April 28, 2017

Accept or Except? It Makes a Difference to a Party Host

By Rob Klindt, Contributing Writer | Literacy Resources WordFail app helps students with sound-alike words

When you get an email invitation to a party you want to attend, do you accept or except the invite? And, if they want an RSVP, are you definitely or defiantly going? Knowing which word to use is important and can save embarrassment and confusion.

English is full of sound-alike words with different spellings and meanings. It’s no wonder some students in English and writing classes scratch their heads over which word to use. Naturally, classroom instruction and study guides are the first step in mastering vocabulary and writing skills. But, thanks to technology, educational apps offer a fun way for students to get extra practice and build their composition skills.

A good educational app teachers should consider adding to their classroom tech toolbox is “WordFail” by Astro Crow. It’s a fast-paced word game aimed at students in upper elementary grades through high school and works with most smartphones and digital tablets. Game exercises focus on helping students learn and practice the proper usage of the most commonly misused words in English.

Topics include:

  • Grammar rules
  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary
  • Word choice
  • Word definitions

Games in the “WordFail” app are self-paced and can also be a good fit for students in independent study programs.

Start and play

Players can start right away because there’s no need to register or create a user name. Simply tap the “Start” button in the center of the screen, then tap the Challenge Level Pack 1. Next, tap the first player icon that appears at the top of the screen.

The first pack of 12 word exercises launches. In a text box at the bottom of the screen is a sentence with a missing word. Above the box, two or three similar words are displayed, but only of them will correctly complete the sentence. Tap the correct word, and a confirmation message will appear accompanied by an upbeat musical tone. Choose the wrong word, and a flat musical tone plays and definitions for each word appear. Players have 15 seconds to make a choice.

Tap the “Next” button to move onto the next sentence. After 12 sentences are completed, an advertisement will appear before players can move onto the next pack of exercises. Players can repeat any set of exercises as many times as they like.

Dynamic features

The “WordFail” app boasts numerous dynamic features that keep players engaged while they learn. The most helpful include:

  • A colorful interface
  • Automatic scoring
  • Confirmation sound effects
  • Correct answer confirmation
  • Lively background music

There’s also an option for players to turn off the music and sound effects if they’re using the app in a quiet classroom or study hall.

What’s included

Content in the “WordFail” app is all-inclusive. Once it’s been downloaded to a device, most features, including music, sound effects and automatic scoring will work without an internet connection for just the first unlocked challenge level pack. To unlock additional challenge level packs, players must connect to the internet where an advertisement will play before each new collection of exercises starts.

Players who want to remove the advertisements and unlock challenge levels with more advanced words and sentences can make an optional $3.99 in-app purchase. New challenge level packs are added each month.

Download details

The basic “WordFail” app by Astro Crow is free and can be downloaded through Google Play and iTunes. It’s compatible with smartphones and tablets running the Android operating system 4.0.3 or later. Apple users can play the app using iPhones or iPad tablets running iOS version 6.0 or later.

Rob Klindt’s “App Reviews” combine his passion for writing with an ever-growing interest in educational technology. His simple, straightforward approach to reviewing educational apps help educators and parents leverage new tools for students in and out of the classroom.

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