“Bonne Chance” is an innovative approach to language learning in the form of a french language immersion game.
Learning languages through or with gaming is not new in and of itself. What makes the “Bonne Chance” project unique is that we are trying to teach French through designing a game instead of simply playing it. This computer-based game was collaboratively created by a team of undergraduate and graduate students, lecturers, and professors from two colleges and seven departments at the University of Tennessee. Through an interdisciplinary approach to modern software development, students from multiple academic backgrounds with varying experience levels are able to work together in a cross-functional community. Language and culture immersion are being explored in a new technological and educational realm by applying game-based learning mechanics to an elementary French language curriculum.
In the game, the learner plays as a traveler going to Paris, who is then faced with an epic quest. The game progresses through a series of problem-solving language puzzles and form-focused, language-practice mini-games that connect to French culture. By solving the enigmas, players are able to practice language skills in a rich, culturally authentic context.
Le Louvre 3015
Welcome to the Louvre! The year is 3015.
You are about to meet Sébastien, the head of the French DGSE who assigns you a mission to travel back in time to replace documents that have been stolen and haphazardly scattered throughout history by a maniacal time thief! It is up you to ensure that these documents return to their rightful time, and in order to do this, you must employ the use of a time travel device. But not so fast! This device only functions off of the use of French grammar (I hope you studied)!
Once you have mastered the French grammar necessary to make the time device functional, you must return to the Notre Dame Cathedral in the year 1415 in order to return a document, Le Ditié de Jean D’Arc, back to its rightful time. This document presents the emblematic historical figure Joan of Arc through the lyrical prose of France’s first influential woman writer, Christine de Pizan. Hurry and return the document before French history is irrevocably changed!
The Language Game | Gendered Nouns (Conjunction)
The motivational aspect of playing -- and beating -- the game can incite players to "do more" French. Even when practicing forms as arbitrary and conventional as the gender of nouns.
Notre Dame 1415
Discover the Cathedral de Notre Dame in all of its medieval glory! Now that you have returned Christine de Pizan’s text to its rightful place and time, you must check to see if there is another time anomaly.
Have a chat with the Notre Dame priest, or the Hunchback Quasimodo, to see if anything seems out of place (but be careful not to catch the plague!).
Wait..is that the Molière’s play, La Malade Imaginaire, that the priest is reading?! Molière is one of France’s most famous renaissance playwrights and is well known for his satirical social commentary — but he won’t be alive for another 200 years! It looks like you’ve found another document that you have to return to its time period! Get your powdered wig ready, it’s time to head to the Renaissance!
The Language Game | SENTENCE STRUCTURE (CONJUGATION)
In this sentence building game, players have to dissect the language on a more granular level, in this case syntax, while tending to both form and meaning.
Jardin Du Luxembourg 1630
Take a stroll in the Gardens of Luxembourg! These beautiful gardens were built by Jacques Boyceau, who you’ll have a chance to meet during your visit to the Renaissance.
Don’t forget to say hello to Marie de Medici — the gardens were built for her after all.
While you’re chatting it up with these historic figures, you might want to make sure they aren’t exposed to any documents that shouldn’t belong in this level, such as the Napoleonic Code! This document was created in the 1800s by Napoleon Bonaparte as a foundation for French law in the aftermath of the French Revolution. You better make sure Marie de Medici doesn’t get her hands on it, I’m sure she wouldn’t support a complete overthrow of the French monarchy! Hurry to find it so that you can return it to its rightful place in history!
The Language Game | CLOCKS
The time game uses the "multiple-choice" structure where players have to select the correct clock based off of the time that they hear. This game features both the 12 hour and 24 hour clock, which French people use, adding an important cultural element to simple game mechanics.
Père Lachaise 1800
You dodged a bullet (or a guillotine) by returning the Napoleonic code before changing the course of the French revolution! You’ve traveled to Père Lachaise cemetery during the 1800s.
A groundskeeper of the cemetery.
A groundskeeper of the cemetery has found something a bit out of place — a flyer for the first world’s fair in 1889. I bet he’s wondering what a giant chandelier-shaped monument is doing in the middle of the Champs de Mars! This must be another time anomaly, and perhaps an indicator of where that pesky time thief has been trying to go all along — wasn’t there a giant diamond displayed in the Eiffel tower at the first world’s fair? You better get your time travel device set for the day of the first World’s Fair to make sure that she doesn’t try to steal it!
The Language Game | Verb Agreement
Verb agreement is an important part of learning to communicate in a new language. It is our hope that over time, as often happens with online games, users will create a gaming community that will establish a meta-discourse and strategies about the game, thus helping each other learn.
In the distant future, a time thief is stealing artifacts from the past. You play as Elodie, a student of French History who is brought to the year 3000 to help the time police fix the past and catch the thief.
Bonne Chance is a game being developed as supplementary material to a French Curriculum. The game is a tool to help French students practice and develop a contextual understanding of French grammar.
Bonne Chance is a 2.5D mobile side scroller game being developed for Android and iOS. It is built in the Unity game engine.