Vanier College is proud to congratulate French teacher Avery Rueb whose educational video game, “Prêt à négocier” received an award at the Gala des Mérites du français hosted recently by the Office québécois de la langue française. The awards are given to organisations and individuals who contribute to the promotion and use of French at work, in business and in information technologies.
Avery Rueb worked with the video game company, Affordance Studio, to make “Prêt à négocier” as a way to help students improve their French oral interaction skills. The video game can be played on mobile devices, desktops and laptops, in the classroom and outside of the classroom through face-to-face conversations. In the game, students negotiate orally with a partner for items like cars, houses, and even pirate ships. Players must talk with each other out loud to earn points for exchanging information about the product and arriving at a final price.
“I was totally surprised by this award and not expecting it at all,” said Avery Rueb. “We are honoured to be recognized by the Office québécois de la langue française for our contribution to the use of French in the province.”
In a study led by Dr. Walcir Cardoso from Concordia University, students who played “Prêt à négocier”, reported finding it fun and effective: “It’s fun learning, like, it’s not boring or something, we enjoy it. We don’t feel like we’re learning, but we’re learning”. Students also found that the game helped them improve their French and that “Prêt à négocier” is a great tool to learn a language. One student commented, “The competition is good I think. It makes us know more words to say what we mean.” Another student indicated that the game helped to increase her willingness to communicate, “It helped me to want to be able to talk more… In a sense, it made me want to talk instead of being – I’m a very shy person when it comes to talking in French, I tend to hold back, so it kinda (sic) made me want to open up and to expose myself.”
“Without Vanier’s support, this award would not have been possible,” explained Avery Rueb. “The Pedagogical Support and Innovation office helped us find the resources necessary to do research on the game. Also, many of my colleagues at Vanier tested the game and gave us feedback to make it better. As always, with a technological project like this, it’s a team effort.”
Congratulations to Avery Rueb and his team for their creativity and their remarkable success.