InterCom, a customizable weekly newsletter for language professionals, is provided by the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon. InterCom is sponsored through a Title VI Language Resource Center grant.

Topic of the Week: InterCom: October, 25 2021

Today, we continue our series on games and fun! This week, we are supporting learners wishing to play MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games) to improve their language learning and proficiency development.

Thank you to CASLS Student Intern, Aleya Elkins, for her role in making this week’s video.

There are a few ways to get connected with us this week:

  • Join our InterCom Live! session. We connect on Facebook every Monday at 11:00 am Pacific. To join us, open CASLS's Facebook page at the designated time. Can't make it? The InterCom Live! events are always recorded, and you can find them on our Facebook page.
  • Check out the Activity of the Week. This activity engages learners in goal setting and reflection centered on MMOG gameplay.
  • Check out this previous InterCom activity related to community-based exploration. It utilizes MMOGs as a potential vehicle (of many) for connecting learners with communities of target langauge speakers.

Happy exploring! We are excited to continue engaging with you this week.

Activity of the Week

  • MMOGs for Language Learning

    The purpose of this activity is to prepare learners to engage in extramural (see: outside of the classroom) language learning via social gameplay. It is especially appropriate for Intermediate Mid learners and up.

    Learning Objectives:
    Learners will be able to:

    • Identify a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) that they want to play
    • Keep a log of gameplay
    • Reflect on what they have learned during gameplay

    Mode(s): Interpretive, Interpersonal, Presentational

    Material(s): Using MMOGs for Language Learning video, Gemeplay Log


    1. As a group, watch the Using MMOGs for Language Learning video.
    2. Direct learners to research how to play a MMOG in the target language. They may have to find out what servers to connect to or find tutorials online.
    3. Provide learners with the Gameplay Log. Ask them to articulate one goal that they have over the next week related to understanding the targeted gameplay community (e.g., understanding when/how players “grief” on another, resolve conflict, or join groups).
    4. Group learners by the goal that they articulated. Ask that learners consider their goal in the Gameplay Log by documenting what target vocabulary they should look out for, what grammatical structures they expect to see, and any other cultural input (e.g., how to mitigate) that they want to pay attention to.
    5. Debrief Step 4 as a large group. Brainstorm additional details for the answers learners shared.
    6. Ask learners to keep a log of their gameplay experience as it relates to their goals for a week. For most learners 15-30 minutes a day of gameplay should be more than enough time, but they should be aware that different games will require different types of time commitment.
    7. After the week is up, either as a group or individually, ask that learners answer the reflection questions on the Gameplay Log.

Language Corner

Halloween Idioms

Source: Svetlana Kandybovich Back to Quick Links


This blog post details a Halloween activity for language learners. It involves learning about, and getting familiar with, spooky English idioms. The activity first asks learners to learn about these idioms, then they are asked to interact with their peers and use these idioms in context. This activity is a useful introduction to idioms. Additionally, it is fun and will likely get some learners excited about language!


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