3, G. Gennadiou Street, Athens, Greece
+302103301202 +306974065437

TEFL Pursuits

Teacher training and Development

TEFL Pursuits

<![CDATA[You all know the great board game of Trivial Pursuit . I just love this game and have had lots of fun playing with friends, although, it must be admitted that the cultural bias of many of the questions makes it a bit more difficult if you are playing in a language  other than your own.
I find it a great game for learning about content as well, something which I find quite important in adult and younger classes. My own downfall is usually the sports category – the orange one in the Genus edition – which I dread!
There are also many online versions of this great game, like this “Bring on the 90’s” edition and “The Daily 20” , all great fun if you are au fait with local news, entertainment, politics, etc. of the particular era or country.

Trivial Pursuit for content revision

Like all TEFL teachers, I always look for ways of using games and other material and making my own version of Trivial Pursuit was a natural consequence.
I made my first adaptation to help my Diploma (DTEFLA and later DELTA) candidates revise terminology and content on courses a bit less seriously and stressfully, which was great fun and this inspired them, of course to copy my idea and make their own sets for their learners!
Here is a sample card with the answers on the back which had categories like Language, Phonology, Skills, Spot that Quote, etc.


Trivial Pursuit for Language Practice

Inspired by this, one of my DELTA trainees then made a version of the game for our Proficiency students, called, what else, Proficiency Pursuit, with categories of questions that ranged from Transformation to Synomyms to Pronunciation, etc.
Here is a sample card (with the answers printed on the back)


It’s a logical consequence that after students have played the game, they can be involved in making their own cards which they can give to other teams, a great language focussed activity which involves lots of dictionary look ups, grammar checking, wikipedias, google and all new technologies brought in.
The reading of the rules itself can also be stage-managed as a highly motivating reading lesson, since the final checking activity is actually playing the game!
So, be playful please. You can be playful with even the most serious content and make it fun to make it more memorable!]]>


12 Responses

  1. I think I’ll be in touch with more details on this – as I have a whole game outlined which is based on trivial pursuits for language learning and cultural awareness too.
    WOW Marisa!

  2. Hi Valentina,
    Cultural awareness…Ideal! I should make one too for my English for Teachers trainees! They do need to learn all that content more playfully!
    Thinking in synch here…. 🙂

  3. teflist says:

    I like the idea of students making their own cards! I’m a big fan of what I call SCC – student created content. This is the way to go.
    I like the idea of a simple set of 20+ easy questions for ELLs to understand the basics of the game – then have them make their own cards to play!
    We have thousands of trivia questions in our resources of EFL Classroom. Gives me an idea to use them and make a nice set for students to download.
    Great idea and I’m sure your students appreciate testing each other and learning through trivia challenges! I use online games for this but this method is great too!

  4. Marisa Constantinides says:

    Hi David and thanks for adding your ideas here! I would love to have a copy when you are done.
    Trivia quizzes are great too outside the trivial pursuit game – just single cards for different categories work quite well.
    Just to add another point which I forgot to mention in my original post:
    When we played the TEFL pursuit game, we quickly realized that using the Trivial Pursuit board tended to waste quite a lot of time, so we discussed ways of covering more questions in less time and we came up with the idea that teams/pairs/groups could challenge each other by asking them ALL the questions on one card and keep score of how many answers they got right.
    Great buzz though! And it’s a great way to review all the terminology the DELTA candidates need to know for their Module I examination.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. Lovely, Marisa!
    It’s a very handy format, too. Once you’ve got your categories set up, you can expand and build over years. I use a game called Word Up, but homemade is always more sophisticated. I’ve always thought game templates should be set up online. Then we could all contribute contents and share. We could have a Wiki devoted to different levels and target groups and plug away.
    I’d be happy to contribute.
    What do you think?

  6. Great idea, Anne, a wiki to make everyone’s life easier! I would be happy to contribute too!
    So much time could be saved if there was a central point where people could find good activities.
    Let me know if you start it or if you want me to get it going and then we could invite other people in.

  7. Great to see the adapting of existing games for the teaching of ESL – nice! 🙂

  8. Graham Davies says:

    Nice idea. There are many examples of adaptations of quiz games on the Web. The TV programme “Who wants to be a millionaire?”, for example, sparked off a host of imitations, but many of them have now disappeared due to copyright infringements – I guess the name of the game is protected.
    I often watch the French and German language versions of the TV programme, however. It’s great for cultural insights.
    Here is an online trivia quiz:

  9. Graham,
    I love trivial pursuits games, I think they’re also great not only for cultural insights, as you say, but such a nice way to actually learn content.
    I hope your cold is easing up a little. Mine is having a whale of a time with my voice…
    Thanks for posting the link! 🙂

  10. Graham Davies says:

    I love quizzes. Our local pubs hold a regular quiz evening (with prizes) and you can find a group of people gathered round the quiz machine in the corner every evening. I am useless at questions on sport and pop music, but I often help out with the oddball questions.
    My wife Sally and I watched the programme “Who wants to be a millionaire” in which the first million-pound winner, Judith Heppel, appeared. Between us we got all the answers right up to £250,000. I knew the answer to the £500,000 question, “Who is the patron saint of Spain?” (St James), and Sally knew the answer to the million-pound question (she’s great at history). See:
    I also knew the answer to the million-pound question, “A number one followed by 100 zeros is known by what name?” when Major Charles Ingram attempted to defraud the quiz show in September 2001. The possible answers were a googol, a megatron, a gigabit or a nanomole. I knew the answer was googol as I had recently read that Google was a misspelling of googol, which the founders of Google thought would be an appropriate name for their search engine – and I’m not bad at maths anyway.
    I couldn’t do it for real, as I would fall to pieces with nerves!

  11. Ha ha! What a pity! You could be a millionaire but for the nerves!!!

Comments are closed.