Friday, April 15, 2016

Learning English Can Be Fun? Like Uno? Yes, Please!

I love supporting small business, so when I saw on my local list serve here in Washington D.C. a chance that perfectly fit, I reached out to them!

I get to review this awesome program which is doing a kick starter fund to get their company off the ground. Why should you invest in this?

This is NOT only for toddlers. Nope. English is not an Easy language. It can be a difficult one to learn. My sister was an ESL teacher at one point. Things we English speakers take for granted in thinking and speaking and writing, other people who did not grow up with it as their primary language can actually suffer great difficulty learning and functioning in an English speaking country.

Why is this important?

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For this review, it shows that anyone can better their language skills using the Color Vowel Duo which is made by English Language Training Solutions. It is currently being used for ESL, for kids just learning to read, in the public school systems here in DC, and hoping to spread it's wings even further.

Above in the picture, you have the ultimate trio. The dad looks on as he watched me play this game with these three boys. The little one is just starting to learn to read, the boy in the red shirt is a beginning reader and 7 years old, and the boy on the right is an advanced reader in 4th grade.

We started by identifying the colours and vowel patterns. For example, "Olive Sock". Those "O"'s have the same sound. Then "blue moon", the "ue" and "oo" have the same sound. Why is that important?

It shows that we have spellings in the English language that are not phonetic. We have sounds in the English language that are not pronounced they way they sound or spelled they way we expect them to be based on the sounds they make. Even the advanced reader had to think about it.

So you take the game you and once you identify the colours and sounds, you deal out the duo cards.

The best way I can describe it is dominoes meets uno.

You have two colours and two sounds, one of each side of the card making it look like dominoes. Each person gets 7 cards. You pick up the card and you match one of the sides with what you have. You say something like "Green Tea Free " and you can see that they all have the same sounds even though not spelled the same way.



You go around as you would Uno and the fun part? Yes, you have skips and draws just to add fun to the mix! My kids love that.

Why is this game so cool and revolutionary in learning English?

It shows that playing a game can help learning the English language. When you have rumbustious boys sitting down during their sisters' softball practise on a Thursday wanting to play this with me and then when asked they say they want to play it again, you know something is definitely right!

I am happy this game is going to be in public schools, in community colleges, in ESL programs, and more. I think this will revolutionize learning English in a super fun way.

How can you be apart of the new program? You can help!

They are currently doing a kickstarter program to raise funds to get the business one step further and producing and boxing the product itself. It ends Monday the 18th! Come help them!

The cool part? If you participate and help out, you can get a free deck or two, or many, for yourself, your program, your school, you name it. Having been a T.A. before and a current educator, I think this is great!

The company itself, Enlish Language Training Solutions, was founded 5 years ago and they do teacher training and publish The Color Vowel CHart and accompanying materials. The game was developed by Laura McIndoo, a teacher in New Mexico who uses the materials.

I would give the game top stars.

It is portable, it is fun, the boys wanted to play again! There is nothing more complimentary than that!

So come help out and get yourself a deck today!
Also:

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*I received a (partial) deck in exchange for the honest review and was not required to make it a good one* 

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