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Teacher Edition: Ted Talks, Taiwan, and Teaching feat. Magda Vince – 013

Teacher Edition- Episode 13: Ted Talks, Taiwan, and Teaching feat. Magda Vince!

Episode Overview

In this “Teacher Edition” episode of Board Gaming with English, Rich and Dustin talk to Magda Vince about her experience using board games in her teaching and specifically in her teaching in Taiwan.  Magda has been a teacher in Taiwan for about 16 years. Dustin, Rich, and Magda all share some of their experiences with games in education. Rich and Dustin talk to Magda about her experience giving a Ted Talk on games in education in Taiwan. They also discuss various ways games can be implemented into teaching.  Read more about and take a look at the games they talk about in this episode below.
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Thank you to Revolution Void for their wonderful contribution of a segment of their song “How Exciting” for our introduction. The song can be found in full on this music archive.
Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the song “Mumbai Mood” on our Desert Island Questionnaire Segment:
Music: http://www.purple-planet.com
Thank you to YouTube’s Audio Library for the use of sound effects in this episode.

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Sound Cloud

(Transcript coming soon- support our podcast and email us a transcript of episode 13)

Episode Topics

Magda Vince

Magda Vince gives us a great opportunity to sit down and have a chat with her about games in education and teaching. She gave a Ted Talk in Taiwan about board games and discusses her experience on the Ted stage. She also shares some stories of times she has used games in her teaching, and even talks about specific games and examples. Check out the episode and look below to see the games she uses.
Current Favorite Game(s): Istanbul and Five Tribes
Board Game Style: She holds grudges! Magda is a very honor driven board game player. If you stab her in the back, she will never forget.

Using Board Games in Her Lessons

Magda has used topic-based board games in her lessons. In the episode, she talks about how games can be tangentially related to and used in her lessons. One example she provides is Catan. In the game of Catan, you need to settle a new colony through tile placement and negotiation of your resources. This is a great game for helping students learn different topics associated with the game, like agriculture, negotiation, economics, and early settlements. These opportunities to bring in games to lessons allows for increased engagement in the classroom.

Dealing with Chaos that may Come from Games

Structure. The one-word response to help students maintain and foster positive engagement and learning in the classroom. Be sure to teach a mini-lesson before implementing any games in the classroom. Students should know how to play the game, the language needed to play the game, and the reason they are playing the game. Be sure to listen to the episode to learn more about what she has to say.

Skills Students Learn from Playing Games in the Classroom

Magda tells a cool story about how she implemented and ran a board game class in Taiwan. Her program was so successful because of the numerous skills that students learn or reinforce through games like, negotiation skills, communication skills, language skills, grammar, vocabulary, problem-solving, conflict resolution, human interaction, and mathematics to name a few.

Board Games and English

We discuss the reasons why using English learning can be used as a gateway for a successful board game program in Taiwan. An English only environment is the enticing factor of a board game program. Do you think a board game program would be successful in other countries, other than Taiwan? Leave a comment below and let us know. Be sure to listen to the episode to hear how we address this topic.

Are Board Games a Waste of Time?

No. Magda discusses her reasons why board games are never a waste of time in a language class and how they can be instrumentally useful for other lessons as well. Listen in and found out what she says! What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Teacher/Educator Pushback of Board Games in Taiwan

Magda talks about a speech she gave to teachers at the teacher university in Taipei, called National Taiwan Normal University. She was then asked to give a talk about board games in education to Taiwanese governmental and educational officials. She talks about how she has seen a shift in traditional teaching methods in Taiwan and how she felt a strong desire from teachers who want to implement these innovative teaching methods into their own classes. 

Resources Discussed in this Episode

Magda gives several examples of games she has used in the classroom. Below are some games she talked about in the episode:

Apples to Apples

A great vocabulary-based game for social interaction:


A game of negotiation and settlement:


A drawing game to help with vocabulary:

Games in this Episode

Dustin and Rich talk about and mention several different games during this episode. If any of these games sound like something you might enjoy playing personally or in your class, you can help support our podcast by purchasing these games through our Amazon affiliate links. We will earn a small commission at no expense to you. Check out the games below:

Magda’s Current Favorites

Instanbul and…

Five Tribes

Magda’s Desert Island Questionnaire


 Lost Cities

Princes of Florence


Other Games Talked about on the Show

Gloomhaven (again…)

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