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'Trump' cards give English learners in Japan taste of US election

Playing cards featuring comments by U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. (Kyodo)

NIIGATA, Japan (Kyodo) -- An English-language school in Japan has created a unique tool to familiarize people with the language as well as the upcoming U.S. presidential election -- playing cards featuring comments by U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

    Satoshi Watanabe. (Kyodo)

    While playing a game using two 52-card decks with illustrations of the two candidates, participants at an English conversation school in Niigata, read out some of the arguments that Trump and Biden have made during their election campaigns.

    Trump's "Keep America Great!" slogan is printed on a card with his illustration, while statements on Biden cards include, "The world built a wall around us." The teachers explain to the students the background of the comments.

    The unique cards have portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping as jokers. They have received positive feedback from participants, with some even deciding to enroll after playing the game during a trial lesson, according to the school Speak Up.

    Satoshi Watanabe, the 53-year-old manager of the school, said he was inspired to make the cards after wondering why Trump's statements gained so much support during the previous presidential election in 2016, when he ran against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

    "It is possible to learn how politicians convey their messages by pretending to be them. I would like my students to be able to voice their opinions in English," Watanabe said.

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