Vance Stevens on Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft at the JALT CALL SIG Forum on games and play

Learning2gether Episode 523


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The JALT CALL games and play forum took place on Saturday, November 13 2021

Full webinar recording, speakers James York, Deborah Healey, and Vance Stevens

Vance was invited by the Japan Association of Language Teachers, by Hanaa Khamis and Brian Teaman, Program Co-chairs for JALT CALL to join the panel at the games and play forum.

Other events from the Nov 13 JALT conference preview are being posted on the JALT YouTube channel

About the forum 

The forum showcased the theme of games and play as a preview of the JALT CALL conference which will occur in June of 2021.  The JALT  conference in November is scheduled for online only.

The format of the forum was 90 minutes, with 3 different presentations of about 20 minutes each, allowing 30 minutes for introductions and discussion among the presenters and organizers as well as the audience.

All of the materials are available at the direct link to the forum on –

Useful links posted in the Zoom text chat

James’ slides
The journal site is available here btw. If you are using games, play or other ludic activities in your teaching, please consider submitting a paper or joining our community

Deborah’s resources are at
More at

Vance Stevens’s slides are here,
Please bring them up if you want to follow them while watching the recordings.

In his presentation, Vance referred to : Stevens, V. (2021, April 17). Virtual worlds at virtual conferences: A keynote presentation at the first annual VirtuaTeLL conference TeLL SIG at NYS TESOL [Google Doc].

The conference was free,
but required pre-registration on

Vance’s presentation on Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft

What the talk is about

Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft 

My focus here is on Minecraft and helping teachers to understand the participatory culture surrounding such games and how they can use this to leverage their students’ learning of the target language. Over the years the EVO Minecraft MOOC community has accumulated considerable anecdotal and some quantitative data regarding their students’ acquisition of target language occurring both in and around this challenging and enjoyable game. However, to be effective in a student-teacher dynamic, teachers have to experience for themselves the many nuances of the game as they strive to communicate to others their discoveries, as students tend to do during and after game play through a target language which, in many cross-cultural contexts, tends to be English. EVO Minecraft MOOC was conceived as an environment to foster discovery learning among teachers learning the game, and by extrapolation with their students, via critical thinking, and problem solving through meaningful play.

Minecraft tends to be highly gamified (in the sense that certain aspects are designed to hold people in the game and allow them to gain increasing powers as they master lower level accomplishments), but it also has great potential as a game-based platform for teaching and modeling content concepts in numerous disciplines, and I would want to elaborate on this a bit.

I have a number of presentations and publications on this topic, all available online, which I have created over the past 7 years of EVO Minecraft MOOC, mostly listed at and

As usual my talk was written out in advance

I created a link for the slides – jalt2021vance
And I prepared a prose version and placed it at a link for the text – vance2021jalt

If you go to either link, you will find a link there for both versions of the presentation

The recording above was extracted from the recording of the entire forum, provided to presenters to do with as they liked.

Promotion and Feedback

Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

Earlier Events

Wed 1 Sept – Thu 30 Sept Brief reflections on Virtual World MOOC 2021

Sat 2 Oct TexLER Texas Language Education Research conference – free

On on October 2nd, 2021 will be held the 22nd annual TexLER (Texas Language Education Research) conference .

Learn more about this free virtual conference at

  1. Register (it’s free!) to attend by going to –
  2. Share the registration link with your professional networks
  3. Encourage students, colleagues, and networks to get involved by connecting them with our Facebook page, Twitter, and website.

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is December 1, 2021 02:00 UTC

One thought on “Vance Stevens on Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft at the JALT CALL SIG Forum on games and play

  1. Pingback: Vance Stevens interviewed at the start of Eduverse Online Festival | Learning2gether

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