Advanced Level, Burnt out Students? Settlers of Catan Time!

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Settlers of Catan for ESL Students

Do you teach advanced level students who are burnt out and tired? Are you looking for something new to do in your classes to bring a bit of life and excitement back? Then keep on reading to find out exactly what I do.

Tired Students, Let’s Have some Fun!

These past couple years, I’ve had some classes who are preparing for internships in the USA who are functioning burnt out students style. They’ve been studying for 7-8 hours a day, every day of the week for the last few month and they’ve reached a breaking point.

Think about it. That’s a ton of hours to be sitting in a classroom without any breaks! I understand why my students are tired and and not exactly motivated to study.

The classes are getting smaller and smaller as students have been going to the US, having to prepare documents or going to the US embassy for interviews. So, the ones who are left aren’t that happy to be there in most cases!

Settlers of Catan Style

Catan
2,175 Reviews
Catan
  • 3-4 Players, 60 minute playing time
  • Tons of replay value
  • New graphics, board and cards
  • Expanded Rule Book
  • Winner of "Game of the Century" award

These days, it’s only 3-4 students and all of them are fluent in English so I decided it was time to teach them how to play The Settlers of Catan. I love board games and so anytime I can do it in class, I will!

Other teachers in this program are showing movies, chit-chatting about random stuff or going out for lunch so I don’t exactly feel terrible about the lack of “serious-study,” but I actually think that board games are an excellent way to learn real-life English. I also think that students who are going to the USA or Canada would do well to learn a few games so they can have a few more social opportunities, if possible.

Anyway, here’s how I did: I gave a quick run-down of the rules in about 15 minutes, in English and they understood easily enough, despite the fact that none of them had played the game before. We got set-up, with a bit of coaching from me about the initial placements and played a couple games.

The students seemed to really enjoy it and I did as well! They even spoke English basically the entire time without any prompting from me, which I was impressed with. Maybe it helped that I was the only one who knew all the rules and could give advice about strategy. Haha!

New Challenge: Students Love it!

Give it a try in your classes if you teach small groups of really high-level students. They’re usually so tired of the normal “conversation” classes that they’ll probably be happy for a new challenge and will be into it, even if they’ve never played board games before. In fact, I’ve even had a few students go out and buy the game after we’ve played it and teach it to their friends and family. Success!

Oh yeah, board games can work very well for private students if you want to have a bit of fun.

King of Tokyo: Works Well Too

Sale
IELLO King of Tokyo: New Edition Board Game
358 Reviews
IELLO King of Tokyo: New Edition Board Game
  • For 2-6 players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • New artwork by Regis Torres, illustrator of King of new York!
  • Space penguin included in the box!
  • Clearer rules and card text for a better gaming experience!

Another game that is simpler and works extremely well is King of Tokyo. It’s faster to explain and set up too so has a few advantages over Settlers of Catan. The thing that your students may appreciate about this one is that it has the luck of the dice factor going for it.

More Ideas for the Classroom

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Have your Say about Board Games with Advanced Level English Students?

Have you tried playing something like King of Tokyo, or Settlers or Catan with your EFL or ESL students? How did it go? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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Last update on 2019-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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