English is one of the toughest second languages to spell proficiently. With its cavalcade of exceptions, silent letters and phonetically identical words, it can even trip up native speakers. Google is attempting to make the process a little easier via Spell Up; a free web app that turns English lessons into a game.
Spell Up is a new Chrome Experiment initiative available for computer browsers and Android devices. It’s essentially a virtual spelling bee with a mobile gaming component attached. Here’s how Google explains the game on its official blog:
We worked with game designers and teachers to make Spell Up both fun and educational. The goal of the game is to correctly spell the words you hear and stack them to build the highest word tower you can—letter by letter, word by word. The higher the tower gets, the more difficult the word challenges: You’ll be asked to pronounce words correctly, solve word jumbles and guess mystery words. You can earn bonuses and coins to level up faster.
The game includes Beginner, Intermediate and Expert modes, makings it suitable for all ages and competency levels. Naturally, you’ll need to enable the microphone on your phone or laptop to play the game properly, although a typing option is also available if you’d prefer not to use your vocal chords.