Sunday, January 1, 2017

Word Games to Help Widen Your Vocabulary

A person can read publications or watch programs to widen their vocabulary. He/She can also learn how grammar works by observing how the author constructs sentences or how the characters speak.

Do you know that playing word games can actually help expand your vocabulary? Some benefits of engaging in these word games include improved spelling, word recall, strategic and analytical thinking, etc. For instance, playing 4 Pics 1 Word can improve a person’s analytical thinking as he/she examines what the four images represent.


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While weighing your options on whether to take the IELTS exam or other English proficiency exam, you can utilize word games to prepare and assess your vocabulary. You can play Scrabble to improve your skills in spelling and word recall or Taboo to practice your fluency and articulation.

You can also enroll in IELTS review center or IELTS review online for a more focused language training and assessment. These tutoring facilities are designed to enhance your English proficiency.

Here are the details of the five word games you may want to try to improve your language skills, specifically vocabulary:

1.)    Text Twist
It is a game that challenges players to form as many words as they can using six randomly arranged letters. (Note that players can form words with less than six letters.) Their main objective is to unlock the word using all the letters in 2 minutes and 30 seconds to advance to the next round. Players can click Twist to rearrange the letters, Last Word to see the previously submitted word and Clear to reset the entered letters from the box.

Text Twist enhances players’ ability to quickly recall as many words as possible based on the set of boxes for each level.  Players are often surprised to find out that some words actually exist!
2.)    Taboo
It requires players to guess the word written on the card. Divide players into two teams (e.g., Team A and Team B).   For each round, both teams will choose their respective representatives who will be the clue-giver. Each representative draws a card from the cardholder. The clue-giver provides his/her teammates’ hints—words, phrases or sentences—to figure out the word.  Keep in mind that the clue-giver must not give a “taboo” word. For instance, the word he/she is trying to have his/her team guess is “caregiver.” The clue-giver must avoid giving the terms “care” and “giver” as clues. The team with the most number of correct guessed words wins.

Taboo can exercise and enhance players’ fluency as they try to provide clues to their teammates. It also helps widen one’s vocabulary as clue givers strive to give out words relevant to the mystery word.
3.)    Scrabble
 Each player randomly gets seven letter tiles to play the game. Player 1 forms a word on the board, occupying the centermost square. Player 2 forms a word by placing his/her letter tiles next to one of the letters of the words that are already on the board. Letter tiles are only allowed to be placed next to each other if they form a word. Each time a player uses a letter tile, he/she must randomly get new tiles from the tile bag to maintain the seven letter tiles that every player should have for each turn. Scores are counted by getting the sum of the numbers found on the bottom right corner of each letter tile of the word formed. Score multipliers are found all over the board. These multipliers are only used when a letter tile of a formed word is placed on top of a square that contains a multiplier. (Players may utilize a dictionary to verify words.)

Scrabble expands players’ vocabulary and improves spelling skills. 

4.)    Bookworm Deluxe
It is a computer game that requires players to connect adjacent letter tiles to form a word. A small green arrow shows the directions to which the player is linking the letters. The player must form words with at least three letters. If the formed word is valid, the player may check its point value in the sidebar.

Bookworm Deluxe enhances players’ ability to recognize valid words as quick as they can. 
5.)    Crossword Puzzle
Players must fill out blank boxes with exact letters. Using given clues, players must guess words either across or down.
Crossword Puzzle improves players’ ability to analyze clues to identify mystery words. 

All in all, these games aim to enhance and broaden one’s vocabulary and improve spelling, analyzing skills, articulation and speed. These aspects may also be improved by joining IELTS review centers, as instructors provide students with practice tests and constructive feedback. Then again, one may opt to take advantage of IELTS review online as it is more convenient than attending classes in tutoring centers.

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