Recently the children in my ESL (English as a Second Language) classroom have loved playing Lipa Pairs. Generally, we play the game in small groups of 3-4 children, so that each child doesn’t have to wait too long for a turn, and I can encourage the everyone to practice the words they’re learning together.
What do teachers say?
From a teaching perspective, Lipa Pairs has many great educational outcomes. Lipa Pairs is a matching and memory game, but with a twist. When selected by the child, half of the cards have an image of an animal, and are accompanied by a voice that labels the image (eg, ‘a lion’). The other half of the cards only reveal a voice saying the animal’s name. If the child matches 2 cards correctly, the image of the animal is revealed on the second card.
So, the game naturally encourages the child to listen carefully to the pronunciation of each word, so they can match it with the picture. The levels gradually get more challenging as the child progresses – additional cards are added for the child to select, and new animals are introduced too. But throughout the game, there’s ample opportunity for revision of the different animal names.
More educational benefits from Lipa Pairs
Another educational benefit of Lipa Pairs is that the animals on each game card are also accompanied by the indefinite article – something that regular memory games (and flash cards) often lack. The English language uses two indefinite articles: ‘a’ and ‘an’. ‘A’ is used before a consonant sound, and ‘an’ is used before a vowel sound. It’s important to note that the sound at the beginning of the word is more important than the spelling. So, we say ‘a unicorn’ rather than ‘an unicorn’, because the ‘u’ makes a ‘y’ sound. Confusing, right?
Indefinite articles are difficult for all English language learners – young and old – and the trick is practice and exposure. When playing Lipa Pairs, children have many opportunities to hear (and say) the indefinite article with the name of the animal. For example, ‘a bear’, ‘an eagle’ or ‘a giraffe’. There are 53 different animal names (and the accompanying correct article) for the children to learn, all in a fun and engaging way.
Download Lipa Pairs for free on the App Store and try it yourself.
This article was written by Wenone Hope (Blue Mountains, Australia).
Wenone was born and raised in the farming region of Wagga Wagga, Australia. She now finds herself teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) in the Czech Republic. A teacher for 12 years, she has a background in Early Childhood Education and has also done postgraduate studies in Special Education and Early Intervention. Wenone is an Early Childhood Consultant at Lipa Learning, and has also been a Preschool Educational Leader in the Blue Mountains and a Primary School Educational Director in Canberra, Australia. She’s an advocate for inclusive education, where diversity in the classroom (and life!) is celebrated. When she’s not in the classroom, she’s out in nature, playing roller-derby, traveling, or enjoying a good book.