Vocabador

Common Sense Media says

Mexican wrestling theme makes vocab engaging.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The interface of this app works quite well, and extensive instructions are provided. In vocab training mode, kids can peruse words and their definitions, alphabetically or randomly. The words are divided into three levels of difficulty and can be flagged for future study. In vocab challenge mode, kids can also choose a difficulty level. Each difficulty level has four quizzes composed of 36 words each (divided into three rounds). In order to advance, each round must be completed within 90 seconds, and kids must have fewer than four incorrect answers for all 36 words. The words for each quiz can be viewed prior to beginning the quiz, and quizzes can be paused. When all 12 quizzes are completed, there's a final vocabador challenge with 36 randomly selected words.

Violence

The theme of the app is wrestling, so there's a slight element of violence throughout. During challenge quizzes, correctly answering a word results in two fist images and a punch sound effect, while an incorrect answer displays a cartoon image of your character being hit. A few definitions mention, but do not endorse, violence, such as Genghis Khan conquering millions by force, a "vindictive" wife pushing her husband down the stairs, and the violent overthrow of a dictator.

Sex

Some definitions mention sexuality, including one negative reference to prostitution and another to extramarital affairs.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One definition mentions a belligerent drunk. Another mentions a celebrity's licentious acts, including drugs. Smoking during pregnancy is described as "reprehensible."

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Vocabador turns learning and testing SAT vocabulary into a game based heavily on Mexican wrestling, so there's some mild violence. Kids select a mask and take quizzes portrayed as challenges against wrestling opponents with names such as "El Muerte." Correctly answering a question is rewarded by the sound of a punch, and incorrectly answering shows a cartoon image of your character being hit in the face. In all, 13 quizzes test 432 words. Each word has a flashcard that includes that word used in a contextual sentence; some sentences reference, but do not endorse sex, drinking, drugs, smoking, and violence.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • self-assessment

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Vocabador, despite some violence, is a fun vocabulary tool that uses a non-traditional theme to reach kids who might otherwise avoid studying vocabulary.

Learning Approach

The app focuses on memorization using flashcards, self-assessment, and repetition. Kids work quickly against a timer, and the level of words and the question format transfer well to prepare kids for those tests.

Support

Extensive instructions are provided. The Mexican wrestling theme and partial use of Spanish extends the cross-cultural appeal.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • self-assessment

Kids can learn brief definitions of vocabulary words to prepare for the SAT and GRE. The app also introduces kids to parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation (audio), and using the words in a sentence. The app divides words into three difficulty levels, and kids can self-assess by flagging words for later review. The quizzes are styled as wrestling matches -- kids choose a mask, name, opponent, and difficulty level. The app provides quiz feedback immediately and tracks it in the word index. With its Mexican wrestling theme, Vocabador makes learning vocabulary fun and entertaining.

This Learning Rating review was written by Liz Panarelli

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What's it about?

In VOCABADOR's training mode, kids read flashcards. In challenge mode, they select a word's definition in multiple-choice format. Each of the three difficulty levels includes four quizzes composed of 36 words each (divided into three rounds). Players must complete the rounds in 90 seconds, getting no more than four incorrect answers. When a player answers incorrectly, the correct definition is shown. The final challenge tests players on 36 random words. Sound effects and graphics of punches and cheering crowds enhance the Mexican wrestling theme.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Despite the minor violence in Vocabador, we love the potential of this fun app that uses a non-traditional theme to reach kids who might otherwise avoid studying vocabulary. The word list is extensive, but still manageable, and the short definitions, different difficulty levels, and 36-question quizzes break learning into bite-size chunks. Like other vocab apps for teens, there's some mature content, but the contextual sentences in this app are clearly critical of some behaviors (unlike Word A Day, for example). Overall, the app is a good value if wrestling will draw yours teen into vocab. If wrestling's not their thing, it's still a great app -- just mute the sound effects!

Families can talk about...

  • Print a list of common SAT words and encourage kids to try using at least one of the new vocabulary words each day.

  • Point out the words when you hear them on the radio or read them in the newspaper. Embrace the vocab challenge by keeping a running tally of who can find more words!

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 16, 2012
Category:Education
Size:17.90 MB
Publisher:Vocabador
Version:1.3.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Vocabador was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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