Best Practices

Using Scrabble in class

I reckon I have always been reluctant to use games in my classes. You can understand that this reservation was the logical result of a mixture of fears and doubts about how much success such activities would generate. I teach mixed up classes where a big number of students who are still struggling to cope with language basics.
Mr Alan playing with a group to teach them the rules
Mr Alan playing with a group to teach them the rules

The inspiration came from Mr. Alan Papprill, a member of the school support team in 2009, who succeeded to have a set of five scrabble games for the English Department. We started to use them particularly in periods where attendance was relatively low, which was an opportunity to experience using the game with no much worries about class sizes. Indeed, I did not expect such an interest from the part of the students, especially low-achievers who were tempted to try the game and kept asking questions about its rules. It is true that I had to make efforts to explain how it should be played and clarify the way words should be organized on the board, but this could in no way be compared to the  joy to see them challenging each other and discussing the meaning or the existence of some words.

A group of students discussing the correctness of a word.
A group of students discussing the correctness of a word.
Recently, the SEC introduced extra-curricular activity classes. So, I said this is a golden opportunity to use scrabble again. Now I can say that my students of 12E3 are ‘addicted’ to the game. They are looking forward to the fourth period of every Tuesday to play Scrabble.
The class is split into small groups to play the game.
The class is split into small groups to play the game.
Everyone wants to win!
Everyone wants to win!

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