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Sep 7

Using social deduction games in the EFL classroom

1 comment

Hi all!

My name is James and I teach English as a foreign language at a university just outside of Tokyo. My curriculum is not centered on any specific game, but board games. Mainly social deduction and cooperative games.

I use games as a core activity in my context, but supplement and expect learners to do much more than just play the game. A typical 8 - 10 weeks of classes looks like this:

 

  • Week 1: Research which game you'd like to play from those on my game list.

  • Week 2: Present your research findings to the whole class (share game knowledge) and make a gaming group

  • Week 3: Learn how to play your chosen game

  • Week 4: Play the game, recording your play session audio, then transcribe the audio as homework.

  • Week 5: Analyze the transcription (correct English mistakes, translate Japanese into English) and mine YouTube gameplay videos for useful expressions

  • Week 6: Replay the game, record audio, and transcribe.

  • Week 7: Compare the two transcriptions looking for improvements. Create a presentation "wrap up" of your experiences with the game.

  • Week 8 - 10: Create a digital artifact (video, word doc) that can be given to future players of the game explaining how to play, an example of gameplay, a transcription, or review of the game.

In this sense, any game could be used, but as improving their production skills is a focus of the class, I have tried to stick with social deduction and cooperative games, as these games require learners to speak and converse as they play, which allows for the transcription and analysis activities.

 

I can go into much more detail and provide worksheets for each step if people are interested. In the meantime, there's a lot of info already over on my blog.

 

Look forward to engaging with you all.

 

James

Sep 7

Thanks for sharing! Using board games is also something I've wanted to do more of in my classroom. I'll definitely be checking out your blog.

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