Don’t walk, but run!
I have been a huge fan of South Korean game show ‘Running Man’ since day one.
Generally, ‘Running Man’ involves a lot of running – obviously – and also features games which takes the viewer and game participants to many corners of South Korea and other countries like Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia as well.
The show is unpredictable as each episode is designed differently from the other and the cast and celebrity guests often provide the comedy element, keeping fans glued to the screen.
I thought I was the show’s biggest fan, until I met a fellow fan of Running Man which took her fandom to a whole other level.
Wong Yiik Ling who has been teaching for more than 20 years turned her favourite game show into a classroom activity to improve her students’ English levels. She is currently teaching at SK Buntal Chong Hua where she has been working since 2003.
Wong recently gave a workshop to 12 teachers during English Language Development Project (ELTDP) Symposium 2015 on Mar 5 at Hilton Kuching.
During the workshop, she explained the mechanics of the game she came up with called Running Bingo Hunt – a combination of Running Man, treasure hunt and bingo – a kinesthetic learning activity involving running from station to station where the participants race to complete a number of language-based challenges.
Each group can be made of four to six students linked together with paper cuffs to encourage teamwork as seen in Running Man.
Then each group will be given a bingo puzzle made up of 25 random words arranged in 5 X 5 square and a worksheet.
Wong would prepare several stations located in the school compound; each station will provide the challenge for the students to fill in the worksheet.
Just like a typical treasure hunt, students are kept in the dark about the location of these stations.
The hunt requires the students to run to any station to solve an English-based activity.
Once they solve it correctly, the students will need to pick up a word from the Bingo master which in her case is Wong herself.
The word they pick up is one of many words in the Bingo puzzle.
Running Bingo Hunt will end once the students succeed in completing two lines of Bingo or make at least two opposite pairs of words in the puzzle.
If the students break their paper cuffs during the game, one word from the Bingo puzzle will be taken from them.
Wong noted that the response from her students were good saying, “Most of my students are like me, fans of Running Man. They really like this game because they can go around the school.”
She also mentioned some of the downsides of Running Bingo Hunt, “We do face a little problem. These paper cuffs are easily broken when the students are sweating while playing. Many students come back after finishing one station due to the broken link.”
With Running Bingo Hunt, can create a different environment in her classroom learning.
Besides, Wong wanted a fun and motivating activity for her students.
Since the classes she teaches cover Year 3 to Year 6, she wanted to design an activity that is adaptable for different language levels.
All the questions are based on lessons that Wong has taught in class.
During the workshop, Wong introduced this game to the attendees and had them participate in the game as well: She put up different stations at certain areas of Hilton Hotel just like she would if she were to organise the game in school.
Wong hoped that by giving the participants a taste of the game, they would bring the games to their respective schools and try it out with their students. She encouraged her fellow teachers at the workshop to come up with their own versions because the questions or activities could be adjusted to suit the language levels of the learner.
Wong mentioned that Running Bingo Hunt was an upgraded version of an activity she previously created.
“Still inspired by Running Man, the previous version required the students to go to all the stations and finish all of the challenges. There were no bingo puzzles involved,” Wong said.
She explained that since the students get easily bored she needed to continuously come up with something new for them to learn.