Scratch My Back ESL Card Game

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Why Use Scratch My Back In the Classroom?

Learning is easiest when it's fun and involving, which is why ESL card games are an effective way to teach English: they make the long journey more enjoyable, provide another learning angle and offer short term rewards for giving 100% effort.

Scratch My Back goes a step further than other ESL games: it is essentially an evolving role-play involving the whole class. As an ESL game, it is original, innovative, with lots of entertainment value and content. Most of all, it uses players natural competitiveness to get them speaking and having fun with English.

There are several ways to play. Like most ESL card games, Scratch My Back can be used as a time filler at the end of a lesson. You can also pick out relevant language cards from the deck to assist with roleplays, or mini conversation games. However, we think students get the most benefit if Scratch My Back is treated as a module- with the teacher dedicating a few lessons to covering the themes and language in the game. Afterall, once you scratch the surface, Scratch My Back covers a large number of related topics that form important stepping stones towards becoming a competent English communicator.

Teaching with Scratch My Back is easy and enjoyable, but it does take a little skill to get it right. With this in mind, we wrote the Scratch My Back classroom guide ebook. It contains a number of ideas and lesson plans to help you maximize the educational benefit of playing. 

We think you'll be amazed at how quickly players pick up the new language and concepts when driven by their competitive instincts. Once players have mastered the game, they have acquired a new set of language skills which are really practical in everyday life, yet remain weakpoints among many English learners. And of course, revising the material is as easy as playing again.

Working On the Blind Spot:

The language in Scratch My Back covers a blind spot in language education for many people -it teaches direct communication skills and speaking confidence.

Not all cultures are as direct as English speaking countries, and this in combination with language barriers are two major confidence killers for non English speakers overseas. Situations in the game (just like in real life) will sometimes call for players to be a little rude and other times polite and magnanimous. By using humor and providing a clear game objective, Scratch My Back gives players a licence to be a little 'out there', break through barriers, practice saying what's really on their mind, or what they might say if there were no consequences.  

Themes and Grammar covered in Scratch My Back:

In a game of Scratch My Back, players practice making requests, using irony, asking favors, giving reasons, paying compliments, cooperating, saying no, making excuses, justifying their reasoning, creative problem solving, telling a story and negotiating amongst others.

The grammar and language on the cards provides a balance between kindness, cheekiness and cunningness; repetition of grammar structures and variety.

Scratch My Back is the ESL card game that every classroom, and student needs! It's a great addition to any conversational English teaching curriculum, and may provide the insight your students have been searching for to overcome that barrier and get to the next level.

scratch my back ESL card game box

Now only 1400 Yen  




Special Offer For English Schools:

Box of 12 sets: only 14200Yen. (a 40% saving off the cover price).



Other Articles:

Roleplay ideas:

Making Requests and excuses: 

 More about using ESL games in the classroom