ESL phrasal verbs game

Phrasal Verbs Game

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This is a mini game for studying English phrasal verbs. The target audience is learners of English as a second language.

A phrasal verb is a pair of words that go together and act as a verb. For example, "give up" is a phrasal verb meaning to quit. Phrasal verbs are typically made of a verb + preposition. For example, "take on", meaning to be responsible for something, is made up of the verb "take" and the preposition "on". Often the meaning of a phrasal verb can vary from the meaning of the component parts. For example, "throw up" meaning to vomit would be quite hard to infer just from the 2 parts. Because of the subtle meanings, phrasal verbs can be a difficult area for language learners

The aim of this game is to help students learn and practice a set of phrasal verbs in an easy and engaging way. Hopefully, students can understand the meaning from the image and sentence, then from repeatedly matching the phrasal to this context they can associate the phrasal verb with the meaning, and then subsequently transfer this to everyday usage. In this respect, the game is quite behaviourist in its approach - repeatedly pairing the words and meaning to strengthen the association. Although, as with most content like this, the responsibility is really on the learner to make best use of this as a resource. Some learners may even feel they get most out of just clicking though the images on the review screen.

The game has 36 phrasal verbs which were chosen according to how easy they are to represent visually. While it would be great to be able to include the more elaborate phrasals such as "bring about" or "pick apart", the nature of this kind of interaction means that only the more visual ones can be used. There are hundreds of phrasal verbs in English and the ones used here are not really a representative sample. To be more specific, the phrasals used here are not the most common phrasals or the easiest, they are just the ones that are more visual. This is a list of those used: break up break down do up fall behind fall down fill out fill up get on hand in hand out hang up lay down lay out log in look after move in pick up put away put on put out put up read out run out sit up sleep in take off take out (trash) take out (money) tell off think about throw away try on turn down (an offer) turn down (sound) turn on work out

The game has 3 parts. In the first part, you just click on the phrasal verb that matches the image. This part covers all the phrasals used in the game and it repeats any items that mistakes are made on. The second part is similar to the first, except the 2 parts of the phrasal are separated and have to be clicked individually. The second part, like the third part, goes more slowly and doesn't repeat missed items. The third part presents a grid of words and you have to search and find the ones that match the image. At times there maybe multiple possible answers - "try on" and "put on" for example are quite similar - but effort has been made to avoid these situations.

There is a countdown timer which moves quite quickly. This is included to add more challenge to the game. If you prefer, you can play without the timer by clicking on the "Slow" option on the first screen or, alternatively, you can hit the settings button and deselect the timer setting there.

This game is made in Javascript using the CreateJS framework. If you have any comments, questions or feedback, then please use the form below to post a message.