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Help me find games for my ESL students ITT!

MarlowMarlow Registered User regular
edited November 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm an English as a second language teacher in South Korea. As most of you know, South Korea is basically the grindwhore mmo capital of the world. Starcraft is practically a national sport and games are televised live regularly on several networks. Needless to say, many of my student (and myself) love games. I'm looking for some games that are fun, fast and have some useful survival English words and phrases that I can teach them. The students range in age from 7-16 years old and their English level varries from nonexistent to advanced (with advanced being around what a typical 8th grade student's English may be like in the U.S.), so multiple suggestions are welcomed! Help a teacher out! These kids are in dire need of some fun and some uses for this strange and alien language that I'm screaming at them for 3-10 hours a week.

Bullet point so you don't have to read all of that shit...
  • I'm an ESL teacher in South Korea
  • I love games, my kids love games
  • My students are overworked (some leave the house at 7am and return at 10pm or 11pm only to repeat the process)
  • I want to give them some games/play some games with them that will help them realize that English is not only a strange and harsh alien tongue, but a valuable tool for having fun.
  • I'm looking for games that are not going to get me fired.
  • My students range in age (from 7-16) and their English ability is quite varried.
  • Funkeytown, buttes, dongues, wangs.

Marlow on

Posts

  • NibbleNibble Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Are your students separated by level, or are you teaching them as one mixed group? Are you responsible for teaching specific books/units/words/grammar, or are you basically free to do whatever you want? What kind of time constraints do you have? Are you willing to spend your own money on this?

    Nibble on
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  • JAEFJAEF Unstoppably Bald Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    All that comes to mind for games that are word content heavy and would suit that age range is some of the old adventure classics. Day of the Tentacle is pretty awesome, PG, funny (although maybe not so much to Koreans?) and has a good amount of dialogue.

    No idea if this is anywhere near what you're looking for but I'm throwing it out there.

    JAEF on
  • rfaliasrfalias Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Starcraft 2 in english!

    Exciting survival phrases such as: "We need more vespene gas!" and "I can't build here!"
    Plus tons of repetition!

    Really though:
    What systems are you limited to?
    How will you get these games in english?

    rfalias on
  • GarickGarick Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Well, for the elementary school kids I found that time bomb is pretty fun, just give them something to pass around and whenever they pass it, they have to say an ascending *or you can go descending* number. After a certain amount of time has passed whoever is holding the "bomb" is out. You can also make teams and have whichever team is not holding the "bomb" get points so kids don't have to sit out.

    If you wanna get them up and moving and teach body parts, you can divide them into teams and have a race with a ball, you name 2 different body parts (maybe foot and hand for instance) and they have to sandwich the ball between those body parts while they run to the goal and back.

    Not really sure if thats the kinda games you are looking for though?

    Garick on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2010
    There's always Pokemon in English. I know people who have used the game in alternate languages as a fun way to expose themselves to the language.

    But yeah, this is a difficult question to answer without knowing platform limitations.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington he.him.his History-loving pal!Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Other LucasArts adventure games might work. Loom has text and voice to back their stuff up, as do the new Monkey Island games.

    If you're looking for something other than just games, comic books are being looked at as helpers to learn language since students can look at the art as context clues for words they don't know. Maybe an online comic dealer has a bunch of Free Comic Book Day stock left over they could donate to your school?

    Lord Palington on
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  • MarlowMarlow Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Re. Nibble:
    "Are your students separated by level, or are you teaching them as one mixed group? Are you responsible for teaching specific books/units/words/grammar, or are you basically free to do whatever you want? What kind of time constraints do you have? Are you willing to spend your own money on this?"

    My students are seperated by a combination of level of English and grade
    I'm responsible for teaching specific books/units/words/grammar, but I'd prefer to use the games as a reward for good behavior or as a break from the syllabus that they're drowning in.
    As for time constraints, my classes are 45 minutes long. I could dedicate an entire class period to one game, but I was hoping for somthing more along the lines of 10 minutes. I am, however, interested in finding games that some of the students can go home and play (maybe internet point and click adventure games?).
    I would be willing to spend my own money on this, but I have quite a few students, so the free/low cost options are usually the ones I need to take.

    Re. rfalias:
    "Really though:
    What systems are you limited to?
    How will you get these games in english?"

    I'm limited mostly to PCs, but I could bring in my Wii. As for getting games in English, I'm looking mostly for things that the kids can get a taste for in the classroom and want to play at home. As I said earlier, point and click adventures could be neat for my more advanced students. I wouldn't mind playing some Wii or board games, but it could be difficult to find English versions of those games.
    P.S. Starcraft 2 came out completely in Korean here and they hate it! It messed with their tried and tested key orders and things like that.

    Re. Garic:

    Time bomb sounds great! I'll give that a try and see how it goes! Thanks!

