A Model for Assessing Ability
When trying to improve your game, it’s useful to have a model for the stages of development. Then you can assess what stage you’re in, and what the next stage is for you to pursue. The conventional model of language development, however, won’t suit our purposes here in The Conversation Game. In the video below, I explain why that is, and start to introduce an alternative model.
Developing Social Agency
It’s already too much to jump from “Same-in-None” to “Same-in-One,” because there is a lot going on grammatically in language. Therefore, we need a different dimension for use to progress through. In the video below, I present the “Sufficiency” dimension, and explain how it helps us develop our Agency in the social arena.
After you’ve watched the two videos above, share your reflection in the
#completionschannel for credit. Then try the activities below.
The key to expanding your social agency is learning how to communicate using “Simple Speak” - which is speech that is not the same as native speech, but sufficient to getting the point across. Simple speak can be challenging for adults at first, because we’re so used to formulating our thoughts in highly literate ways. So before we enter into the arena with simple speak, let’s first practice the act of simplifying sentences, so you’re familiar with the basic patterns.
[4B] The Simple Story Building Game
Now that you’ve practiced the skill of simplifying, we can start to practice simple speak in a live game setting. For the story building game, you start by selecting a scene. Then you collaborate with your practice partner to narrate a sequence of events within that scene. This is a highly effective way to expand your vocabulary, since the words organically emerge from a personally lived context, rather than a decontextualized external source. It’s also a great way for beginners to immediately get some speaking proficiency, since we’re using simple speak instead of same speak. Even if you already know the correct grammar, try the game using simple speak, so that you develop the habit of prioritizing sufficiency over sameness.
After you’ve played your first Simple story game, share a reflection to the
[4C] The Simple Role-Playing Game
The next game is even more lively and dynamic than the story-building game, because now we are placing ourselves into the story and playing out different roles. Role-playing is perhaps the most useful technique in The Conversation Game, because it allows us to psychologically experience a situation without having to physically be there. But it only works if you allow yourself to truly get into character and speak through that identity. The more you get into it, the more you will get out of it.
After you’ve played your first Role play game, share a reflection to the
#completionschannel. Then move onto the next lesson.