Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How hard can a game be?

It was a slow day and one of our trio was absent - bit pointless pushing on with a new project if we have to re-start & epxplain everything all over again next week.

I really like Junior Scrabble as a fall back for strong students, because it allows them to show off how well they can spell. "Seeing" words in ajumble of letters is a very difficult thing to do in a second language at any age; it os doubly tough when your culture does not involve playing games. Seriously, when was the last time a Japanese person told you they played Colditz, Kerplunk or Top Trumps at the weekend?

So, I would argue that not only is the actual game a bit hard, but the entire concept of game play something that needs to be taught...and that getting the 'perfect' answer is not strategy one! So, chill out players, and let the teacher (who knows what you know, so this actually works nicely as review, a test almost) supply you with hints - not the actual words you can make of course!
Scrabble
Image via Wikipedia

Hinting - use your classroom language, naturally!
  • A kind of ...
  • The opposite of...
  • It's big, and brown, and ...
  • It sounds like...
  • Use L1 if you are stuck/can do it eg "How do you say ******* in English?"
Making/doing crosswords is also something students are not often exposed to (and top > bottom spelling is something we avoid, right?!).

Anyway, that's my share. My lads really enjoyed their 'easy' lesson as they had to think their socks off! What kind of word/game play do you do with your students?

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