Creative pedagogy, language learning and technology – IATEFL presentation by Mr. Graham Stanley

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Can you work when there is a massive refurbishment going on around your flat? Well, I pretty much cannot, hence my late note. I need to write a bit about some really nice and useful presentations I’ve seen at the conference.

Mr. Graham Stanley made a really nice presentation at the IATEFL conference and I enjoyed it immensely as it covers my field of interest – games and creative teaching. I do recommend watching this video as it is short (20 mins) and really funny, but let me sum it up a bit.

Mr. Stanley mentions three games.

1. Story Cubes

It’s pretty much the same idea I wrote about in Once Upon a Time… note, only you don’t have cards but dice. And although cubes sound funnier, the cards have some nice words (possibility of having a 15 year old student remember the word ‘idle’ – priceless) – I guess you may use both with the same fun and success in a classroom.

2. Werewolf

Have you ever played Mafia? The rules are basically the same – you pick some werewolves from among your students and make them choose a victim who becomes a ghost (I might give a scene of death for the younger students, I’m sure they would love it, especially team Jacob, hrhrh). Then, when the day comes and werewolves change back, the villagers try to find out who is the culprit.

I’ve just thought I might change it to vampires (for team Edward, with extra glitter). Or zombies, but zombies theoretically don’t change back to humans. You might even get a role for a particularly noisy student and make them a banshee who screams when someone is about to die – but never tells who a werewolf is.

It does sound like fun. Besides, it makes the students lie – and I’ve always thought that the greatest sign of a foreign language proficiency is the ability to lie.

3. The islands

Now, I’ve never tried that game before, but I’m definitely going to give it a try as it requires pretty much work from the students on various levels. First, they work in groups and design their own imaginary islands – just pictures/ maps. Then, they come up with political systems, industrialization (if any), currency etc. And then we make a great continent of those islands.

What I want to try with my pre-intermediate 13-15 year old students, is to skip the political systems and stuff and replace it with the element of RPG (role playing game). Basically, I want them to design sets of adventures for visitors (with the open endings) and visit the islands of their classmates. Then everyone will have different adventures (speaking!) and as a finishing touch I want to sum them up on post-its (‘beware the Jabberwocky’), stick them to the maps and THEN make a great map with those islands and their descriptions.

How will it work? We’ll see, I’ll try to post the result, but so far the students seem interested – just like me! And as for you – listen to the presentation and get inspired!

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