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When Considering Games

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I wanted to share an experience that happened several years ago, but is still a good consideration to keep in mind when planning games as learning activities in the classroom. I was consulted to see why the ESL classes had decreased in enrollment significantly, quite recently. After a little research in the community (which was primarily Khmer), I learned that the Khmer elders decided to drop out of class since "gambling" was going on in the ESL class. After talking with the instructors, I learned that they had begun to depend on ESL bingo activities and other games as a regular activity in their classes. The older students perceived these games, especially bingo, as a type of gambling, and due to religious and moral reasons, felt that they could no longer attend class. This was an important lesson for me, to get input from the students and community when introducing and using activities in the class, so I would not offend anyone who attended.

K. To, Seattle, WA

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