WordWit

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
WordWit App Poster Image
Great tool uses context to explain commonly misused words.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn vocabulary, specifically the correct use of commonly confused word pairs like "amuse" and "bemuse." Each word in a confusing pair is defined and used in a sentence. Kids will also get tips for determining which word to use. The definitions are thorough and easy to understand, and the example sentences are interesting and helpful. The app tracks kids’ mastered words, which can be shared via social media. WordWit can help older kids improve their vocabulary and brings a little fun to the endeavor.

Ease of Play

A user guide explains the app's features, which include a searchable list of all of the words, a favorites list to which words can be saved, and the quizzes to "master" your knowledge. Mastering words wins points, which at a later date may be redeemable for apps and merchandise from the developer. When playing the mastery quizzes alphabetically, the same quizzes repeat often, since the words are often close in spelling (and may have multiple tenses). There are occasional glitches in the app, but these do not inhibit play.

Violence

A few sentences mention violent acts such as crime (finding "blood stains"), war, and ravaging a town.

Sex

A few quotes and sentences refer to sex, mentioning "lustful visions" of a woman without a swimsuit, brothels, and lovers meeting for an illicit affair.

Language

The language is generally intended for an adult audience, particularly the example quotes. One of the example included "asses," in the sense of "Get your _____ in here!"

Consumerism

Users can share a purchase link on Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In. Mastering words also wins points that, according to the app, will soon be redeemable for merchandise and more apps from the developer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few sentences mention drinking alcohol and smoking, but in ways that do not promote these activities.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WordWit is a vocabulary tool for teaching and testing commonly misused words. It is best for teens and particularly useful for non-native English speakers, but can be enjoyed by anyone wanting to improve their language skills. The app presents over 100 pairs of commonly confused words. Kids can read a short definition of each word, an explanation of the difference between them, and read quotes that use the words in context. Sentence completion quizzes also test kids' knowledge. Completing the quizzes wins points, which may be redeemable for items from the developer at a later date. Word pairs and quiz progress can be shared on email, Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In. Several of the quotes and sentences mention mature material, such as going to war, having affairs, getting tipsy, or smoking, but not in ways that promote these behaviors.

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What's it about?

Kids spin a colorful wheel to land on a commonly confused word pair, like guerrilla/gorilla, cite/site, or revenge/avenge. Kids can read the definition of the word and how it differs from its "evil twin" and read an entertaining example sentence using the word. The same format is offered for each word in the pair, and then kids choose the correct twin of the word pair to complete sentences. Once they've completed five sentences correctly, they've mastered the word.

Is it any good?

WORDWIT stands out by providing clear, approachable explanations of commonly misused words. The quotes provide real-world examples of the words in context. The mastery quizzes are good for reinforcing learning because they recycle questions until you answer every question correctly. However, the quizzes are best done randomly rather than alphabetically, otherwise you'll face the same quiz more than once in a short period. The spinning and trends features to see word pairs give the app some color and pizzazz, but are not very useful.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Steer kids preparing for the SAT to this app.

  • Give kids access to a variety of reading materials, including books, magazines, even comic books. The more they read, the more vocabulary they'll be exposed to.

  • Play the app alongside your kid. You may learn some new words, too!

App details

For kids who love working with words

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