Practice English Grammar Through Games: Quiz42 (With Martin Samuels)
Hi there and welcome back to the English Ernie podcast. I am your host Jasmine. Joe Hall this week. We have a super exciting episode as we are joined by special guest, Martin Samuel and university English language teacher in Budapest Martin has many years of teaching experience, both in the public and private sectors. He has now been working on an amazing language tool called quiz for to which we will be discussing later in this episode. Ultimately, Martin is going to share with our listeners should be learning English through online games, such as quiz for two. High Martin thank you so much for joining me on the English journey podcast. We are thrilled to have this week. How is it going? Jasmine thank you for having me. It's A. Nice to to to to share some thoughts with with new. Listeners. People I haven't had pajamas to talk to before things. Good things are good where I'm hearing Budapest we we've seen quite lucky. I think with the with the covent. Think we come in? It looks like we're coming to an end of it so hopefully things A. Good awesome to hear, and likewise it's awesome to connect with language teachers around the world. It's funny how small the world can really be so to me I just wanted to ask you a little bit more about yourself. In terms of your teaching experience I know you've had quite the resume. Been Teaching for twenty six years. I think now. I got into teaching little bit by by by by accident. Really A. I moved to Budapest the best twenty six years ago. and was looking for things that I could do, and somebody suggested teaching English. So I went to language school gave me a class, but one of NAS to do as a as a trial. And I prepared for it. I gave the class. Hi, I'm myself wasn't particularly satisfied with the way went, but several students came up to me off the classroom. What are you into? Be On you teacher? That's great, so I started looking around to see what I do, and I've worked in language school for a while I got a job at one of the large universities in Budapest. University of Economics Teaching, general and Business English the half. They have had an international program, so I was teaching students from all over the world in Budapest they also had an interesting program because up until the early ninety s Russian had been the the main foreign language that if people studied here. Everybody had to learn Russian against that. Will nobody really wanted to? And with the change of regime in early nineties, people decided they wanted to learn Russian everybody wants you to learn English seventy. They found themselves with a whole load of of Russian teaches that they didn't know what to do with. They didn't have jobs for them. They put them the chance to retrain as English. Teachers High I started teaching on that program that was. I of night was it was as a very inexperienced to Jack. It was great. It was a great experience because I was working language teachers who had been working for years. They had been teaching for twenty thirty years. And Abo-. Mogi seems a little bit different teaching rushing. The basics of teaching language on a very similar. So I was I I was able to look from from the Russian teaches that I was trying to teach to be. English teaches at amazing, and you mentioned how you taught a lot of international students. Did you find that through that experience kind of led the way to your current tool earlier quiz for two APP it certainly a is to the fact that. English is something which is not GonNa go way. It's going to be the wolves language it's it's something which now everybody wants to be able to speak whether. I think in when I started teaching here. Twenty five twenty six years ago, it was an advantage. If somebody spoke English, it was it was something a little bit unusual today. It's just expected today. If you don't speak English, you'll You're getting a good job on greatly reduced so it. It's just it's considered something I think worldwide. which everybody now thinks that being able to speak English is it's a site. It's not it's not. It's no longer an advantage something, which is a. A requirements I. Hunter Percent Agree with that. It really does open up a plethora of job opportunities. Life experiences connections I mean most of the online networking nowadays does happen in English so it's super useful and I totally agree with that. I did want to ask you more about why you decided to launch quiz for to you know. Tell us a little bit about it. What is it and why did it kind of come about? If it's a little bit of a long story. A friend of an English friend who lives here in Budapest in the high. We talked together in the same score for several years. And one day we came up with an idea that we wanted to make a websites for everything that was English. And we used to meet once. A week discussed the what we wanted to do. How we were going to do it and we we sat down came up with ideas. And I think after awhile. We didn't realize that that was just far too much. What we were thinking of was it was impossible. It was just such a big a big project that we would never be able to do it justice. This friend was also. Teaching, not just fulltime. He is teaching all the albums that that he could end. He didn't really want to give up and didn't really have the time. To take on a new project I have one of the ideas that we had was to have this interactive. Online quiz websites. This was an idea that I had come up with. after watching my daughter play a Hungarian game or nine the Hungarian game was it was a rebound Hungarian, his three Hungarian Coccia, her giving society, but people were playing against each other