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Persuasion

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No, this is nothing to do with the Jane Austen novel!
I have found that many Asians once in an ESL
situation find it difficult to form independent opinions and express
them convincingly, so developed this game (although I think I may have
got the idea originally from somewhere else!). Create a board game
with a healthy sprinkling of pictures representing very nice items
and very horrid ones, e.g. flowers, scorpions, etc. Put a coloured
dot (red or green) on each picture, the horrid objects being together
in one category and the lovely ones in the other. Now create 2 sets of
cards (as in Monopoly), each set backed with the right colour. Cards
with phrases such as 'I would like one of these because...' or
'I would give this to my best friend because...' should
carry a colour matching the horrid items, i.e. the opposite of what
would come naturally. The other set might contain phrases such as
'I am afraid of these because...' etc. The students then move around
the board with counters, exactly like Monopoly, but when they land
on a picture, they pick up a corresponding card and complete the
sentence in as logical a fashion as possible (although it will
inevitably get crazy!) They only 'pass' if they can persuade all the
other members of the group that they really do / do not want the
item. If they fail to convince, they miss their next turn. The first
learner to get all the way round the board wins!

N.B. A great resource for really practical ideas in ESL/ EFL, including
games and songs, is the Practical Handbook for Language Teaching, by
David Cross, published by Prentice Hall Regents.

Lorraine Rice
Ohio University

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