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About Trilderberg

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  1. WIZARD JAM X - Welcome Thread

    I've always wanted to participate in a Wizard Jam. I guess this my last chance
  2. New people: Read this, say hi.

    suh, dude
  3. Aesthetic in Science Fiction

    I read a lot of speculative fiction, and every year, the new Hugo award winner for best novel gets inserted somewhere near the top of my list. The 2017 winner was The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin. The first two installments of Jemisin's Broken Earth series won best novel (the third installment is nominated at the moment). As far as I know, Jemisin is the first writer to win two Hugos for Best Novel consecutively. I hadn't gotten around to reading The Fifth Season, the first in the series, so I decided it was time to check it out. The book was ambitious, evocative, and unique, and looking back, I really disliked it. Generally I'm not picky about fiction. I enjoy pulp at least as much as more philosophically rich science fiction. Reading this book, I realized that the reason I disliked it so much wasn't something reasonable like weak characters, or pacing (objectively every aspect of Jemisin's storytelling seemed pretty solid). I think it was because when I imagined the setting in my head, It looked stupid to me. That's it. I found this story largely uninteresting, even though I enjoy stories which are much less high-brow, but aesthetically more appealing to me, such as The Expanse series. As far as I can tell, the only thing that unifies my favorite Sci-fi is a vaguely hard or sleek look (even if the look is just in my head). As a result, I often find very interesting classics by Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, or Kurt Vonnegut largely inaccessible, whereas less ambitious books, and books which I can imagine well, like the Culture series are totally enjoyable to me. Has anyone else had a similar problem enjoying a book which is totally interesting, but aesthetically unappealing? Have you found a way to overcome this?
  4. Second Language Acquisition with Games

    I think you're right. Like I was saying, these kids prefer online multiplayer games that you can imagine Russian, preteen shitlords playing. They are not primarily playing immersive, narrative-driven games. So presumably the social aspects of the games could be what's helping them. That said, many of my students that age are involved in some English speaking community online, but they aren't all as proficient as the kids that are focused on games. To me that indicates that something more is happening with the gamer kids.
  5. Second Language Acquisition with Games

    I think that's true. Games are not only designed to be immersive, they're also designed to be addictive, which is more than I can say about my Russian textbook. I'm curious what games you played, other than Chrono Cross. Did you play a lot of JRPGs? Games from that era were obviously less reliant on audio dialogue, so the learning experience would be more reading oriented, which could be better practice depending on the type of game. How do you think your pronunciation is?
  6. Second Language Acquisition with Games

    I only have a passing familiarity with the CEFR, so I can't say much about how these kids would stack up. The thing that sets them apart most clearly is their conversational ability. In this sense, they're far above the intended level of the class, or the aggregate level of a similarly aged class with no gamers in it. In addition to using gaming slang, and sort of preteen internet words like 'cringe,' they use a lot of informal constructions that I assume they've heard, and are now emulating. The other day, one of these students told me that a situation "would be pretty rough." for more than one reason, that's something that an EFL teacher wouldn't teach a kid to say. Another thing that's interesting is that they're generally playing online multiplayer games, which are less immersive, but obviously offer more opportunities for social interaction. I think it's popular to play up the viability of learning through immersion, for example learning the word for an object by needing to interact with it, as would happen in an adventure game. But in an Overwatch match, the language is more natural, and maybe more available, but also significantly less immersive, or contextualized in the game world. Tactics-oriented language might also be more repetitive. I should also say that of about ten of the kids I've met this year that fit this profile, two are girls. So boyishness doesn't seem to explain it to me, although these two are less bombastic than their male counterparts in class. Also, I've unfortunately never been to Poland. I'm in Russia. Spanish feels about twice as intuitive as Russian to my feeble western mind. Russian is dope, but it's loco. I'm not sure how Polish works, but it could be similar.
  7. I teach English as a foreign language in Eastern Europe, and I've noticed a type among my students in their teens. Two things distinguish them. First, they are very proficient in English, beyond any level that I would expect from EFL classes alone; Second they all participate in a gaming subculture online. I have plenty of proficient students that aren't at all interested in games, but I don't think I've met any that are as capable as these kids. In addition to using pervasive internet lingo, they readily, and correctly use colloquial constructions that no EFL teacher would ever bother teaching. This distinguishes their English from other learners that are simply excellent EFL students, making them seem nativelike in conversation. It's fairly normal in this country for parents to have their kids privately tutored in English, and while this can also distinguish a student, the gamer kids with and without tutors are often comparable to the non-gamer kids that get tutored. I'm not a private tutor, my classes are mostly extracurricular, and often relatively large. Most, but not all of these kids are male, and younger teens. Some are clearly well off, but others seem not to be (although all of their parents can afford to put them in a class with me). Does anyone else have any insight into this? Have you encountered any research about language acquisition and video games, specifically games not designed to be educational?