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FLUENTRUSSIA Team Language Simulation

Simulation as a Language Learning Tactic

Simulation is a language learning model which allows students to express themselves to their peers in a group getting, groups comprising usually three or four. It is related to Role Play, but in Simulation students retain their own personas and are not required to pretend to be someone else.

In Role Play one student might be told that she is a supermarket checkout assistant whilst another is a customer. Students might also be given fairly tight guidelines utlining the nature of their exchange or the language points they are expected to cover. In Simulation the group members would not be expected to place emphasis only on a given set of language points, and effective communication should be the outcome, rather than the strictly correct use of vocabulary and structures. The group is given a task which may last a single period or stretch over a number of sessions. These tasks may range from the fairly short to the longer-term, more wide-ranging and complex.

The prime reason for using the simulation is to exercise the new knowledge presented on the course. Simulations enhance the learning process. Unlike lectures, where it is difficult to reflect and still listen to the lecturer, simulations provide opportunities for reflection with participants moving in and out of the discussion as required. Simulations are motivational events and participants are very involved in the process. This is because participants usually see simulations as competitions. This motivates in-depth discussion among them, ensuring deep processing and therefore assimilation.

Studies show that different learning approaches have different retention rates with practice by doing (through simulation) delivering a seventy-five percent retention rate. Simulations can be used to "revitalise" and motivate the group. This will also have a positive effect on the participants’ absorption of knowledge. Simulations can help linking theory with practice: the theoretical content must be complemented by sessions where participants test their skills.

When combined with traditional learning methods, business games increase efficiency of learning and help students make the connection between theoretical knowledge and professional challenges they will face in the real business world. Participants can experience the decision-making role of managers. As participants make actual business decisions and deal with the consequences of their mistakes, their knowledge retention increases exponentially.

About FR Team Language Simulation

FR Team is a business simulation platform that models the operation of project-based enterprises. During the simulation participants form teams representing different model corporations. The participants act in different managerial roles inside the model corporations. The software simulates a competitive market where the model companies compete. In the course of the contest the participants learn how to formulate a corporate strategy and how to create an effective and efficient organization to achieve their strategic goals. FR Team has automated financial functionalities (general ledger; balance sheet, profit and loss account, cash flow overview) according to generally accepted accounting rules.

Each team operates a model corporation, where this they will face immense market driven (external) challenges (which vary in the different case studies) and operational challenges arising from their available manpower and their cash flow situation. The trainer can assign individual missions and personal goals to the participants based on their managerial role in the simulated organization. These individual missions and goals can be conflicting, which could lead to arguments among the team members similarly to a real- life change management situation.

The trainer can also provide exercises for the teams (e.g. review and present strategy) in the course of the simulation.