Wrestle with word learning in Vocabador’s virtual ring

Oct 3, 2011
Education

Learning vocabulary, whether you’re prepping for the SAT or other exam or just enhancing your education, can typically be a yawn-inducing exercise. The new app Vocabador for iPhone and iPod Touch takes traditional flip cards and gives them a Spanish-twist with its lucha libre-wrestling theme. Although you won’t actually participate in any real matches, the […]

Learning vocabulary, whether you’re prepping for the SAT or other exam or just enhancing your education, can typically be a yawn-inducing exercise. The new app Vocabador for iPhone and iPod Touch takes traditional flip cards and gives them a Spanish-twist with its lucha libre-wrestling theme.

Although you won’t actually participate in any real matches, the theme is a fun twist on the norm. Vocabador offers two modes of play: training and challenge. In training, you choose from three weight levels (word difficulty) after you’ve chosen a name and mask for your luchador. When you’re working through the training words, you’ll see each displayed on a traditional flip card. Swipe to the side to see the next word, or swipe down or hit the flip button to see the back of the card, which includes the definition, the word used in a sentence, synonyms, antonyms and part of speech. You can flag the words you want to keep track of for later reference.

When you’re ready to compete, you’ll take on 12 luchadores — such as El Muerte, Super Nerdo and Dr. Dynamo — waiting to crush you with their vocabulary lists across three levels. Once you’ve selected your foe, you can get a sneak peek at the word list or just dive right into the ring. Words will be displayed at the top of the screen, and you’ll choose the correct definition from the four available options. Each opponent offers three rounds of 12 words apiece, but you’ll only have 90 seconds to complete each round, so choose quickly and carefully. Against each luchador you can sustain four symbolic hits (or miss four words), and when this happens, the app will show you the correct definition. After you’ve beaten the 12 luchadores and mastered their 400-plus words, you’ll be able to compete in the final challenge — to become the Vocabador.

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Even though Vocabador’s app interaction is mostly static, I found its word lists to be useful, and can see the app being a valuable tool for test prep and the like.

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