Tag Archives: Any Language

Rory’s Story Cubes- New Game!

Proficiency in speaking and listening comprehension skills are important in learning a language-and passing your language finals.  The LRC has a new game that can help you practice these skills in any language you want.

The game consists of nine cubes, and each side of the cube has a different image, such as a bee, a fish, or a fountain.  In addition to the original, the LRC has two other versions, “Voyages” and “Actions” that have different images on the cubes.

There are a number of different ways to play, but each game type essentially consists of the same rules. Simply take all nine cubes provided and roll them. Then, starting with ‘Once upon a time….’ or whatever beginning you choose, select the image that catches your eye first. The objective is to tell a story that links together all nine images. Create an individual story or make it an improv game, with each player contributing part of the story.

Learning a Language has never been so Transparent!

Please forgive my terrible puns. But learning German (or any language!) can be fun and easy using the many resources offered free of cost by the LRC, and one of my favorite examples is an online program called Transparent Language.

I used this resource to review some forgotten German vocabulary as well as try some of the basic lessons in Mandarin. Any German language learner at any level-beginner, intermediate or advanced- can use this program, which has a wide range of lessons and topics to choose from. You can skip around if you want, which is great for advanced speakers who don’t want to go through all the beginner lessons. The best thing about Transparent Language is that it helps in every area of language learning: reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking!

You do not need to be on an LRC computer to use this resource, but you can always come in and use our headphones and microphones for this program. To get started, visit the LRC webpage at www.gettysburg.edu/lrc and click on Resources. Under Online Resources, Transparent Language will be the first option. You will be asked to create a profile and a login and then you’re ready to go! 

New game at the LRC: Dixit

dixit box

We have a fun new game in the LRC that can be played in any language! Dixit uses beautifully illustrated cards that players then have to either describe or match to another player’s description. We encourage you to use your second (or third, or fourth) language to play Dixit. Beginners can use single word descriptors and advanced language learners can put together an entire story about their card if they want.

One player chooses a card from their hand and, without showing the other players, gives a clue about the card. This clue can be a direct description, a proverb that relates to it, a story, a pop-culture reference… Anything goes as long as you use your language skills. Let’s use the following three cards as examples:

footstepsfuture picgood and evil

Left: 黒いです
Kuroi desu
It’s black

Middle: 未来の写真
Mirai no shashin
Picture of the future

Right: 時間が眠っているあいだ、二つの大きいな力が戦っている
Jikan ga netteiru aida, futatsu no ookiina chikara ga tatakatteiru
While time sleeps, the two great powers fight

These examples are in Japanese, but Dixit can be played in any language. Even if you only know a few words, you can try something like the first example. If you don’t know a word that you want to use, there’s no shame in looking it up. Rather, it’s an excellent way to supplement your vocabulary. Then you can teach the new word(s) to someone else! You could also try playing in pairs or teams. Two heads are better than one! You can work together to come up with something more correct or complex in your target language. Team members can also work together to figure out what the clue means in English. Then they can better match one of their cards to the clue and play it.

Once all the players/teams have submitted a card that they think matches the clue, all the cards are revealed. Everyone then votes on the card that they think the clue was originally based on. Scoring is based on how many people find that card.

Dixit can be played with as few as 3 people (with some minor adjustments) according to the traditional rules. However, you could also just use the cards to practice vocabulary, creating sentences, or other oral skills on your own or with only one friend. Try drawing a card and making up a story to go with it, or identifying all the visual attributes of the card. Beginners can try naming all the colors used, nouns, or something that uses equally basic language skills. You can do this individually or team up with a friend to help each other and check each other’s work. Alternately, try telling each other stories based on the cards and see if your partner can understand. If one of you is artistic, you could even describe the card and have your partner draw it.

You can also use Dixit to practice dictation. While one player gives their hint or describes the card orally, the other player(s) write what they hear. This could be especially useful for languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic which have writing systems other than the Roman alphabet that English uses.

Dixit is incredibly flexible, with so many different ways to play, it can be both fun and educational for all language learners regardless of skill or language. Come try it out!