Using Warhammer to Teach English

After I graduated from college I received a grant to teach English in southern Kosova for the 2010-2011 school year.  I lived and worked in Prizren, the country’s second largest city, in the southern region of the country near Albania.  I was primarily guest teaching in a local primary school (grades 1 through 9), teaching in 37 classes and approximately 600 students.  My favorite time, however, was teaching an extracurricular class to students with high English ability.

I taught this group in the American Corner in Prizren, a U.S. State Department program for local libraries.  Although the group fluctuated somewhat in size, there was a core of five or six students I met with once or twice a week.  They were grades 6-9.  In our second meeting, I asked them if they wanted to work on a project together (as opposed to just watching films and conversing in English).  This project became “If I was Born in the Warhammer World…”

My main tool for this project was the new Warhammer rulebook.  We started the project by having assigned readings about the history of the Warhammer world, and then I gave them each a questionnaire.

This survey was primarily a vocabulary exercise, but it also allowed them to express themselves.  After they finished the questionnaire, I tallied their responses, and gave them a few options.  The first option was always whatever they wrote as a response to the last question (“Please write what species you think that you would be”), but the others were based on racial characteristics of the (many) Warhammer armies.

The students then wrote a biographical story of their Warhammer life experience, and drew a picture of themselves as a lizardman, ogre, wood elf, Chaos champion, and so forth.  The story then went three a multiple-draft writing process (this was one of the main focuses of the lesson arc) and the picture went through a coloring and mounting sequence.  The entries were then all combined in a book and the students received copies of their own and everyone else’s work.

Here I present the stories and pictures collected in the “If I was Born in the Warhammer World” class project book.  I start with the one I did for myself, only because I used it as a template and example for the students to give them idea of what we were working on.

I thoroughly enjoyed this part of my time in Kosova, and I think the students enjoyed it and learned from it a lot as well.  I know that there are many things I learned from it – and certainly not all about Warhammer.  I found the Warhammer rulebook to be a great resource for teaching, because the artwork and fully-developed-nature of the world to be very enthralling, interesting and inspiring to students.  I am very proud of the work they did, and I will always remember the time fondly.

I used Warhammer to teach English.

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7 responses to “Using Warhammer to Teach English

  1. Awesome stuff man, I’m so impressed and I hope all of Your pupils get better with this most popular all-over-the-world language!

    –Larhendiel, Round table of Bretonnia

  2. We home school 10yr old twin and 11yr old boys .. always looking for alternate and more interesting ways of teaching! Thank you for sharing your lovely experience. Really well done, you are a fabulous teacher!

    • Thank you for the kind words. As for the idea of using Warhammer to teach (or similar things), even for native speakers I think there is some use – especially with the writing process. Creative writing, drafts writing, revision, edits, peer revision and edits, final drafts, etc. Let me know if you try it out!

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