State of Debate

By kylemawer  

Level: Upper Intermediate

Skills focus: Listening & Reading

Location: Connected classroom/ computer room

Language Focus: Modals of Obligation

Game: State of Debate

“It’s the year 2020 and Just-Co have banned hoodies, and you’ve just been spotted wearing one. Can you talk your way out of trouble using your English Language skills?”

Screen shot 2010-05-18 at 10.08.29 AMIn this game you are spotted by a regulator (police) who approaches you and tells you about your crime in a video sequence.  You then have to read and choose from three options (written text) on how you deal with the situation and see how they react.  Other situations appear in the game like giving advice to a friend and trying to get into a disco past a bouncer.


  • If you are doing this in the computer room treat it as an autonomous listening & reading activity.  As you monitor help learners understand the game’s language content.  The colleague who showed me this game had his learners play the game as a reader/ listener.
  • Presentation on modal verbs of permission and obligation if you are doing this in a connected classroom as an open class activity.


NOTE There is a button on the bottom left hand side that provides you with subtitles for the video sequences in the game.

  1. Play the video intro and ask a few concept questions such as “When is it set?”, “What crimes are there?”, “What sort of government is it?”
  2. Divide the class into pairs.  They watch the video sequence and should ask their partner 3 wh- questions.
  3. They then read and discuss what option they should choose before taking a class vote.
  4. They watch the video sequence that shows a reaction to their choice and learners repeat from step 2.
  5. Play the game for as long as you think is necessary.

Post activity

  • Discuss in class which were the best ways to deal with each situation.
  • The situations in the game may be extreme but what are the unwritten rules and regulations affecting young people today.  Discuss.
  • Write their own rules and regulations for adults.
  • Write a role play between a ‘regulator’ and an adult breaking the law.

Homework activity

  • Learners write a composition about advice they give to friends, dress codes or laws and regulations that effect them as young people but not the adults.
  • If learners didn’t finish the game in class they could continue at home.  You could ask them to take notes using a simple table:

Screen shot 2010-05-18 at 11.03.58 AM

There is also a ‘save’ button which I’ve never used so in theory you could save a game and come back to it in later classes.  Whatever you choose to do I hope you enjoy playing the game.

4 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, Louise Gault. Louise Gault said: RT @ShellTerrell: #elearning #esl State of Debate via @eltdigitalplay [...]

  2. By Digital Play on August 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    [...] Intermediate Listening (1, 2), modals of obligation, Narrative Tenses, Note-taking, Phrasal Verbs, Present Perfect Passive, Reading (1, 2, 3, 4, [...]

  3. By | Digital Play on December 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    [...] Passive, Reading (1 Video Games Go To The Movies, 2 Runescape, 3 Morningstar, 4 Hetherdale, 5 State of Debate, 6 Tanooky Tracks), Relative clauses & Conditionals, Relative clauses, Speaking (1 Mr. [...]

  4. [...] a game contains audio elements especially in the form of narration.  A nice example of this is State of Debate.  Set in a dystopian future you watch and listen to short video sequences to which you then have [...]