Learn English    

Using Word Games To Improve Recognition Skills

May 23rd, 2008

If you’re learning English as a second language, it won’t always be easy to recognize unfamiliar words. In particular, if your primary language has an alphabet similar to English, it might be easy to get confused between the two languages. Fortunately, there are a number of fun games you can play to improve your word recognition skills.

Word Scrambles

Word scramble puzzles are very popular amongst primary and secondary students learning English. In these puzzles, you’re given a series of letters, from which you try to construct a word. As you learn how to unscramble words, you’ll learn a number of things about common word structure patterns in English. With practice, you may be able to pick out certain letters to form common prefixes and suffixes and then work on the remaining letters to determine what word they make up.

As a variation of word scrambles, you may also want to try isolating words from those that you’ve already formed. The word “stop” can be made into several other words when the letters are rearranged. If you’re also interested in expanding your vocabulary, you may also want to think about what each new word means and write out its definition. While these new words may have no relationship whatsoever to the original word, you’ll expand your vocabulary and gain appreciation for the flexibility of the English alphabet.


Even though search-a-word puzzles may seem very easy, they can provide you with hours of entertainment while improving your recognition of English words. In search-a-word puzzles, you look for word patterns amongst a set of letters, while distinguishing them from non-words. There are many different puzzle books filled with search-a-word games available – in fact, if you have a specific hobby, you may even be able to find puzzles that relate to these interests.


If you are in a class or learning English with others, Scrabble is an ideal way for everyone to gain practice with English words. Scrabble is a fun game in which players form words from a limited set of letters and score points based on the complexity of the word. Even if you don’t have anyone nearby to play scrabble with, you can find free editions to play online. Today, there are many free gaming sites available with all kinds of variations of this game. Chances are you’ll be able to find one or more people willing to play a game with you. You may also be able to locate versions of Scrabble that let you play against the computer.

As with any other kind of learning endeavor, games can help you learn English in a way that is fun and enjoyable. When it comes to developing word recognition skills, games can help you learn about word patterns, as well as the basic building blocks of English words. In particular, if your native language utilizes an alphabet similar to the one used in English, these games will give you plenty of practice at identifying common English words. You may even be able to people on the internet to join you in various games.