Targeting specific skills

To learn a skill with a game, that game should mimic the real-life scenario when that skill is being applied. For example, spelling words correctly is a boring skill to learn. You really need to repeat a few times before it sticks.

When learning new words, I find myself often skip the spell part and dive almost immediately into the meaning of the word only to find out later that some part of that word is wrong when I need to reproduce it.

A fun way to play this is to have the syllables of a word to be split into multiple cards and try to spell the word by first collecting/drawing all cards of that word. There are many variations thinkable, below is just an example for triggering more inspirations.

The Syllable Mahjong

This game requires at least 2 persons and works a bit like the Chinese Mahjong.

The game starts with a deck of cards containing syllables of the new vocabulary list. each player takes 10 cards. Each round, a player must play a card and then take another card from the deck. A player wins if all syllables can be combined into words without any extra card left unused.

You can add extra difficulty by requiring the person with a complete set of words to make a sensible sentence out of these words. In addition, you can allow a player to take the played card from the player before him/her iso the card from the deck.

10, 11 are the only number of cards players can be finishing with. So you can win after playing a card, after drawing a new card or after taking the played card from the last player. If in the end no one was able to win by utilising all the cards, then the player with most letters in completed word(s) wins.

For learning Chinese characters, we can use elements of a full character iso the syllables and count the number of strokes iso letters.

Other applications

You can image that we can make the players learn other grammar rules with this too by replacing syllables with different variations of words and immutable words. The person wins if he/she can construct grammar sound sentences out of the cards. I’m sure much more is possible, basically just replace the elements on the cards and you’ve got yourself a new game.

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