Ready, set, go!

Games are one of the best ways to become familiar with and practise the language that you’re learning.  From simple word-matching games using flashcards, to crosswords, to popular board games.

Recently I’ve come across a new product from the makers of Scrabble® (the popular lettter tile boardgame).   It’s called Scrabble® Scramble and it involves a much-smaller version of the board, 12 letter dice, and a one-minute timer.  Instead of choosing seven tiles from a bag, the special shaker rolls seven dice for you, and you have one minute to place your word.  Generally the rules are the same, but a maximum of two words remain on the board at any one time.  The advantages to this version are that it is fast (an average game will last about 20 minutes, depending on the number of players), any number of people can play (as long as they are prepared to wait their turn), it is tiny and portable, and you can use the dice to play a lot of other word games.

I’m not usually one to plug (promote) specific products, but I’ve found the letter dice to be especially helpful in my classes, and have improvised (made up/invented) quite a few ways to use them to keep my students learning in an enjoyable way.  They also seem to be fascinated by the timer, and one minute turns keep things interesting!

Variations with letter dice:

  • Roll seven dice and see who can make the most words from the letters (words must be three or more letters long).
  • Roll two or three dice and see who can make the most words (or who gets the first/longest word) containing all the letters.
  • Use the dice to decide who will go first in games (closest to a particular letter wins).
  • Use the dice to play category games (see who can name one word in each category [e.g. animals, fruit, countries] that starts with the letter rolled).

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