October 29, 2009

Learning English with cooperative games

When we teach English we are not only teaching the language. We are teaching who we are. The way in which we receive students, how we allow time for them to bring their views an how we manage conflicts in class. This is the hidden curriculum, that is learned, even if we are unaware.

We use a lot of cooperative games as a different possibility of interaction among the students. These feelings of being accepted, helping others and thinking together are also conveyed to the child's relationship with the language. The climate that is created also helps to lower their affective filter. They are also great fun. One thing that we do is to talk to children after each game and to discuss about what has happened during the game and how we can transfer it to other areas of our lives.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth and Jim Deacove and visiting their Family Pastimes cooperative game factory in Perth, Canada. Here I share a video I made with Buddy there!

This is the answer I got from Jim:


You are very kind.Your visit actually gave us more inspiration and energy to continue our efforts than anything we may have imparted to you. Thanks also for the video.
What a treat! You are very creative.

We so appreciate your efforts to help spread the word about the value of cooperation not only in playing games, but in educating our young about a different way to make relationships healthier than they are in the usual competitive way.

As you know, we face an almost universal cultural conditioning that blocks what I think is more natural and that is seeing other humans as friends and not enemies. Of course, given our cultural conditioning it is easier to make enemies than friends.

But with your help we will bring about a raising of consciousness. That is always our immediate choice...contribute to raising consciousness or contribute to the old way of thinking and feeling.

Warmest regards,

Visit their site at www.familypastimes.com



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