Virtual Round Table Web Conference

KEYNOTE Paul Driver: The Growing Pains of Digital Games

Recording (1h6min)

ELT trends come and go, especially technological trends. They often burn bright for a year and then fade into relative obscurity without ever seeing their potential fully explored.

Digital games have fallen victim to this process, being consumed by the ELT industry without ever being adequately chewed or digested. At their heart, games differ from other media in a fundamental way: they offer players the chance to influence outcomes through their own efforts. Players co-create games through agency and choice, not by accumulating points and badges. 

In this talk I will discuss some of the richer but often ignored aspects of game studies and provide examples, that I have used with my own students, of off-the-shelf games that train reading, writing, speaking and listening skills inherently, through their core mechanics.

Paul Driver is an Oxford-based teacher, teacher trainer, learning technologist, graphic designer and illustrator. He is the co-author of Language Learning with Digital Video, with Ben Goldstein, for the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series, and also writes ELT, digital games and edTech-related materials and articles for ELT publishers and academic journals such as the International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching. 

He is a regular speaker at national and international ELT events, including IATEFL, The Image Conference and Digital ELT Ireland. For the last four consecutive years he has been nominated for an ELTon (English Language Teaching Innovation Award) in the category of Digital Innovation. 

Paul blogs about his thoughts, projects and ideas at


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