>Literati and Scrabble

>One of the most popular on-line games on Yahoo is Literati. It is just like Scrabble. I described this game to this list several months ago and invited everyone to join me for a game which we played one night.

It’s a great game to play with friends or students. While you play there is a little ‘chat’ window where you can talk about words, the weather, whatever. I think the maximum number to play is 4 or 5 but others can join in to watch the game. You could even have the extras join the players and make ‘teams’ so that you would have 4-5 teams.

I think any activity that works with words is helpful for students. Before a student lays out his tiles for a 4 letter word he has run through his mind hundreds of possible words. Every spelling combination that seems like it could be a word is followed by the thought “Is that a real word? What word is it and what does it mean?” It is a delightful way for students to review vast amounts of vocabulary.

I had a private class with some executives (a banker, a manufacturing CEO, a company president and a head of a law firm). They liked it when I pulled my mini-Scrabble game out but were thrilled when they learned you get points. The lawyer was so enthusiastic he was trying to cheat and the president had to guard the tiles to stop him.

Scrabble is one of the most popular games in the U.S. So I’m sure many students will enjoy it.

>Scrabble and Liar Liar for vocabulary practice


SCRABBLE: It’s almost embarrassing to get paid money to play Scrabble but we’re professionals and have to be ready to endure anything. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts I like to teach from our coursebook for an hour and then like to do something else with the class. I was really surprised at how appealing Scrabble turned out to be. Especially when my students found out they could get points and win. I’ve had managers jumping up and down like kids and a lawyer so intent on winning he couldn’t resist cheating. Students have to think of thousands of words to play this game and it’s a great way to get them to review the vocabulary they know.

Photo: 40 students playing Scrabble. The game is projected on a screen. The students are divided into eight teams.


LIAR LIAR: Often our coursebooks have a dictionary section in the back. Give the students a couple minutes to study one page of it. Then they close their books and on a paper draw two vertical lines forming three columns. At the top of the left column they write 100. At the top of the middle column they write YES. Then put NO at the top of the right column.

The 100 is their dollars. The teacher reads a word with its’ definition or with a definition from another word. The students use their dollars to place bets on how sure they are if the word and definition are true or false. They do this by marking how much they want to gamble under one of the YES?

The game is terrifically effective in winning students concentration and focus on these vocabulary words. And they have great fun in playing the game.

>High-speed correcting

>If you find yourself with a large number of tests to correct and little time to do them you could make a cut-out template to help you.

What I like to do though is to make a recording of the answers on my computer, using the ‘sound recording’ feature under Windows accessories. I then play the recording, sometimes even speeding it up to 200%, and check the papers.

The advantage of recording it on the computer as opposed to a tape recorder is that you don’t have to rewind to play it again.