English Online GameZone
By Mieke VanderBorght,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Dated, overcomplicated games distract from learning.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can practice with a wide variety of English-language topics including grammar (for example, parts of speech or verb conjugation), spelling, and vocabulary. There's little information that's actually presented to kids, though, so games are more a way to practice and test kids' knowledge than to teach them new things. With an update and some added opportunities for learning new concepts, English Online GameZone could be a solid destination.
Violence & Scariness
There are references to characters dying in each of two multilevel adventure games.
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Products & Purchases
There are a few banner ads, though they don't overwhelm the screen.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that English Online GameZone offers a collection of English vocabulary and grammar drills presented as games. There's no teaching component to the site, per se, as the games put what kids already know to the test. It's an offshoot of the site English Online, which has many tools that seem geared toward teaching English to nonnative speakers –- and, perhaps, mostly even adults. Most games are entirely kid-appropriate and kid-friendly, though two multilevel adventure games such as "Grammar of Doom" present concepts of death (players die when they make too many mistakes) but not in any gratuitous way. The site hails from Britain, so anyone from elsewhere has the opportunity to learn some Britishisms -- including "wellies," "leathers," and "a mac," for instance.
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What’s It About?
ENGLISH ONLINE GAMEZONE is a list of links to English-language \"drill\" games. When kids hover their mouse over any game title, they can read which skills the game addresses (vocabulary or grammar, for example) and its target level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). Games explore topics such as suffixes and prefixes, sentence construction, verbs, similes, vocabulary, spelling, and more. In two \"mega\" games, kids progress through an adventure as they pass multiple levels.
Is It Any Good?
The games listed on English Online GameZone cover a nice variety of language and grammar topics. Kids can get a lot of practice playing with grammar, vocabulary, and common usage rules. However, the site is clearly outdated in design, function, and game complexity. Tech-savvy kids may quickly lose interest because of the simplicity and lack of sophistication.
Additionally, though games are unsophisticated in design, many manage to have very complicated instructions that could be hard for kids to follow. There's little in-game help either for instruction or for related concepts. Although this isn't a teaching site, it would be nice to see some tutorials or guidance that would help kids master the English language.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Explore differences in usage of British and American English.
Help your kids become grammar police! Look for mistakes and general parts of grammar in books, ads, and magazines.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: vocabulary
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Adventures
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: November 5, 2015
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