Scrabble: More Than Just A Game

Scrabble is a word game in which 2-4 players score points by forming words with their single letter tiles. If you’ve never played Scrabble before, you don’t have to worry because it’s a relatively easy game to learn. If you’d like to look at the official rules, click here. You may play this game for fun with your friends, but it can actually help improve your English! Everyone can learn something from this game. Here’s where you may see improvements:

1. Your Spelling

The whole point of Scrabble is to create words. But you also need to know how to spell properly in order to win. If you’re playing with a group of friends, have them check your spelling. By having your friends correct your spelling, you’re more likely to remember it in the future. By thinking about your vocabulary and how to spell certain words, you’re giving yourself more practice. And we all know, practice makes perfect!

2. Your Vocabulary

When you only have seven letter tiles to work with, your brain is forced to dig deep for any vocabulary term you’ve learned. You might surprise yourself by knowing more than you thought you did. You will also learn by looking at your peers – they might use words you’re unfamiliar with. Take advantage of these opportunities by writing down new vocabulary, and looking up the definition. You could even ask your friends what the word means, and they might explain it to you in a way that’s easier to understand than a dictionary definition.

3. Recognizing Patterns

You’ve probably realized by now that there are common letter groupings in the English language. Perhaps you’ve seen some of these combinations: ch, sh, or, ee, ou, tion, ey, etc. The more words you try to spell, the more you will see some of these patterns. Even if you can’t spell any words, try to organize your letter tiles into groups/patterns. For example, if you group together ch, you may quickly see how many words you could spell: check, chin, cheque, cheese, match, batch, hatch, chair, etc. The possibilities are endless! But it’s harder to see possible word combinations if you don’t group your letters.

4. Dictionary Familiarity

Although more serious Scrabble players won’t let you use a dictionary to help you find a word, ESL learners are rule breakers! Of course your goal is to learn and improve your English, not just to win, so try to think of words on your own. But if you’re struggling, feel free to use the dictionary. Not only will you expand your vocabulary by finding new words, but you’ll also be reading new definitions and getting a better understanding of the word. Click here to look at the official Scrabble Dictionary.

  1. Your Numbers

Numbers are often overlooked in the world of ESL. Even though numbers are still a very important part of English, most learners don’t get the practice they need. Fortunately, there are some number skills needed to play Scrabble. Whoever feels the most comfortable (or whoever wants to challenge themselves) can keep score. In order to challenge themselves further, try to actually write the numbers out. For example, instead of writing (6 + 13 = 19), try writing: six + thirteen = nineteen.

Remember too that you don’t need the actual board game to play Scrabble, there are plenty of apps to use. So whether you want to see improvements in your spelling, vocabulary, or pronunciation, Scrabble is a really fun way to do it. Just don’t let any tiles fall to the floor!


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