As children continue to spend more time stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, online esports lessons combined incorporating English conversation practice have proved a hit with young gamers — and with parents fretting over how to keep them entertained in a constructive way.

So far, several dozen people have signed up for the lessons, including many elementary school children, but several hundred more are on a waiting list, according to Gecipe Inc., the Tokyo startup which launched the initiative a year ago during school closures in many parts of Japan that lasted up to three months.

In the 80-minute lessons, the participants communicate with a coach and each other in English via a messaging app as they team up to play popular battle royale game titles such as Fortnite, with opportunities provided to learn, review and utilize new words and phrases.