Teachers' blog


【English Learning and TTRPGs—Part 2】



(Contributed by Mike)

English Learning and TTRPGs—Part 2


Hi everyone.  Last time I talked about tabletop RPGs (TTRPGs) and learning English.  Specifically, I suggested that the things you do in a TTRPG share some things in common with the role plays we do during our English lessons.  I thought I’d continue this topic and go a little further.


But before we start, I want to make clear that these are just ideas.  I hope to research some of these ideas one day, but I won’t be introducing monsters into our lesson role plays!


I’d like to demonstrate what a typical game might look like, and note some of the kinds of English they use to complete their tasks.  In this scene, the players have arrived at the Prancing Pony Inn to meet with Gandalf, a wise wizard and friend.


Referee: It is early evening when you arrive at the Prancing Pony Inn at last.  It has been raining for the last 4 hours, and you are cold, wet, and tired.  As you open the front door, you smell wonderful cooked chicken, beer, and smoke from the cooking fires.  As you walk in, you are greeted by the bartender.  (describing, narrating)


Referee (Bartender): “Good evening little sirs.  What can I do for you?”  (asking for the purpose of the visit)


Player 1 (Frodo): “Good evening.  My name’s Frodo, and we’re friends of Gandalf the Grey.  Can you tell him we’ve arrived?”  (introducing, making a request)


Referee (Bartender): “Gandalf?  Oh, yes!  I remember.  He’s the elderly chap with a big grey beard.  But I haven’t seen him for six months.  (confirming, explaining that someone isn’t here)


Player 2 (Sam): “Oh no.  What do we do now?  Gandalf was supposed to meet us here.”  (asking for advice, confirming details)


Player 1 (Frodo): “I don’t know…”  (expressing doubt)


Player 3 (Merry): “Let’s find a seat and order some food.  I’m tired and hungry, and maybe Gandalf is just late.”  (making a suggestion, reporting a situation, suggesting a reason)


Player 4 (Pippin): “Oh yes, great idea.  I see a table over there.  I think I’ll get a pint of beer!”  (agreeing, reporting a situation, suggesting a menu item)


This is a very short scene, about the same length as the skits in our lessons.  Of course, the contents and the topic are very different, but the skills and tasks are the same as those we use in real life!

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