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Subject: Playing with my Japanese students rss

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Susie Rogers
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I work with a group of Japanese junior high school students every Saturday and help them out with their English. My co-teacher and I were hard up for ideas so I decided to see how they would do with Upwords. I was kinda nervous because these are just junior high students and as much as I have worked with them, I'm just not sure of their vocabulary or spelling abilities. My co-teacher assured me that it would be fun, so we went with it.

I was kinda lucky because only 4 students came to class that day which meant that each kid could play by themselves. So I introduced the game to the students. I explained the rules in simple English and showed them some examples of how the play would work. My co-teacher made sure the students understood and gave some extra explanation in Japanese.

While she was doing this, I quickly picked out the 'Qu' 'X' 'J' 'V' and 'Z' tiles so the students wouldn't get stuck with them. I have faith that they could use them, but for the first go, I didn't want them to worry about these tough letters. I also decided that no score would be kept. I didn't want this to be competitive. It was an exercise in spelling and word formation. Also, in thinking on your feet. I just didn't want them to have added pressure of trying to win. I just wanted them to have fun.

So the game started off well. The students were really keen on this idea and were very gung-ho about playing. They liked the challenge. They also did very well. I ended up showing a girl how you can make two words at the same time and the students went from there. I was so impressed. I didn't have my camera with me, so I could only take pictures with my cellphone (which is why I'm not submitting them to the geek) but I will share some of them with you.





This was after about 15 minutes of play. My students are so good at this! I am very impressed! I meant to get a picture of the final product, but we ran out of time and we had to hurry and pack up the game.

You have to remember, these are 14 and 15 year old students who have been studying English for only 2 or 3 years. This is incredible. These are advanced students, but still. I'm very pleased with the results.

When asked how they liked the games, the students were very excited about it. They felt very proud and satisfied with the results. It was a good example of how much they have learned and can actually do (sometimes the Japanese school system has problems with underestimating their student's abilities and doesn't challenge them enough).

So yay! UpWords is a brilliant game for ESL learners. It's also really fun and rewarding for a teacher. Plus, I like this game and kick all kinds of ass at it. That always helps.
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Australia
Ashfield
NSW
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Pushing a lesbian old growth union-approved agenda since '94.
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Are they calling you G.T.W. yet?
 
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Susie Rogers
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Heh. No. Sometimes they actually call me Suji Hime though. I try to encourage that. It means princess Susie in Japanese. I feel everyone should know I'm a princess. ^_^
 
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