Vance Stevens presents a Convergence of Minecraft and Techno-CLIL

Learning2gether Episode 315

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On Wed Feb 3 Vance Stevens presented on EVO Minecraft MOOC for participants at the Techno-CLIL EVO MOOC. The talk was titled Vance Stevens on Minecraft and FLT and CLILfor the WizIQ announcement, but Vance called it

A Convergence of Minecraft and Techno-CLIL


This presentation is about a correspondence between two EVO (Electronic Village Online) sessions:

  1. the EVO Minecraft MOOC (EVOMC16) and
  2. Techno-CLIL (content and language integrated) approach to language development

This was the abstract

There is much evidence that Minecraft can enhance language development; for example, the cases discussed in in an article by co-moderators of the EVOMC16 session (Smolčec & Smolčec, 2014). This presentation will suggest to educators interested in adopting the CLIL approach how they might consider Minecraft as a representation of content, and see how language development might derive from interaction in a gamified environment based on that content.

The EVOMC16 session provides an opportunity for educators to understand how this might work for them by having them explore gamification through the experience of being in a game that that looks like Minecraft, but is in fact a place where they can meet other educators learning how their students can benefit from gamified environments. These educators learn through following a model whereby they go to a Google+ community and figure out from there what they have to do to play the game. Eventually they end up in Minecraft in creative mode, and then graduate to coping with survival, as they come to see, by cooperating with other players in the more challenging game environment.  The ‘aha’ moment occurs when the players succeed and realize that if what they were trying to teach were placed in such a context, it would not only become more engaging to the learners, but their students would be taking their own learning into their own hands. This can create a powerful learning environment, and educators need to experience it for themselves in order to understand it.

So, we are all learning about gamification here. It’s not so much about Minecraft. Minecraft is the little g game (Gee, 2008), the enabler of our emerging knowledge of gamification. When you enter survival mode you’ll find that you are assisted by others in world. With their help you stay alive and learn. So gamification turns out to be learning through teamwork and mutual support and meeting challenges and achieving your goal, whatever it is. In this game you set your own goals. By achieving your goals in the game light bulbs go off in your head and light your way to some realization of how what you are learning in Minecraft might work to meet your real world challenges.


Gee, J.P. (2008) “Learning and games.” The ecology of games: Connecting youth, games, and learning. Edited by Katie Salen. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. (pp. 21-40). Available:

Smolčec, M & Smolčec, F. (2014). Using Minecraft for Learning English. TESL-EJ 18, 2 (1-15). Available Includes an editorial introduction by Vance Stevens.

The talk followed along the lines of this blog post

Google+ event


Earlier this week

Sun Jan 31 1400 UTC Thorsten Groß’s students conduct tour of Ricarda-Huch-Schule for EVO Minecraft MOOC


Sun Jan 31 1500 UTC Vance Stevens presents Learning2gether Episode 314 with blogs and wikis for EVO session ICT4ELT


One thought on “Vance Stevens presents a Convergence of Minecraft and Techno-CLIL

  1. Pingback: Vance Stevens at CO16 – EVO MineCraft MOOC and Gamification of Teacher Professional Development | Learning2gether

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