Do you ever feel at a “loss for words”? Would you like to express yourself more clearly and with confidence? Want to improve your vocabulary in a straightforward and entertaining way? In your daily life, knowing the right word can make all the difference!
My Word Coach offers a fun and challenging way to improve verbal skills through a series of engaging activities and exercises. The game was inspired by ongoing vocabulary acquisition research by Thomas Cobb, University Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of Quebec. Enjoyable activities include word recognition, spelling challenges, and vocabulary definition, including 16,800 words from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
- When you play, My Word Coach assesses, monitors, and rewards your Expression Potential, a score that represents your ability to command and use the English language. The higher the number (out of a possible 100%), the better you are able to express yourself!
- While the Wii
Well this is about words, so you’d better be able to see. Graphics are largely kept to a minimum, but the instructor is large, playful, and nicely animated to keep you intersted. You’re not going to mistake anyone for a real person, but the style is nice and friendly. Your tutor moves his or her head about and lip syncs nicely with the speech, and it works well for being so rudimentary.
Largely a white background or an olive green closet for the Split Decision game, you are left to your imagination, but the focus is on the words which are large, legible, and prominent. On a couple of occasions the long definition called for a smaller font, but this wasn’t too hard to decipher. If not for the time limit this would be a piece of cake. I’m sure the basic nature of the graphics is to make porting to the DS easier. That’s no crime, but it makes for less than interesting backgrounds.
There are four tutors, referred to as coaches, that you can choose in the game. Each has their own personality and voice, but it is purely a matter of preference as to whom you select. There is Dr. Archibald with his experienced voice to command your attention. There is Veronica Munroe, a recent institute graduate herself, with her light melodic tones to soothe and inspire. There is Professor King who fits the affirmative action clause with flying colors. Finally, there is Penny who is something of a child prodigy.
The music is minimalistic and mild, but some of the sound effects are rather jarring. From the nasty buzzer from the timer running out to the clank of an incorrect answer you are wanting to get things done correctly and quickly so you don’t hear that sound! Otherwise all is clear and effective.
The wiimote is used without the Nunchuk in this game. Most of your time you are simply clinking the A or B buttons, but there are games that you get to spray paint letters onto the board to fill in those missing in the word before you. There is also a Word Cereal game in which you pluck letters from the milk and create words. These are pretty standard and the controls are pretty much on the spot.
Navigating levels, and also in a couple games, you use the tilt function. Twist the wiimote like you’re addressing a doorknob. If you rotate clockwise, the menu leans to the right and the options “fall” to the right. If you twist left, it falls left and the menu falls in alphabetical order. Kind of tricky to get the hang of when spelling your name, but it’s pretty tight. The Split Decision game uses this function to move along articles of clothing to pick the correct word or definition and became a bit annoying after a while, but more on that later.
The wiimote did everything asked of it and was very responsive. The controls have been implemented well.
The game is rated E for everyone, but this game is hardly for young children. The vocabulary is the game is quite challenging and may not really be too engaging for those under 10. But, if your child is inquisitive and enjoys a challenge then this game can be quite rewarding. The game keeps track of your progress much like the Wii Sport’s fitness section does. As you play more, you unlock more words as well as progress to more and more challenging puzzles and games.
The multiplayer got rather heated and was a lot of fun when people with similar skills went at it. There are some games that are 2-player, and some that even managed 4 players. Letter Challenge is a 4-player type, and I spent more time on the sidelines with false starts trying to get an edge over my opponents. Cube Mania is for two players and has a Tetris-like element to it. Create words from the list before the puzzle reaches the top bar!
It’s all in good fun, and it even helps your diction along the way.A lot of thought was put into this game to help you progress. The game aims to be challenging so it is important to keep this in mind or you may become discouraged. A panel of linguists are integral with the project so this is designed to be effective as a learning tool as well as fun. With several games, the multplayer features, and hundreds of words to learn this title can keep you going for a while.