5 Fun Apps to Improve Language Skills: Learn Outside the Box
What does it mean to learn outside the box? Well, it could be interpreted in different ways: learning in ways different than the “norm,” creatively, or outside of our comfort zone. It could be getting outside our home, or even countries. I do mean it in these ways, but most importantly I mean to get outside the classroom. There are opportunities to learn everywhere, with everything around us. Go ahead and try, look around you. Is there something you can learn from your surroundings? New vocabulary words? Uses of something? History or where an item came from? How many items can you find around you that could actually benefit your learning experience?
Your smartphone, tablet, computer, or any other “smart” device around you has endless opportunities for learning. I’m sure you know of some, and today you’ll hopefully learn about a few more fun, interactive apps on your phones and tablets that will not only provide you with some amazing entertainment, but actually build vocabulary and English fluency! Tired of translating from your language all the time? These types of activities, because of time restrictions, will actually force you to think in English because there’s no time for translating! These apps would also be good for young, native learners, and anyone who loves a good word game.
Because these are all word games, I encourage you to create a vocabulary notebook of new words. If you don’t know a word, write it down to look up the definition later, skip it, and keep the fun going!
Here’s the list, in no particular order of favorites… (well, okay. Number one is actually my favorite!)
1. Unspeakable: Group Party Word Game Like Taboo
The title says it, ‘Taboo’. If anyone has ever played this incredibly hilarious word game, then you know just how much fun it can be. The challenge: Get your team to guess the ‘secret’ word on the card without saying any of the words listed, and within the given time. How can this help language skills? Simple, expanding vocabulary skills by identifying synonyms and increasing your ability to describe the word in different ways. (Just say NO to translators. 🙂 ) With the short time given, there is no time for translating in your head.
I’ve personally used this idea, recreated into “Vocaboo,” for my students as a weekly vocabulary review activity and it’s something previous students still talk about.
Very similar to Unspeakable, but with extra activities. This multi-activity game includes speaking, acting, and singing in order for your team/partner to guess the word on the card in front of you. There are many themes to choose from, including: TV shows & movies, animals, music, Disney characters, etc.. How can this help language skills? In the same way as Unspeakable, but with some more action. Other game players who are practicing must now interpret body movements and gestures, adding in a new side of language learning.
[…] you have already seen blog posts about the many different apps for learning, in fact, I have one here. However, this post is going to be different because it will hopefully be a new way to learn […]
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