in Renaissance Italy. For students, the game has also been a lesson in history.