    Re. Ceres:

    I should have been more clear when I made the op. (I had 5 minutes between classes and rushed it :/ ) The only platforms that I have to mess with are PCs and my Wii. I could probably get some English games for the Wii and bring them in for some fun, but I'm also looking for games that my kids can mess with at home on their own time. Sorry I rushed the post!

    Re. Lord Palington:

    "Other LucasArts adventure games might work. Loom has text and voice to back their stuff up, as do the new Monkey Island games."

    "If you're looking for something other than just games, comic books are being looked at as helpers to learn language since students can look at the art as context clues for words they don't know. Maybe an online comic dealer has a bunch of Free Comic Book Day stock left over they could donate to your school?"

    The LucasArts adventure games seem like they would be great! I'd love to find something like that where I could just send them a link or a file with a dl or something. As for the comic books, we already utilize English 'comics' but they're frankly extremely boring. I'll ask a few of my buddies back in the U.S. to talk to some dealers/maybe donate some of their free comics to my cause! Thanks!

    Marlow on
  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm assuming Scribblenauts is out of the question, because I don't know how many would have a DS, or if you would have a class DS or what.

    But on the PC what about Bookworm Adventures 1 & 2?

    MetroidZoid on
    9UsHUfk.jpgSteam
    3DS FC: 4699-5714-8940 Playing Pokemon, add me! Ho, SATAN!
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    SCUMMVM will allow you to play Flight of the Amazon Queen on pretty much anything, and it's all free.

    Rhesus Positive on
    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Try and adapt a "choose your own adventure" book? Divide them into groups and have require them to discuss in English and vote on decisions. The group who finishes first or shows the best understanding of grammar and reading comprehension gets a reward (taken out to a restaurant for burgers or going to a movie).

    It's probably a bit more old school than you expected but it could be fun.

    Falx on
  • TayaTaya Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    It depends on the lesson you're teaching? I also taught in South Korea and I would google games for the thing that I'm teaching about. Syllables game (for the younger kids) and Grammar Battleship (for the older kids). When I was teaching math or science, I'd find plenty of games and videos just by doing a google search.

    If you're looking for a deeper game, I'd stick with "choose your adventure" types. Games like Pokemon and point-and-click games can be enjoyed even if you completely ignore the language and just watch the visuals.

    Taya on
  • Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Sorry for jumping in, but I too am off to teach tiny Koreans in October, and I'm on the lookout for lesson aids. I was interested in the mention of "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style books, does anyone recommend specific product lines for very young readers? I remember reading a lot of these mystery CYOA books as a kid, but can't recall any of the names :(.

    Ed321 on
  • TayaTaya Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ed321 wrote: »
    Sorry for jumping in, but I too am off to teach tiny Koreans in October, and I'm on the lookout for lesson aids. I was interested in the mention of "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style books, does anyone recommend specific product lines for very young readers? I remember reading a lot of these mystery CYOA books as a kid, but can't recall any of the names :(.

    I really have no idea but don't run out and buy something like this without meeting your kids first. My school only had high-level English skills but most vary in skill level. Some kids may not be able to read or understand more than a few words. I bought a bunch of word-find books which ended up being a waste of money because my school had a rigid curriculum and also you can find those online anyway.

    Online mad-libs were popular with my students. They also liked the videos and games at BrainPop (but you need a subscription).

    Taya on
  • Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hmm, thanks for the tips. I'll just practice my general skills and wait until I know more about the institutions they're sending me to. :)

    Ed321 on
  • TayaTaya Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Good luck! I'm going back to Korea again for another contract as soon my recruiters find me something. Schools have varying programs and expectations. Some schools may just want you to sit there and look white. Others will want you to lead the class. If you're in a hagwon (after school academy) you'll always have to lead the class but you may have to follow a curriculum instead of planning anything.

    1510Terry.jpg
    ^ Written by a kindergarten student!

    Taya on
  • Ed321Ed321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Thanks, I'm pretty good at looking white.

    I remember my EPIK contact saying that I'd never be teaching classes on my own, only as an ALT. That seemed unusual, as all the other TEFL jobs I'd seen insist you may have to do both, so w/e. They did say curriculums vary wildly from province to province though (I've been sent to Gangwon-do). I'll have to dig through the notes from my old TEFL crash-course to find some more possible games, but the OP probably learnt most of them before he became a teacher :p.

    Ed321 on
  • TayaTaya Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If you're with EPIK that means it's a public school. I worked in a hagwon and we had to teach the classes ourselves. In a public school you'll have a co-teacher to lead the classes. I've heard stories of co-teachers who insist you do everything and other stories of co-teachers who insist you do nothing. Hopefully you'll get a nice balance.

    Back on topic: A text adventure might be a good idea, or maybe something like Police Quest or King's Quest... kids won't be able to progress without English, unlike other games.

    Taya on
  • MarlowMarlow Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Thanks everyone! The games have been working quite well!

    Marlow on
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    What did you end up using?

    Falx on
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