Tag Archives: English

Back to the Basics of Social Interaction with Board Games

Back to the Basics of Social Interaction with Board Games from Jillian Knight on Vimeo.

Board games are making a come back. So much so, that a local German Cultural Center is celebrating the popularity of German board games with board game evenings.

This past Friday, October 14th, 2016, the Goethe-Institut in Washington D.C. hosted an evening of board games, wine, snacks, and social interaction. Anyone who wanted to participate was welcome to join for a fee of $5.00. Over 40 people eventually showed up to enjoy the event.

Norma Broadwater is the Public Relations Coordinator for the Goethe-Institut, and she got the idea for a game evening after visiting a store that informed her that the most popular board games come from Germany.

“It was kind of a revelation to me, so I thought well, wouldn’t that be fun to present that to others,” says Norma, who has been with the Goethe-Institut for almost 15 years.

She says what she likes about the evening is it brings together people from both Germany and the U.S.

With the help of Ben and Evan, owners of the game store Labyrinth, Norma has been able to make the experience more enjoyable.

Ben and Evan have been hooked on board games for years, so their expertise allows them to teach the instructions of many complex games including Settlers of Catan, Carrassonne, The Downfall of Pompeii, Camels Up, Karuba, and Hanabi.

With the help of Ben and Evan, Norma and the staff at the Geothe-Institut have set up an experience that offers numerous health benefits from playing board games. The most important one being, it makes us happy.

“Between the game store folks being very good at explaining and people just being very welcoming,” says Norma, “there have been a lot of friendships formed and by the end of the evening people aren’t really wanting to leave, and there’s a very happy sound throughout the space.”

For more information on the Goethe-Institut’s events, visit their website.

For more information on Ben and Evan, visit their game store on Pennsylvania Ave. in  Washington D.C., or their website.

How to Survive Teaching English as a Second Language to Brutally Honest South Korean Kindergartners

As a former Instructor of English in South Korea for four years, it was a culture shock to hear how brutally honest and providentially, absolutely adorable honesty can sound coming out a child’s mouth. Hoping the vicious honesty would stop at first or second grade, it took some adjusting to get used to the fact that it was every age, and every grade.

So, in case it may be too much to handle, here are a few things you can do to abate the depression.

Step 1: Try to pin point your flaws on your own. At a certain age, we should all be aware of our short-comings, but if in fact you need help, there are a few things you can do. Hand out questionnaires to your friends, or look at yourself in the mirror for a few minutes every day. In the end however, be comfortable with who you are and understand that these are all just superficial blemishes that make everyone unique, so the best thing to do is embrace them. If you happen to have trouble accepting such individuality, you could also try……

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You can’t get angry at those who are so innocent. They have no idea what they’re giving. For the record, there is also a ‘pink’ day as well, they are both for Valentine’s day, one day is for the boys to give presents to the girls (white day, I believe), and the other day is for the girls to give presents to the boys.

Step 2: Come up with clever comebacks for when such honesty is presented to you. If you happen to be a few pounds overweight, it will definitely be brought to your attention on a daily, if not class to class basis, in case you hadn’t already known. So, to keep yourself calm and collected, you may want to form quips to reply to such remarks, such as “I ate the last class who didn’t finish their homework”, or “feeding me chocolate is the only way you’ll pass the class”. I personally struggled with adult acne while I was there. A lot of it had to do with the change in diet, the water, and of course the pollution blowing in from the rest of Asia, but telling that to a seven year old student doesn’t get you far. So, when they would put their finger on my face to touch a giant pimple and say “ewwwww, that one is big”, I simply responded with “thank you, his name is Herbert”.

Step 3: Write down all honesty, so that you have a list of what to self-reflect on over the weekend. Not really, but it gets a good laugh on a Friday night when a bunch of teachers get together to discuss what they were told about themselves that week.

Step 4: Have patience. Believe it or not, being told your exterior flaws by adorable children could prove beneficial as a way to embrace and deal with them. It didn’t matter how much make up I wore, the kids would still say something about my blemishes, so I eventually just stopped wearing make up. I went natural, and believe it or not, it helped. If this rationality doesn’t make much sense to you, you can also refer to wikiHow’s “How to embrace your flaws”, for extra pointers.

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If honest children are not the culture shock, maybe this will do the trick………
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or this…..

It is at first a culture shock to be told such honesty throughout the day, but at the end of the day it is fully appreciated. It makes you happy to see that the characteristics we all possess as children don’t fade with age in some cultures.