Project
Tabletop! - Discussion Through Board Gaming
Thu. 1st. Period Jonathan Trace
Keywords:
Discussion, Listening, Project, Speaking, Pragmatics

This class uses board games to learn about and experience different kinds of interactions in English. This class is designed to create a rich, task-based approach to language learning where students must use their reading, speaking, and listening skills to (a) learn, understand, and carryout the rule systems of games, (b) negotiate and cooperate with their fellow players to complete the specific tasks of the games, and (c) critically evaluate strategies necessary for the completion of those tasks.

This class will require a heavy amount of LISTENING & DISCUSSION. I encourage students to challenge themselves even if they feel their listening & speaking skills are weak, but participation (in English) in the activities is necessary to pass the course.


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

  • Demonstrate negotiation strategies for clarifying meaning, reaching agreement, and coopertative action

  • Carry out pragmatic functions in English including making requests, refusals, and apologies.

  • Critically evaluate and reflect on strategies for solving problems across a number of different task domains


Module 1: Participation & Assignments: 25%
Module 2: Participation & Assignments: 25%
Module 3: Participation & Assignments: 25%
Module 4: Participation & Assignments: 25%


1

  • Introduction to the Tabletop Board Gaming
  • Student Needs Analysis & Background Info
  • Diagnostic Test

2

  • Game Module 1: Day 1 - Once Upon a Time
  • Descriptions, Storytelling, & Interruptions

3

  • Game Module 1: Day 2 - Once Upon a Time
  • Collaborative Storytelling

4

  • Game Module 1: Day 3 - Once Upon a Time
  • Student-Designed Tasks Using Collaborative Storytelling

5

  • Game Module 2: Day 1 - Concept
  • Vocabulary, Descriptions, & Connecting Ideas

6

  • Game Module 2: Day 2 - Concept
  • Describing concepts & connecting ideas

7

  • Game Module 2: Day 3 - Concept
  • Student-Designed Tasks Using Culture-Specific Concepts

8

  • Game Module 3: Day 1 - Dixit
  • Descriptions, Subtlety, & Creativity

9

  • Game Module 3: Day 2 - Dixit
  • Subtlety & Indirectness

10

  • Game Module 3: Day 3 - Dixit (Codenames)
  • Connecting Themes

11

  • Game Module 4: Day 1 - Settlers of Catan
  • Negotiation & Pragmatics Using Requests & Refusals

12

  • Game Module 4: Day 2 - Settlers of Catan
  • Negotiation & Cooperation

13

  • Game Module 4: Day 3 - Settlers of Catan
  • Negotiation, Cooperation, and Playing with the Rules

14

  • Reflecting on Games & Language Learning

15

  • Final Evaluations


This class is designed around building authentic English discussion skills through  gaming. We will play games 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).