Adventures in English with Cambridge: Language Learning with Minecraft

06 Dec 2022 Cambridge Blog Banner

Minecraft’s rich virtual environments facilitate wholly immersive and delightful interactive learning experiences in the award-winning Adventures in English with Cambridge. Once again, Minecraft: Bedrock Edition has teamed up with the world’s most recognized provider of English language exams, Cambridge University Press & Assessment, and we’re proud to present a festive winter release called Gormi’s Winter Wonderland.

Gormi’s Winter Wonderland is a compelling language learning experience created by the experts at Cambridge University Press & Assessment in collaboration with Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. Set in the virtual environment of Minecraft, this new world immerses students in a unique language learning experience where they’ll adventure through a new landscape and solve engaging puzzles as they build their English skills. Try the new lesson here!

As in Adventures in English with Cambridge Episode 1, language learning takes place through practice and exposure to relevant, contextualized language. The learning experience is intended for students aged eight and up or beginners at level A1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

At that level, it’s helpful to use visual clues to discover and practice new language concepts. Repetition, mistakes, and exposure are crucial components of learning, and this virtual world helps consolidate knowledge and increase motivation, engagement, and confidence—all necessary components of successful language learning!

The Cambridge team designed the world with simple but powerful premises in mind:

  • Using the language is more important than knowing facts about it.
  • Learning experiences should be relatable to real life.
  • Errors should be treated as a natural part of learning.
  • Students learn grammar and vocabulary most usefully when they’re within a meaningful context.
  • Extensive exposure to the language facilitates learning.
Gormi in the middle of a snowy tundra

The icy adventure begins in a cosy log cabin, in the middle of a snowy tundra, with Gorminzhillidon the Great – a two-dimensional being called Gormi for short – who needs your help to prepare for a winter party. If you experienced the first Adventures in English game, you might remember Gormi from the library’s gift shop. You’ve arrived early for the party and Gormi needs your help making hot cocoa for all his guests. Naturally, everything is not as simple as it first appears: Gormi sends you to his shed to find coal for the furnace and the shed turns out to be an enchanted igloo which is slowly freezing over! The players need to find the parts to make an ice pick and escape, and the coal… well, Gormi can’t remember which magical room he left it in. Maybe the weather reports Gormi has left in each room will help.

Exploring this frozen, glittering world, players will practice careful reading, following instructions, spelling, and word formation. The adventure challenges players to pay attention to new words, or words in new forms, which are directly relevant to the environments they find themselves in. They can develop their critical thinking skills when deciding which information is relevant to the puzzles, practice their problem-solving skills to apply what they have learnt, and earn rewards when successful.

The puzzles and tasks provide opportunities for deep processing and the formation of long-term memories; players process the meaning of the language they encounter by seeing it in action in the world around them. Then, they use what they’ve noticed to solve the puzzles or test their ideas. Players are free to explore and complete the puzzles in any order they like with hints provided in ‘weather reports’ that can be found all around the igloo. Players will learn that having the perseverance to try an activity more than once, and to look for clues that will support them, will help them to succeed. It’s all part of the learning!

And for your intrepid explorers who love to uncover everything a world has to offer, several hidden secrets reward players for their curiosity. These might come in the form of a funny line of dialogue, a secret object, or an extra hidden reward. These bonuses help to demonstrate that curiosity is its own valuable learning skill.

To learn more about this amazing new resource, head to Cambridge University Press & Assessment’s page. We’re excited for students to learn English alongside a splash of adventure, a dash of magic, and a touch of wonder that will make their language learning memorable. Start your adventure through the English language today!


Looking for a place to get started with Minecraft: Bedrock Edition? Download the game here.