Destination Impossible – BBC Skillswise

I was shown this website about 5 years ago, when I was teaching loads of classes in an IT suite, and needed to find ways to exploit it; incredibly, for something on the Internet, it has really stood the test of time . It’s an interactive game for practising following directions. It’s so simple, yet so well put together, that I’ve been using it for all this time.

Destination Impossible

The basic idea is that the application consists of a map of a fictional town, and players are given a written instruction, and have to choose whether this is taking them to place A, B or C. The game takes them through a series of instructions so that they complete their ‘mission’; A time limit can be set to increase the pressure (and difficulty). I find it to be a good exercise for practising reading for information and also for consolidating vocabulary. It is suitable for strong beginners or elementary level students (good E1 or E2 in UK ESOL language). It always seems to get the learners engaged and allows you to give individual support for any students who might need it. I just add a link to the site in Moodle, so students can access it easily in the lesson, and return to it outside of class should they want to.

There are quiz activities and worksheets on using the imperative here: (E3/Pre-intermediate) and (L1/Intermediate). Here you could use the game as a warmer, and then shift the focus on to the quiz questions (or other resources on the topic).

The Skillswise site in general is well worth bookmarking (I’ve added it to my links page, as it has some great interactive word and grammar games, it is more aimed at adult literacy students, but still has plenty of stuff relevant for ESOL/ESL/EFL students. There are also a lot of numeracy links, should you need to do some work with numbers.


5 thoughts on “Destination Impossible – BBC Skillswise

  1. I’ve used this game before too and I agree it is very useful. I’ve been doing a lot of work with my students on the imperative as it is vital for students taking the ESOL Enrty 2 Trinity Reading Exam.

    I will be using Moodle from next September so I’ll definitely be linking into it.

    You’ll find some posts on my blog related to Imperatives and you can download some files from my Scrbd account.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Mister Mike

  2. Oooh, that’s a very interesting game. I’ve been using BBC Skillswise a fair bit since going full-time ESOL in 2008, but hadn’t seen this game before. Very useful, as I have been looking at instructions with Entry 1 students, and teach an Entry 2 group in the evenings.

    Thanks very much for sharing that!!


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