Reed, J. (2022). “This class doesn’t have a textbook?”: An overview of a TRPG course for L2 English learners in Japan

Reed, J. (2022). “This class doesn’t have a textbook?”: An overview of a TRPG course for L2 English learners in Japan

Metadata

  • Authors: Reed, J.
  • Reviewed by: Fabio Spano, Paul T. Johnson and Yuchan Gao (Blanche)
  • Volume and page numbers: 4 (p. 53–70)
  • Date of publication: 2022/09/06
  • Keywords: City of Mist, Dungeons and Dragons, EFL, Japan, Tabletop Roleplaying Games, University
  • Cite: Reed, J. (2022). “This class doesn’t have a textbook?”: An overview of a TRPG course for L2 English learners in Japan. Ludic Language Pedagogy, 4, 53–70.

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Key Points

  • Background: Given the opportunity to teach a mixed language/content course and my longstanding interest in TRPGs and second-language acquisition, I made a course titled “Interaction through Tabletop Roleplaying Games.”
  • Aim: The aim of the course was - beyond the development of students’ English language skills - to open a window into the world of tabletop roleplaying games and encourage students to see TRPGs as an opportunity to use English outside the classroom in a playful way and learn how to play them.
  • Teaching methods: The course used three different TRPG systems of slowly advancing difficulty in order to acclimate the students to the genre and equip them with the basic schema they would need to participate fully in English. To introduce the materials, I began with a teacher-centered approach and then moved to a student-centered one as students became more familiar with the genre.
  • Results: By the end of the course, students were able to play TRPGs unassisted in English by creating their own stories, characters, and adapting them to their playstyle. Some also expressed interest in playing TRPGs in their futures, or if not running a game themselves, said that they would be open to the idea if someone else invited them.
  • Conclusion: In the future, I want to use this paper as a starting point to further refine and develop the course as well as the ideas within it.