TESOL 2013 - Dallas

Make Your Own Board Game: Contextualizing Spoken Interaction Using Technology

Here is information on my presentation from TESOL International Convention and Expo 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  Download the PDF handout below for more information, links, examples, and samples (click the arrow to download). 


Ever wish you had a board game for every topic, feature, function, and stage of your syllabus? This teaching tip presents a method of creating board games that fit learning goals and objectives, rather than vice-versa, empowering teachers of any level as material-developers to create principled and contextualized interactive activities.

Session Description Synopsis:

Grounded in sociocultural theory and communicative language teaching approaches, board games have been extensively used in the language classroom. Their ability to promote interaction and push learners' output has made them a valuable classroom resource for second language teachers of all levels. Many commercial board games are available and applicable to classroom use. However, technological advances have given rise to the easy, efficient, and professional-looking production of fully teacher-customized and -created board games. With a computer, printer, and basic (even free) software, teachers can create from scratch, or convert any material into, an interactive board game ready for classroom use, scaffolding and contextualizing the content of the activity to suit the teacher's, stakeholders’, and students' needs.

This presentation aims to offer a materials development teaching tip that informs instructors of any context on how to make an original teacher-designed board game for classroom use. This teaching tip demonstration will involve a summary of the resources needed – i.e. computer, printer, and software (and how to acquire the free and open-source software for teachers without access to or means to access proprietary Microsoft products). The brief presentation will include step-by-step instructions on how to create the classroom material. This presentation will then offer the attendees multiple examples of tailor-made board games actually used in the classroom from the presenter's experience in teaching ESL, EFL, and EAP. Attendees will leave having interactively observed how to make a fully teacher-designed board game in addition to receiving handouts that describe the process in detail and include multiple previously tested, ready-to-use models. Whether instructors need a fluency activity for young learners or a prewriting activity for college level composition, teacher-designed board games can be a valuable asset to their teaching materials repertoire.

Jordan G.,
Mar 19, 2013, 9:12 AM