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Citizenship test snakes and ladders

17 January 20201 comment

An innovative new game based on traditional Snakes and Ladders is helping to prepare newly arrived refugees and migrants to pass the Australian citizenship test.

English teachers at migrant and settlement agency AMES Australia devised the game that incorporates information needed to pass the citizenship test.

Teachers Ewa Ronacher and Rajia Gill said the game stemmed from students need for support in passing the citizenship test.

“We decided that if we researched the information and prepared questions and answers that are required in order to successfully pass the Citizenship test then our project would be of benefit to many new migrants,” Ewa said.

“We based our game on the Snakes and Ladders game as it could easily incorporate questions and answers,” she said.

The students gathered the practise questions from the DIBP website and various publications and books.

Pictures were sourced from the internet and additional questions were created to allow for the various language abilities of the players. Nearly 100 questions were created. This allows teachers to select level appropriate questions for their class.

The aim of the game is to correctly answer and thus gain the largest number of cards in order to win. 

Each card was numbered so that answers could be recorded on the answer sheet.

Each card has a map of Australia on it with the underside having the question. For example; What animal is on a 20 cent coin?

“The students gained a lot of skills in preparing their project and each person was very actively involved in learning how to prepare a Word document, inserting text and illustration into the boxes,” Ewa said. 

“Everyone had the opportunity to use the laminator and guillotine and were excited to see the project come together over time,” she said.

Animal tokens were made for the game and a set of rules included. 

In all, three sets of games were created and on the day of the presentation coloured balloons representing the three Australian flags, gums leaves and bottlebrush decorated the table.

There is plan to roll out the game to more classes of refugees and migrants who are keen to pass the citizenship test or just learn more about Australian culture and history.

“It was so much fun creating the game as each student contributed their skills – digital, research, organisational – to make it so successful,” Ewa said.

“The students love playing the game and they all said they had learned a lot about Australia,” she said.