Levelling Up with Homework


What are differences between the word level when talking about learning a language and when talking about level in a computer adventure game?

1) Language level refers to how proficient you are when it comes to a language. You make progress by practising and studying, and you usually change from one level to another when a teacher, or examiner, evaluates your progress and considers you have a higher level. Usually your level doesn't change until you have finished a course.

2) In many computer adventure games, level can refer to the progress your character makes in skills and abilities. You make progress by experiencing the game, and you increase in level when you have collected enough experience points (XP). You accumulate experience points by playing the game, discovering new things and practising your skills and abilities.

Believe it or not, but you can make English exam-preparation class more like an adventure game by using a different level system and awarding experience points.

Here is a scale of levels for English students - you can record these on a class wiki, website or blog, or just make a chart and stick it on the wall. Tell them you are going to use a chart to record their homework progress, and that they will start at Level 1 and level up, depending on the amount of homework they do.

LEVELS
Level
Experience points (XP)
Grade (%)
Level 12
12,000
A+ (100%)
Level 11
11,000
A (90%)
Level 10
10,000
A- (80%)
Level 9
9,000
B+ (79%)
Level 8
8,000
B (77%)
Level 7
7,000
B- (75%)
Level 6
6,000
C+ (74%)
Level 5
5,000
C (70%)
Level 4
4,000
C- (60%)
Level 3
3,000
D (59%)
Level 2
2,000
E (45%)
Level 1
1,000
F (44%)
EXAMPLE CHART
Reading
Homework



XP
Level
Student 1
55%



2,000
2
Student 2
45%



2,000
2
Student 3
52%



2,000
2
Student 4
67%



4,000
4
Student 5
49%



2,000
2
Student 6
59%



3,000
3
Student 7
59%



3,000
3
Tell the students that their level will depend on the results of the work they do, and that they will earn 200 experience points for each piece of homework they do. Tell them that experience points will always adjusted up to their level, so, for example, if a student averages at 59% for the last 3 pieces of homework, then that student's XP will be raised to 3,000 to match the percentage.

If you want, especially with exam preparation classes, create a separate record for each student, and list the separate scores for each skill (see example below). Teachers should keep an ongoing record of the students’ scores, and can use this page to write comments once a month or so about each student's progress, giving the students help by telling them what they should focus on.

Student A

Reading
Writing
Use of English
Listening
Speaking
Average %
Overall Level
Level
3 (59%)
2 (49%)
2 (54%)
3 (60%)
4 (68%)
58%
2


Continue recording the results of the students for each language area, and encourage each student to work on areas for homework where they are weak.