Rory's Story CubesI've been pretty excited to write this post for a while now. You see, I've been working in an Education company for about a year and a half hoping to pick up a few tricks to better help my fellow Sinofiles on our never ending quest for language purity. Trying to combine it with an element of fun or frivolity would have been even more exciting; this learning tool not only combines the two but pretty much takes to another level.
So when you see Rory's Story Cubes don't write them off immediately. Just wait 'till you see them in action. When I debuted these at a recent Chinese Corner meeting it, caused a real stir!
HOW IT WORKS
|Fun, easy, and simple.|
WHY IT'S EFFECTIVE
Imagine you are in China, and find yourself in a situation where you have no idea to express yourself: the Doctors, an electronics store, or lost in a park. These games help you practice the tools you'll need to 'beat around the bush' as it were to really express yourself. Don't be limited by literal interpretations of the pictures either, with a bit of liberal thinking and with a touch of the absurd you'll be surprised what you will learn!
|Rolling the dice on the iPhone app|
Lastly, ever been stumped to write out example sentences? Thinking of a scenario to fit a given word or phrase can be hard on-the-spot. Choose a list of new words or sentence structures, and using just 2 or 3 die, you can make your sentences a little more varied, and guide future learning avenues- especially if it's self guided study outside of class structures.
|Rearrange or move the dice|
Unsurprisingly there is also an iPhone app (screen shots pictured) that really takes the tool to a new level of versatility. At a cost of around $15-20 for the real thing, $1.99 for an app is very attractive. It mimics the functionality of the dice, and allow you to move and arrange them after a roll, take neat screen shots using the app, or 'lock' die in place after a roll.
Hints and HelpFor those of you who are interested I have made a PDF template of flash cards you can make of the different pictures and some suggested English and Chinese words to lead your story. Use these for the first few times, or when in a group with people of different language levels. Have fun and enjoy learning!
Read the games rules suggested on the website;
Try to be creative in interpreting the meaning of a picture;
Start you story with a scenario (a day at uni);
OR an open sentence like 'While reading in the library...'
Try to have a Who/ What/ When/ Where/ Why list, and try to tick a few off
I'll finish with a great example, using the picture featured in this article, read, enjoy, be inspired:
(Maybe the logic doesn't make sense, but hey! This is about making learning fun!)