Friday, June 20, 2014


Mad Gab (A perfect game for pronunciation practice)

Have you ever seen a game and thought, "This was MADE for my classroom." If you teach pronunciation in your classroom this game is PERFECT for you!

What's the premise of the game?

1. The game is basically a collection of 1,200 "puzzles" that you try to get your teammates to guess.
2. One person will read the puzzle. For example, "Bail heed ant sir."
3. Their teammates will try to figure out what is really being said.

This is a GREAT game for all the different types of blended speech. When we say, "Bail heed ant sir" we usually end up saying something like, "Bellee dants ir" which sounds an awful lot like, "Belly Dancer!"

Here's a commercial with another example:

The goal is to solve three puzzles before time runs out! With my students we normally play a simpler version where they get 1 minute. In that minute they have to try to guess as many as they can. Then it is the next team's turn.

Now, there is a website  where you can access similar puzzles for free; however, I think buying the game is worth it because it comes with this handy card holdy flippy thing (I know that's an awful description), and I think that students realizing they are playing a real game (not just one designed for English language learners) is helpful to their self esteem.

If you read the actual directions (and I always do) they include the role of the coach. I encourage this! The coach knows the answer and tries to guide the guessers by giving them pronunciation advice such as, "Put more emphasis on the first syllable," or "Speak faster!" The coach needs to be at a high-ish English level, so the teacher is an easy fit. However, many students can do it as well.

Now, I think buying the full size game is worth it; however, if the price is too high (normally over $20), you have other options. They also have a travel version for UNDER $5! It is only 240 puzzles, but a great start for your class.

I'll end with this older Tweet from Mattel
What do you think, "Nosed Ring Sat Hatched" is really trying to say? Post in the comments and I'll let you know if you are right!

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