What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cultiwords helps kids learn and remember 40 SAT-caliber vocabulary words. Extension packs of word collections can be added for $0.99 each. Kids can add words to their dictionary to review them until they are "acquired" -- when they've been correctly identified in different sentences on three different days. Kids can share words via Facebook. Push notifications are automatically set up to remind kids to review and learn words daily, but that can be disabled in the device's settings.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
Interesting anecdotes about the words engage kids, and the overall design of short quizzes, interesting definitions and anecdotes, and the utilization of memorization and review motivate kids to learn.
Interesting information about each word gives a depth of understanding. Learning is baked in through repeated exposure to the words.
There are no user accounts, so only one person can track progress at a time. The dictionary shows all words "in process of acquisition" and all words "acquired."
What's it about?
CULTIWORDS uses repetition and memory techniques to teach vocabulary. Kids start by attempting to identify the word, then reviewing the definition, which includes phonetic pronunciation, etymology, definition, and anecdotes about the word. At that point, they can choose to forget the word (and learn it at another time), add it to their dictionary, or share it on Facebook. Once the word is added to the dictionary, kids review the word, along with others in the dictionary, until they have identified it correctly three times. Then the word is "acquired" and moved to the acquired list in the dictionary. The dictionary shows the list of words "in process of acquisition" and words "acquired." Kids can only review the words once per day and are reminded with push notifications. Some of the 40 base words include "chauvinistic," "efficacious," "innocuous," "requiem," and "sardonic."
Is it any good?
With only a few minutes a day, teens can dramatically improve their vocabularies using the process of memorization and review. The definitions go beyond the meaning of the word and give a colorful narrative of the word's origin, making it more likely to be remembered. Push notifications remind kids to review their words, further ensuring they'll commit them to memory. The word list is SAT-caliber and would challenge adults with words such as "quisling" and "plaudit." Phonetic information is included in the definitions, but there's no option to hear the words pronounced, which would be a nice feature.
Families can talk about...
Learn the words along with your teen and challenge each other to use a new word in daily conversation.
Listen to radio programs such as NPR's All Things Considered or PRI's This American Life to hear advanced vocabulary in use.