Literacy games

Today’s blog post is a little video rant about how hard it is to find high-quality spelling/word-building games in mainstream toy and game shops.

They rarely go much beyond one sound for each of 26 letters, and their designers often seem to know very little about English word structure, any of the dozens of more complex spelling patterns, or how beginners learn. Why they don’t ask a Speech Pathologist or Applied Linguist or teacher with good phonics knowledge for help is quite beyond me.

I often go into mainstream toy shops, department stores and other places selling kids’ games, looking for new spelling activities, but come out empty-handed.

Most of the offer is “A is for aeroplane, B is for bumblebee, X is for xylophone” type garbage, and most things that look more promising usually mix up easy and hard spellings, and contain information that’s just plain phonetically inaccurate. So I put them back on the shelf and walk out, and I hope you do too. I’d rather make my own, or order something higher-quality online, than expose my learners to confusing and inaccurate materials.

I still have a couple of mainstream commercial beginners’ word-building games in my cupboard, but let’s have a look at them on YouTube:

I might just throw both these games in the recycling, and free up some cupboard space for something more useful.

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