online and escape. It was very very popular number successful here in Hungary, and I thought then that if if they could make a game was not successful in a country with a population of about ten million people. Than for if it's something similar in English where there now. Between two two and a half billion people learning, speaking English than it has to be a market for it. I looked around to see if I could find thing anything similar an idea I. didn't find any I couldn't find anything that was doing what we wanted to do. So that's how the idea came abounds then it was a question of finding the technical people. I knew what I wanted to do. I didn't know whether it was possible. You turned out that most of the things I wanted to do with any standard for for people who who understand the development side to be stopped. We started developing in. Yes very simply the idea is that we wanted to come up with a gain which gets people playing against each other. It's quiz. I know there are lots of quizzes out there, but we do when you go online you register, and you go into the multi-player on you can find. Somebody could be anywhere in the world who happen to be online in a similar position from wants to play with to against somebody in the similar level of English two. We pappy, and then they play a short quiz. There are seven questions these grandma. Grandma based questions basically who based in some kind of criminal. We've tried to make them interesting tried to make them little bit fun. Around four levels, so basically anybody with a fairly basic minimum level of English knowledge of English can enjoy with, too because there are some two and a half thousand questions designed for people who are basically begin news, and you mentioned how grammar based and I did actually get a chance to try the quiz, and it was very interactive, and I found. It was very fun and you know with Grammar. As. We already know language. It's not the funnest subject to learn and I think that having an idea or a way to make it more innovative and more exciting for learners. That's an awesome idea. I agree I think. We've. Been in the position where we learning a language. And sit down and has to learn the grandma I'm a great believer now in in communication and that it doesn't matter if you make mistakes that the important thing is to be able to communicate. I was. In in the UK in Island, friendship scored, and we were told very much the grammar you must been the Gramley. Don't make mistakes. You must get hit right. which is a very negative approach when when it comes to to people, actually using the language, and so I now try to tell people in when I'm teaching them, English that it's not important whether you make mistakes, but but I know from Miami experience. We all very conscious of that. So I also wanted to do something that tried to make a grant side a little bit more fun I don't really see it as as a teaching tool maybe a teaching aid I don't think we are trying to to take the place of teachers. We trying to give them something else that they can use. So I think we can work in in parallel teaches it gives them something where if you've got five or ten minutes at the end of a lesson if you've got ten minutes, maybe you want to Woma becks assias. Is something that that makes it a bit of fun. Most of our tests done hearing in schools in in beautifullest, and this is what the teachers this as well. They realized that something that they thought it was. A great demand for especially with the the developments that we do. We have in in line We want to to develop a filter system. whereby you can select the type of questions that you're going to to receive, says teaching president perfect. You'll be able to select questions primarily on the present, perfect and level the students. which will increase the usefulness for teaches some of the feedback that I've had so far? People have said that it's it's great fun. It's. A great tool is something that the kids really enjoy. Yeah, and you know I really do appreciate that as a teacher, because it's possible to give a lesson and teach students whether online or in person, but then to have kind of like a tutorial or some way to actually authenticate the lesson and have them practice it especially on their own right, because students can actually access quiz for two in the comfort of their own home so something they can do even after the lesson is finished, so that is amazing. Very much, so that's something we. We are trying to promote the fact that. It's not just it's not just the five or ten minutes in the classroom you can, you can then go men practice. You can practice in single player mode, or as you can look for search for a random opponent, but I really want my dream from from this whole thing is to have maybe a student sitting here in Hungary and getting online, looking for an apartment and finding somebody in Vietnam playing a game or a couple of games against somebody Vietnam, then looking for another Huntington finding someone in Poland then again, looking again in finding somebody may be in in Italy somebody. Iran somebody as a site. These people could be anywhere in the world. Who they need is is the desire to to speak in practicing. and. The one of the next stages will be to in to introduce a chat function as well so once. You've made contact with somebody. And have played up the pains against them. You will. Be Able to chat with them. He's my vision. For to the future, no, it's an excellent vision. It really is bringing the world closer together through languages, and through the English language in specific We did kind of touch on this, but I was wondering what basically according to you. What are the