ELT Sandbox - A new blog about gaming and language learning

As you may or may not be aware, I have recently started a new blogging project about combining a long standing free-time passion of mine - computer games - with my professional passion - teaching the English language - and this post is a shameless attempt to plug this other blog!

I have named the blog ELT Sandbox after the gaming term ‘sandbox’, which refers to a mode of play allowing for experimentation with the game and the digital environment it is situated in. I aim to explore ways in which gaming, whether that means actually playing games with our learners or just using the topic of games in class, can motivate our learners and help them develop their language skills.


Image by @acliltoclimb via eltpics

Gaming often has a stigma attached to it as a ‘waste of time’ activity for young kids but the truth is, games are played by almost everyone in the developed world whether it be on a PC, a dedicated games console or a smartphone. They are engaging, motivating and addictive - all things we would like to see in our classrooms! I have found that connecting the topic of gaming to my lessons is a great way to encourage my learners to use English more and this website will show that when used in a considered and structured way, games (just like film clips and other media) can be an effective tool in the language classroom.

So ,if you are interested in exploring this topic with me, check out (and subscribe to!) the blog:


In the true spirit of social media, you can also find ELT Sandbox on Twitter and like the Facebook page:



Also, next weekend (October 11th-13th), I will be presenting a session on this topic at the Reform Symposium Online Conference (a.k.a. #RSCON4) entitled ’ELT Sandbox - Promoting language learning through gaming’ in which I will present a few of my ideas from the blog along with a couple that haven’t been posted there yet!

This is to be followed by a webinar in December for Teaching English called Using games to engage, motivate and educate language learners’.

I hope to get the chance to share and discuss some ideas about gaming and language learning/education on the blog, through social media channels and at the webinars!


  1. Hi, Dave! I'm looking forward to the webinar. Looks like an exciting topic for me. Congratulations on your new blog. I want to support this because I'm interested also in digital gaming. We want to keep up with the changing times you know. I'm always looking for new trends in teaching.

    1. Hi Patrick,

      I hope you enjoyed the webinar and the blog and that you get the chance to use some digital gaming in your teaching :)


Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear after Dave has approved it. :-)