Teaching is tough business. A problem that many teachers may face is the lack of engagement in the classroom, especially in the long run. Bored faces, chatting students and (supposedly) covert peeks at mobile phones aren’t unfamiliar to probably any teacher out there. Why is that? Students are generally aware of the importance of learning English, and we teachers do our very best to help them achieve their goals. So, if both parties are motivated, why doesn’t the magic always happen?

Well, maybe because the system is a bit outdated. Unfortunately, educational systems seem very reluctant to change, and the world has simply passed them by. Life of students outside of school seems a lot more exciting than inside the classroom. Let’s face it – one person standing in front of a whiteboard has a hard time competing with, say, action heroes of videogames.

Let’s stop for a second at videogames. Students can sit and play them for hours, totally zeroed in, experiencing a perfect flow phenomenon, focusing their attention and using their skills without any sense of boredom, even when the game is challenging or repetitive. They can get frustrated when failing, but it still doesn’t stop them from trying over and over again, until they finally beat that hell of a level or slay that beast in the end. To be honest, if only a fraction of this energy (and problem-solving strategy) was spent on their English studies, their knowledge would skyrocket in no time.

Which is exactly what Caerusia aims to do. Named after the ancient Greek deity of opportunities (Caerus), it turns all elements of an English lesson into something that resembles videogames. Based on studies in gamification and engagement, Caerusia creates an environment where vocabulary extension, grammar studies, skills development, classroom activity, teamwork, and basically everything the students do contribute to their progress in the game, where the only way to become a skilled classroom Warrior (who can beat anyone in Vocab-Duels), a powerful test Wizard (who can use magic to boost their test scores), or an invisible Adventurer (who can use tricks to avoid a Grammar Beast) is to work hard on their language skills.

There are many ways to gamify English lessons. The difference between Caerusia and these is that while most gamification approaches concentrate on one issue at a time, Caerusia connects everything with everything, creating a complex framework, thereby providing a true game-like atmosphere. It doesn’t “just” gamify things – it turns everything into a game, which takes place inside the classroom. Students gain “magic Skills” that help them solve tasks, pass tests, organize their groupwork, be more effective at home learning, or simply make their life easier and less stressful in school.

Caerusia can be used by anyone. You can teach whatever you want, use any book you fancy, teach whatever grammar is needed, introduce any topic to your students, apply all the practices that work best for you. Caerusia may suggest certain methods, but it doesn’t require you to change anything in your teaching practice – it allows you to do what you’d do anyways, in a more engaging environment. At your aid is an application to run things smoothly, and a unique graphical setting to foster the students’ engagement, both in primary and secondary education.

The system benefits both students and teachers. Students enjoy that they work in a beloved and well-known context, and that they can use the knowledge and strategies they acquired while playing games. In the meantime, it provides teachers with new means to give feedback, to check student activity, to keep their classes focused, to test grammar and vocab, and to develop language skills. Plus, both can take pleasure in doing something new, something out of the box. And at the end of the day, the kids learn English, which is good for everyone.