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The Importance of Clear Instructions

When we were training as teachers, we were all told about the importance of giving clear instructions, and checking that students have understood them. However, even after years of experience, students’ ability to interpret our words creatively  can take us unawares. For example, this week I told a group of students to discuss amongst themselves the differences between role-playing games and other games, and the differences between children’s games and adult role-playing games. This gave rise to the following exchange:

STUDENT: Well, we’ve got onto adult role-playing games, but we can only think of “doctor and nurse” and “boss and secretary”.

TEACHER: Umm, I didn’t mean “adult” in that sense of the word – I was thinking of, you know … Dungeons and Dragons?

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Categories: Classroom
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