Saturday, July 28, 2007

Make & Take Day at my School

One idea to bring new game players into the hobby is to have a model day.
I know a lot of you are teachers, and many of you teach children.
This is what one of our teachers did on Saturday. Our students had a
lot of fun, and though we used Gundam models, you could just as easily
use Rackham, Games Workshop or others. Chris taught them how to make
the models and how to paint them using felt pens--like sharpies.

You will note a couple of girls in the group!

The next step might be to teach them how to play a game. You could
incorporate some English into it, to make it a bonafide English

Have them talk about what they will do on the turn or have them ask a
question in English each turn.

I have regularly incorporated games into my English classes. Many of
them are games designed specifically for English students--Speaker
Friendly and Rock Talk. Others are The Japan Game, but I have sometimes
used regular board games like China, Settlers of Catan and others,
while requiring the students to speak English.

On the other hand, I think half of what we do as English teachers, is simply expose Japanese to another culture. We open up a new world for them. Playing a game in a relaxed atmosphere, is another way of doing this. Perhaps at times, relaxing the requirement for English production, and just "hanging out," together, arguably is a good idea, and may well help us down the line in terms of getting our students
to engage in the tougher English activities we ask of them.
What do you think? I would be interested in hearing your comments on this?

One of the JIGG members, a university professor, commented at one of the KevCons that there is a lot of pedogogical evidence in support of using games for teaching.

Indeed it makes for an interesting class and a break from the everyday
English class.

For more on our model day, see the following link:

No comments: