Why Scrabble might be less about the words and more about the numbers A view of the game from Asia by Gerry Carter
Some years ago I was shooting the breeze with Nigel Richards between games when a question came up I had been meaning to ask him.
I had already been playing Scrabble competitively for many years and I had formed the opinion myself that the game really was not about the English language.
Indeed, in my job as a schoolteacher I ran a long standing and successful Scrabble club that had brought the game to hundreds of English as a Second Language Thai children, and I had thought about its real impact on learning English.
In my experience it really had very little to do with language learning bar getting kids to think about the shape…show more content… So my question to Nigel, who just about has all the words off pat and is the accepted best player that ever lived, was "is Scrabble a word game or a game of maths?"
In typical Nigel fashion the answer came back with a rather incredulous look on his face as if we should all know the…show more content… My brother David, in his work for his master's degree from Goldsmith's in London, described the English language, in essence, as the greatest tool of imperialism both in the past and in the present day. This resonated with me and my thoughts on Scrabble and why some societies even in Asia, where English proficiency is so sought after, did not develop a liking for Scrabble. Maybe they saw it as just another tool of Western imperialism, preferring Go and Mahjongg instead!
In Thailand, the game is marketed as 'Crossword Game' but essentially Scrabble through and through, was promoted to the public, education authorities and sponsors as a way to interest students in English and indeed improve their proficiency in it. Thais never really had the hangover of