Today was a very interesting day, and I’ll get to the reason for that later. For a start though, let me say that I am exhausted.
- I had to carry a bunch of games to class today:
- Scythe (Collector’s Edition no less..!)
- Sheriff of Nottingham
- 2 x Pandemic
- Forbidden Island
- Dead of Winter
- I had to walk around all of the groups and help them learn the rules to their games, answer questions, and generally make sure all students were on task.
The KR framework puts students in control. They are in charge of choosing a game, learning the rules, and progressing the play session. But… I’m still the expert regarding game rules and English, so I’m still very much needed to oversee the proceedings during class. Still, its a good kind of busy. I’m not policing kids into using English or staying on task, I’m helping them understand difficult concepts and getting them ready for game play, so I’m happy in my current role.
The “New Student”
(For me at least)
As you probably know by now, my context can be difficult sometimes. I work in a science and tech university with students that are generally not interested in learning English, so sometimes it is hard to get them motivated.
However, today I walked into class to be greeted by a new face. I thought he might be re-sitting the class (as in, he failed the class last year, and was thus retaking my class this time).
Anyway, I left him alone and started the class as normal.
He joined the Dead of Winter group and proceeded in taking control of the rulebook, reading very proficiently, and generally taking control of the group’s progression.
This is not a student that needs to retake an English class… is what I started to think.
When his group had a question regarding the rules, he would ask in English:
“What does this mean?”
“What do I do when a character is bitten?”
Come the end of the class:
York: Are you retaking this class?
[This is a first year “RT” class]
York: Are you a first year RT student?
Student: Yes.[OK, I’m finally figuring this out: This implies that he is registered with another teacher and sneakily coming to my class, possibly because he has heard that we will be playing games and wants to have fun… Not cool]
York: OK, so which teacher are you registered with?
Student: I’m not… I have EIKEN level 2.
York: So you don’t need to take English.
Student: I know, but I want to join this class..!
Let me explain:
English classes are compulsory at my university for all students, unless they have a high TOEIC score or EIKEN level 2 and above. So essentially, this student doesn’t need to take English. He has a bye. Yet here he is, going out of his way to attend my class, a class that he won’t even get credit for.
This is fine by me. He was a great influence on his group, tried hard to keep the discussions in English, completed the assigned worksheet tasks, and was obviously keen (almost hungry) to learn the game rules with his peers.
A good day indeed.
Originally posted on the Kotoba Miners blog.