biggest benefits maybe to learning and practicing English through games or and specific through Christopher to you know? Why should English language learners play games to reinforce the vocabulary and grammar? I think. Wants that question very shortly. It's effect. If you're having fun. You don't realize that you're learning. I think most of us have learned to language or more than one language. And when you when you're playing if you can, if you can enjoy what you're doing than it, it's that's half the battle and games. Particularly these type of games a way. You are constantly receiving questions you will after while. receive similar types of question so once you've seen a question. The more you practice that type of question, the more you will be able to use structure when you are speaking English. When you have to use it so. The idea of of practice having fun, not actually realizing that your that you're learning, I think you only have to look at the number of games online wizards hangman cross woods. So many games, and all of us have teach as teachers have had how favorites! And I that quiz two is just a a development of of the of things that people were doing in the past to give an example I had to let one lesson when we were testing in one of the high schools here. And I met the teacher just before the lesson at my first impression was that. Moon you respect she was. Not The youngest teacher. She didn't appear at first to be the most. Modern in have been a message. But, then when we started plane, she pulled me aside and said this is wonderful. And my view is that. Have you was that. The kids who got phones, and if she groups into the classroom and the first thing she says is put your phones away I. Don't want to see your phones than it creates a a an atmosphere, bad atmosphere in the classroom, whereas if she got into the room and they're. They've got their phones out and she says Oh. You got your phones out. That's used them. Let's play again. It wins them over the very happy to to spend five or ten minutes playing. And then as she said, it's much easier for her, then to say, okay we. We had a bit of fun with the funds. Now put them away and let's get on with with the lesson. Now most students have a smartphone. Majority of schools are now getting. WIFI Internet access, so it's just a natural progression that we should use these these tools. Of their. Absolutely and I love how you mentioned how we should be incorporating the twenty first century styles into our teaching an into the classroom. I have had some experience teaching in high school, and now I am teaching at a primary level, and it's really funny, because of course you know, Kids Love Games, and they're super engaged in. I make sure to do tons of games in my teaching styles, but it does make me. Me Really sad to see the decrease of engaged learning that happens at an older age or at older grade levels because I feel, they need to be more direct and have a more lecture style. Teaching and I think that's not the case. We don't need to stop playing games. We don't need to stop making learning authentic fun. We can find ways to adopt even with older grades so I love that and And even just finding easy ways to incorporate daily practice of new language learning, it's so important you mentioned how we can just take five to ten minutes of our time each day. Just by practicing and having fun definitely helps because it doesn't really feel like you're learning so I definitely think something like quiz for two would be awesome to just dedicate for our listeners ten to fifteen minutes of your time and it. It will really go far because you are having fun, and you actually are learning without really realizing it. Your brain is slowly memorizing through repetition of similar question styles, so I did want to say thank you so much. Martin for sharing this information with our community Where can our listeners find more about Christopher two and basically try it out for themselves. Thank you for giving me the Opportunity Jasmine. I appreciate and. Two is a a website of the momentous quiz than a number four and number two. It's like quiz forty two. I came up with the idea that it should be full, too, because it's a quiz basically for two people. So, yes, QUIZ TO DOT COM! You have to register. Once, you've registered. You can stop playing away. And one. I think one of the best features for teachers is that you can start to a group game? So if you have a language plus you teach, you can create a group and. All the members of the group and then. They play against each other within within the group and the teacher contract can see. Who's played against who what Games being played? Once you're there. There are lots of different options than it. It's it's fun. Yes DOT, com, go on, have a look and see what you think. You can contact us through the website, so if anybody has any feedback, we're always open to new ideas suggestions. We already have a lot of ideas that we want to incorporate in the not to distant future, but if anybody has any other ideas, I'm always always happy to listen perfect and I will have the website listed in the episode description box for easier reference for our listeners definitely check it out, guys if you're looking for authentic fun ways to practice your English grammar. Thanks so much again Martin for doing this. Keep doing what you're doing. I love seeing passionate teachers who are finding innovative ways to teach the English language. If you guys liked this week's episode, subscribe to the English Journey Podcast, so you can get our newest episodes delivered straight to your phone. Enjoy the rest of your day and I. Hope you'll join me next week. Don't.