Finally! I found a game that they all like. Of course, it is nearly void of educational value – but I’m OK with that. My students’ collective English skills are far too low to play any fun games that actually improve their English. They speak in Korean, no matter what rules I make.
Until yesterday, every single game was hit-or-miss. Hot Seat, one of my personal favorites, was a huge hit with about half of the classes. The rest simply refused to play. It was frustrating as hell, but I finally had to accept it – that dog won’t hunt.
I went out on a limb with my middle school kids during third period yesterday. We flew through my lesson plan, and I had a lot of time to waste, so I taught them how to play Pictionary. I thought there was a 50/50 chance that they would understand the game. I was less confident that they would enjoy it. I was wrong.
Though I was surprised by my 7th graders’ positive reaction to the game, I thought it was a one-time deal. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try with my three other Thursday classes. Two of them are super-low-level, so I didn’t get my hopes up. Once again, I was wrong.
All four classes went nuts for the game. Even one of my lowest-level classes enjoyed it. The majority of the students don’t know basic words. I had to do a lot of translating (my translation app got a workout). I was pretty disappointed that I had to translate almost every word. In fact, the words were so easy that I didn’t have to use my app to translate them (teacher, milk, school, etc.). I wasn’t disappointed in the students – my frustration is with the system that allowed them to spend half their lives in English class and never learn more than “hello”.
I’m actually excited about teaching this game to my last three classes this week. With any luck, I’ll find a way to inject some legitimate learning into this game. I’m not sure yet how to sneak it in without them realizing (and deciding it’s no longer cool).
Until next time.