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NSU professor creates video games to teach Spanish

Students in Arthur Wendorf's Spanish classes learn through video games he programmed.

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) -- Northeastern State University Professor Arthur Wendorf has an innovative approach to teaching foreign language: he uses video games to re-enforce lessons in his Spanish 1 and 2 classes.

The games provide students with a fun way to get in a lot of practice with immediate feedback.

“They also tend to care more about what they’re practicing because they get scores in the game,” Wendorf said. “They want to do well, and they want to use the Spanish correctly in order to get good scores.”

Wendorf said he has received a positive response from his students; the games are often cited as a favorite part of the class during end-of-the-semester evaluations.

“Usually when you’re watching them play the games, you can see they’re all getting really excited and interested, and they’re focused and paying attention in class and that’s what we want,” Wendorf said.

Wendorf, who started learning to code in high school, has created all the video games he has used. This semester, he is working with two NSU computer science majors who are coding games for his class as part of their capstone projects.

Eventually, Wendorf would like to create an online, open educational resource with his games.

Wendorf said games are a useful tool in the classroom, but they’re not always the best option and should be used with other teaching methods and tools.

Published: 10/12/2018 4:52:25 PM

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