What parents need to know
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
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- academic development
Engagement, Approach, Support
Vocabador, despite some violence, is a fun vocabulary tool that uses a non-traditional theme to reach kids who might otherwise avoid studying vocabulary.
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.
Extensive instructions are provided. The Mexican wrestling theme and partial use of Spanish extends the cross-cultural appeal.
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?
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!