Using Video Game Technology in Foreign Language Instruction

Saint Louis University Italian Professor Simone Bregni.

A St. Louis professor is implementing a new method to engage his students in foreign language study: Video games. Professor Simone Bregni from Saint Louis University uses video games in his class, “Intensive Italian for Gamers,” to teach students Italian language and culture. A video game enthusiast, Bregni uses about 10 different games in his course including “Assassin’s Creed II” set in Renaissance Italy. Bregni’s video game course is so far yielding positive results. Preliminary findings show that students in the class scored higher on their finals than those in traditional Italian classes at SLU.

Some educators might be skeptical of using video game technology in the classroom, Bregni acknowledges, but he urges them to think outside of the box. “You don’t have to become an expert all of the sudden,” Bregni said, as quoted by St. Louis Public Radio. “Just be open to the fact that this is a relevant part of some of our students’ lives.”