In October 2017, the piloting of the French version of the LANGUAGE MAGICIAN online game got off to a flying start. The LANGUAGE MAGICIAN, in case you missed it, is a computer game that can be used as an assessment tool in schools. The game is fun for children, builds on their language and IT-skills and provides information on their progression in language learning. It supports teachers by giving them a tool to assess their pupils’ abilities, using non-intimidating testing methods and the results can be accessed immediately.

The first pilot of level one of the French game certainly proved to be a real hit with 90 year 4 pupils, at a primary school in Lambeth. By the end of the game, which lasts 35 minutes in total, the children wanted to play it again. It must be the first time that I have ever heard pupils ask if they can do an assessment again!

The LANGUAGE MAGICIAN is an Erasmus+ funded project, led by the Goethe-Institut London, that involves ten partners from four European countries, including the University of Westminster. So far, over 2000 pupils in Germany, Spain, Italy and England have taken part in the pilot study. The learners involved have all studied German, Spanish, Italian, English or French, for at least 50-70 hours. The pilot of level 2 in German, Spanish, Italian and English is currently underway, with French soon to follow.

Teachers cannot pre-teach what the game will test, although common topics and vocabulary for primary children are covered. The LANGUAGE MAGICIAN is fun for children and highly motivating, meaning the children are not afraid to have a go, even if it means getting an answer wrong. It teaches us an important lesson, that when we learn a language, we don’t have to know and understand every single word, we will be just fine.

The full version of the LANGUAGE MAGICIAN will be freely available from summer 2018 and for those interested; there will be a LANGUAGE MAGICIAN conference, taking place at the University of Westminster, on Saturday 19 May 2018. More details coming soon.

If you want to find out more about the LANGUAGE MAGICIAN and read about the research, watch the trailer, or try the demo version, go to the LANGUAGE MAGICIAN website at https://www.thelanguagemagician.net/.