Smart Cards: a communicative board game in English
Intermediate

WHO IS THE GAME FOR – TARGET GROUPS

The vocabulary and questions of Smart Cards Intermediate were compiled for secondary school pupils, young andpupilsand adults alike. The authors created two different levels of knowledge, hence the game is a successful tool in preparing for intermediate or advanced language examinations or secondary school exams, but also for adult groups with an intermediate level knowledge of the language. The vocabulary was elaborately compiled focusing on the main topics of language exams, while we also took care to accommodate adult learners’ needs for a useful set of words.

HOW TO PLAY?

The Intermediate board game of the Smart Cards-series intends to develop the communicative skills of English learners on intermediate level with the help of a richly illustrated board, and a versatile vocabulary and grammar set. The board displays a lively mansion, luring the players into communication. Apart from describing the pictures they can see, the players also draw cards with various communicative tasks of different levels of difficulty – each a problem to solve. The player most likely to win the game is the one who talks, solves riddles, gives advice, explains things and argues– or, in certain cases, the one who ‘robs’ a bonus step. The game is a unique, interactive and cheerful way of acquiring and practising the English language.

language exam topics
vocabulary of newspaper articles

professions
human relations, love, friendship
time schedule, free time
learning, school
town and country life
healthy living, sports, nutrition
travelling, shopping, clothing
language learning methods
professional life
English and American culture – films, literature, music, sports, history
environmentalism, climate changes
our global world: multiculturalism and tolerance; consumer society
discrimination and acceptance (the place of women and children in society)
the media: television, journalism, advertisements and the Internet

GREEN CARDS are the favourites of students: riddles! Players read out questions to each other. If they can answer them correctly, they may take a step forward.
E.g.: "Clouds resting on the surface of land or water. They are hard to see through. It is a typical phenomenon in England." Solution: "fog" or "mist". This is a very effective comprehensive task.

BLUE CARDS contain a word or expression each. Players have to explain these expressions to each other in English.
E.g.: "New Year’s Eve". An acceptable solution: "This is the last evening of the year when the whole world celebrates together. People usually drink champagne."
This is a task developing oral communicative skills.

ORANGE CARDS contain creative oral tasks.
E.g.: "What advice would you give to your friend who wants to start working abroad?" or "The restaurant of one of your friends is not profitable enough. How could he develop and manage it better?" or "What would you suggest to your friend who has become a shopaholic?" This is a fantastic communicative task.

RED CARDS list questions of English and American culture and history.
"List five countries where English is the official language." or "What is BBC short for?" or "Name the actor who played Forrest Gump." or "Name the traditional Scottish musical instrument." or "What sport do Arsenal play?" Players could learn the answers to all of these questions with the help of the red ‘surprise pack’.

YELLOW CARDS (Joker pack): these are the tasks requiring the most amount of creativity – an oral response has to be made to a provocative statement: either by arguing or agreeing with the statement. "Only muscularly fit men are attractive for women – do you agree?" "Do you think environmentalism only concerns professionals?" "Is it true that arts are not useful in contemporary society?" Players have to express their opinion orally about similar statements in English.
A communicative task of advanced level; apart from expanding one’s vocabulary it also inspires students to express their opinion, thus improves argumentative skills.

Since the board of Smart Cards Intermediate is richly illustrated, it may also be used to practise PICTURE DESCRIPTION – a task that is an essential part of oral language exams.