Monday, October 27, 2014

Advanced level small classes of burnt-out students= Settlers of Catan

These past few weeks, I've had some classes of students who are preparing for internships in the USA who are burnt out.  They've been studying for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the last 4 months or so and they've had enough.  The classes are getting smaller and smaller as students are going to the USA, having to prepare documents or going to the US embassy for interviews.

These days, it's only 3-5 students and all of them speak English extremely well so I decided it was time to teach them how to play Settlers of Catan.  I love playing board games and so anytime I can do it in class, I will!  Other teachers in this program are showing movies, chit-chatting about random stuff or going out for lunch so I don't exactly feel terrible about the lack of "serious-study."

Anyway, I gave a quick run-down of the rules in about 15 minutes, in English and they understood easily enough, despite the fact that none of them had played the game before.  We got set-up, with a bit of coaching from me about the initial placements and played a couple games.  The students seemed to really enjoy it and I did as well!  They even spoke English basically the entire time without any prompting from me, which I was impressed with.

Give it a try in your classes if you teach small groups of really high-level students.  They're usually so tired of the normal "conversation" classes that they'll probably be happy for a new challenge.

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