Roleplaying Games, Identity, and English
- Tabletop Roleplaying Games for Language Learning
Wed. 1st. Period Jonathan Trace
Discussion, Project, Speaking, Identity, Creative Englsh

Who are you as a user of English? Learning and using a second language like English means taking on a new identity, one that is influenced by who we interact with, what situations we find ourselves in that require the language, how we shit language to reflect different cultures, and so on. This class uses tabletop roleplaying games (RPGs) to explore new identities using language in creative, dynamic, and—most importantly—fun way ways to reflect on our own identities as language users.

Through RPGs, we will engage in interactive storytelling exercises where we create our own, new characters and stories, and then cooperatively and collaboratively work through different dramatic and sometimes fantastical situations through roleplay, acting, and imagination. The goal of this class is to use language to (a) create, (b) solve problems, and (c) reflect upon who you are as a second language user.

By the end of the class, students will be able to:

  • Reflect on their role as a second language users of English
  • Use English to creatively and descriptively tell stories
  • Demonstrate a high level of cooperative and problem-solving skills for discussion, negotiation, and collaborative story-telling.

Attendance & Participation: 40%
Online Journal: 40%
Final Project: 20%


  • Introduction to Tabletop Role-Playing Games (RPGs)
  • Student Needs Analysis & Background Info


  • Language & Identity - Rewriting our own stories as language users


  • Creating Characters & Being Part of the Story
  • Game: Fiasco - Character Creation


  • Being Part of the Story
  • Game: Fiasco


  • Game Masters, RPGs, and World Building
  • Introduction to Fate Core


  • Character Creation - Descriptions, Backstories, & Role-Playing


  • Character Creation Continued


  • Collaborative Story-telling
  • Fate Core Class Campaign


  • Collaborative World-Building


  • Student Campaign Day #1


  • Student Campaign Day #2


  • Student Campaign Day #3


  • Student Campaign Day #4


  • Final Reflection on Identity & Language Learning


  • Class Evaluations

This class is designed around building authentic English discussion skills through dramatic gaming. We will role-play in class, but this will require several things from you, the student:

  • Active participation in ALL classes
  • The desire to be creative. You don't need to be creative, but you need to be willing to TRY and be okay with being silly and open to new experience.
  • Expect to do real work in this class (along with some very fun activities).