Boardgame: Expressing preferences and opinions #ELTgame

Expressing preferences and opinions boardgame prototype


It’s been a while since I created any game.. and I so missed it. I enjoy the creation process very much, but what I love the most is playtesting time. When students have a chance to play it and add their own suggestions to the game. Last week, I came up with a boardgame for students to practice expressing preferences and opinions.

The game had a race to the end dynamic and was a turn-based game. The core mechanics were quite simple. Players placed their avatars at the beginning of the track. They decided who was going to be the first to roll the dice. Then, the player that rolled the green dice moved their piece on the track and asked a question to any other player in the game. If the player who had been asked for the opinion/preference justified their opinion/preference well, they were rewarded with the chance to move on the board faster by rolling the red dice.

If any student used L1, the punishment was to go back one slot. 

giving opinion game

My A1-A2 teens playing the game 

To the board itself, it was added the language structures needed to ask and answer. The game could be played only by having a track drawn on a large piece of paper, couple of dices and avatar piece to represent the player. However, cards were added to the game. The cards also contained hidden mechanics that could mess with their game.

Players will draw cards and the question structure they will have to use depend on the number of options the card has. 

Cards with two options: SUMMER or WINTER => Would you rather …………..? / Would you prefer to………….? Do you prefer………..?

Cards with one option: NETFLIX => What do you think about …………….? What do you think of……………….? What’s your opinion about ……..?

The gameplay was a combination of chance and skill. In order to get a chance to roll the red dice and move towards the end of the track, those responding had to explain why, giving a more elaborated answer. The dice added the chance to move faster on the board, giving weaker players an advantage.

In addition to the option topic cards, there were also: go back 1 or 2 or 3 slots cards, lose a turn card, move forward 1 or 2 slots and Dance Macarena card (another teacher suggestion).

*This prototype was designed in 30 minutes or so. As I was trying to come up with the boardgame, I quickly ran my ideas through some colleagues in the teacher room, and their suggestions were really helpful. A big thank you to Juliana, Kelita and Mafalda. 

What do we need:

2 dices of different colors, a large piece of paper and pens to draw the track and add the Q&A structures as useful language, avatars to represent players and index cards (5×8) to write the options and other game mechanics (lose a turn, move forward, etc.). 

How to play:

Players will roll the question dice, move their avatar and draw a card.  If the card contain an option or two options, the player asks a question and choses another player to answer it. If they get another instruction, other than option(s) cards, they just follow the instruction of the card. 

The other player answers the question. If the answer is good enough, they get the response dice, roll it and move their avatar on the board. 

Whoever speaks in L1 go back one slot. 

The winner is whoever crosses the finish line first!

At the end of the gameplay, I asked students what they thought about the game: “Fun”, “Cool” and “I really liked it” were the words used to describe their experience. I have also asked them for suggestions on what we could change or add to the game mechanics. They gave some interesting ideas to redesign it.

Stay tuned for the next post!

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