What's the secret to a great game?...Well first and foremost it has to be enjoyable. Not many games survive if they aren't any fun!! Less obvious is that they should also be a challenge. Noughts and crosses is good fun only until you know the system and then every game becomes a boring draw. So if you have a game that's fun and a challenge - then it's (in my book at least) reached the the league of Good Games. But how does it go on to become a great game? As a games designer I [...]
Research has shown that even if you don't know a second language, learning alongside your child is often more effective than your child learning on their own. What's more, with the right materials, it's actually easy to help your child really improve - and a lot of fun too.
Turning language into a game So you’ve decided to learn a second (or third!) language, and you’re thinking about how to improve your skills. Like anyone learning a foreign language, you want to get better as quickly as possible. Does this mean you’ll have to cancel your weekend plans with your friends because you’ll be paging through textbooks all night until the library closes? Does this mean you’re doomed to lonely nights locked in your room studying lists of vocabulary? Nope. Not only does this not have to be your life, but it actually shouldn’t [...]
Adults worry about the grammar, their accent, vocabulary and making a fool of themselves. Getting the language wrong is embarrassing (in their own minds). So they set about trying to learn the language as if it's a machine. They learn all the words from lists and learn phrases by rote. And so they stay in their comfort zones and their language learning stops at stock set phrases. What a shame.
James Bond or Jason Bourne - Multi-linguals are very common in Hollywood How many times have we seen films in which the hero switches seamlessly and unexpectedly into a second language? James Bourne or James Bond. It's a common Hollywood trick - along with playing chess - for suggesting high intelligence. I have recently been watching House of Cards and in Series 1, a billionaire suddenly starts talking Chinese on the phone. There were no subtitles but he seemed to be negotiating. Even though it was a TV stunt - I was impressed. It looked cool [...]