Summer Plans: Getting Back to Basics

Spring break is upon us, which means that the semester will be coming to an end rather quickly. It also means that I will need to think of something to do during the summer. I will be working with an undergraduate student on her SURE project, but I also need to think of something for my own projects as well. I’m thinking that perhaps its a good idea to revisit programming and modeling basics and build from there.

The first game I developed, as I needed to get research done and publications out the door, was built rather quick and dirty; I felt that there were a lot of things regarding modeling, programming, and game design that I wanted to explore in greater depth but just didn’t have the time. I’m thinking that this summer I will need to spend more time with the tools and languages that I used for the project, in order to understand them better and to get up-to-speed on the many changes that have been introduced since creating the first game in 2011.

It has been a while since I programmed, so it is certainly time to get back into that. I picked up a book last night on C# 3.0, and was immediately drawn back into the topic. There is something very organized and methodical about programming that appeals to me, which is odd, I suppose, coming from a person who has been thoroughly immersed in the unstructured nature of humanities research since being an undergraduate in the 1990s. The new Unity tutorials are exciting, and I am looking forward to taking these apart.

On the theoretical side, I need to think about more ways that 3D digital game-based language learning (3D-DGBLL) can be integrated in the second language acquisition classroom. It seems to me, and others seem to agree, that task-based language learning most closely resembles the type of learning that occurs in 3D-DGBLL environments. Our university library has the book by Rod Ellis on the topic, so I will eventually need to get around to this reading this with an eye towards my game project.

Finally: This all needs to come back to research and publications, I suppose. I’m sure that I can get more article publications out of the research, but I’m wondering if a better strategy would be to bring the articles together as a book. Perhaps something in a series such as Routledge Advances in Second Language Studies. Any ideas?

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