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Adapting "Clue" for Language Learning

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yak
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Joined: 01/06/2012

Hello Everyone!

I am right now working on a program for teaching English with boardgames. My basic premise is to try using popular games to provide tasks and motivation to help students develop fluency and real communicative ability.

For example: It is possible to play the boardgame Clue in another language using only very few standard sentences ("I think it was X with the Y in the Z", etc.). Playing this game in English will be a part of my class.

What i want to do now is adapt the mechanism to provide some more possibilities, without losing the "fun".

It would be possible, for example, to exchange the sets of weapons, rooms and suspects with sets of (for example) feelings, hobbies and favorite food.

The game would then be played exactly the same as before, except that instead of making guesses about the details of the murder, players would guess at Mr.X current feeling, favorite hobby and food (skipping rolling the die and moving around the board, which i think is not really essential to the game anyway).

This was my first idea but i am not really 100% happy with it, as it will not allow for a real dialogue among the players along the lines of "Are you happy ?" - "No, i am not happy". "Do you like baseball?" - "not really", etc.

So, instead of making guesses about Mr. X, it would be preferable if players were able to ask each other directly and answer openly. But if I do it like this, it will change the game considerably. Conducting such dialogues openly would be useful for language learning, but it would also completely defeat the purpose of the game. I am convinced however, that there is a way out of this, i just haven't found it yet.

How about students being allowed to lie on two of the three items and then indicating which one was true with a card (only to the player who asked the question)? It feels a little too clunky.

A possible solution could include additional mechanics, but the closer it stays to the original game, the better.

Anyone have an idea ? :P

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