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Dragon Diceâ„¢ in Teaching English

 
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theanimaster
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Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 165
Location: Orange Park, FL

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:58 am GMT    Post subject: Dragon Diceâ„¢ in Teaching English Reply with quote

The reason why I purchased such a wide assortment of Dragon Diceâ„¢ was actually to use in education.

I teach English and IT to highschool kids here in Bangkok (Thailand).

I've tried other products, but they weren't too successful. The first was D&D. You know -- free thinking and the ability to do anything you choose? Well... something you MUST learn about Thai kids -- they are NOT cut out for free-thinking at all. They've been learning to just do what they're told and not ask questions. Self thinking is a rare commodity in this country, unfortunately.

So next up was Magic: the Gathering. Was hoping they'd be able to pick up the game easily, since a lot of the students buy PIRATED versions of another collectible card game: Summoner. Yeah, I know. Who buys pirated cards instead of the original prints? Well, these kids do. Apparently, QUALITY is not important nor is AUTHENTICITY. So these kids would rather play with a mix of cards in Japanese and Korean and "pirated" Thai-versions of the card game rather than something that was authentic, had more value and quality and was in English -- which costed 4 times more than the stuff they were playing with.

Phew.

OK. Next. WORLD of WARCRAFT: the BOARD GAME. Has ties to the Online Game (which, btw these kids can't afford) right? Still the same story line as a game they CAN afford (Warcraft III, but they only know it by it's multiplayer variant: DOT-A) right? Should be interesting enough, especially when I've painted up a couple of the minis to showcase, right? Well... not so fast. BEFORE I even attempt to introduce it to them, I have to finish a whole bunch on game organisers and boxes and stuff just so I can present the game to them in a more organised manner.

Which I have yet to do.

Grr..

So here I am with my 4th contestant: Dragon Diceâ„¢. Surprisingly, this has had the MOST SUCCESS. I ordered and got an extra army of Undead and Ferals to lend to the students so they can have a go at it themselves (yeah, so I got out as many singles as I could and replaced them with doubles)... have yet to have ONE students come up to me and ask, but I've done several demos with the set and I've had several games with students vs students. I've FINISHED several games with them. THIS much CAN'T be said about the other games!

It's portable, that's for one. It's INTERESTING and DIFFERENT. It's not a card game, that they're used to. It's not a board game that they can't figure out.

Explaining the rules is A MOUTHFUL OF ENGLISH. I can't speak any other language... not even Thai (even for the 6 years I've been here). So I am FORCED to communicate with them in English. Better: I'm forced to present the rules to them IN A VERY SIMPLE AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND way. It works. It just does! When they were able to pick the game up in just an hour (took a whole hour to explain the basics: minus dragons and magic) even I was kind of shocked! I was really getting somewhere! I still am!

In any case, the explanation of the rules was what I was looking for. Speaking ... conversing in English. Sure it was for the most part a one-sided "conversation", but there were times when the students actually did have to pull together sentences to ask me for a few clarifications here and there. It was cool. It was awesome, to be able to get THIS far with a game they've never experienced.

So, where do I go from here?

Well... I'm not writing off the other games. Their time will come. I'm going to be lobbying for "better use of the Library" and hopefully I can get a corner set up to display the other games -- and Dragon Diceâ„¢. I'm working on presenting each game, with posters and flyers (for the students in the regular program too, and not just the special English Program) to get people interested in trying out "Imported Games".

But Dragon Diceâ„¢ is where it's all going to start. It's by far the easiest to figure out -- a one hour demo is no exaggeration.

The progression goes: Dragon Diceâ„¢, then Magic: the gathering, then WOW:TBG, then D&D.

So there you have it. Out of a bunch of other games of different genres, Dragon Diceâ„¢ fits the bill best when teaching kids English Smile !
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