El juego de Beenny (Beenny’s game) teaches children correct Spanish pronunciation, to read and write the sounds of Spanish, and lots of vocabulary. The game is from OnlineFreeSpanish and it is very entertaining!
To play, kids guide a bee through a maze. Each time there is a frog blocking the path, the player writes a word by putting the letters in order. There is a picture of the word and a speaker to click to hear native-speaker audio. Before starting, players choose a category of vocabulary and a level of difficulty. There are 32 different categories, from colors and parts of the face, to farm animals and bugs.
To make the most of this game, it is important to use the audio. The game will say that the sound is a hint, but it makes the game much more useful for kids learning Spanish. When a player clicks to hear the word, a native speaker pronounces it, then breaks it into syllables, and then pronounces the whole word again.
Children learn and practice several things with this game. They learn to associate the sounds of Spanish with the correct letters, they develop and practice correct pronunciation and they learn vocabulary.
This game is a good lesson in sounding out words for beginning readers. Children hear a word and learn how that word is written in Spanish by sounding it out, pronouncing it as it was pronounced by the native speaker. In the game, there are a limited number of letters for each word, so kids do not have to sort through the whole alphabet. They are matching the letters to the sounds they hear. Children learn the vowel sounds and vowel sound combinations (diphthongs) and learn which letters represent these different sounds.
Recognizing the sounds in Spanish words is an important ability. Children have to be able to hear the correct sounds to repeat them, and to be able to read and pronounce words correctly. Matching sounds to letters is a check that they are hearing the correct sounds.
This game is also great because the audio gives a word as syllables and then pronounces it normally again. Many common words in Spanish have three, four and five syllables. These longer words take practice to pronounce. To hear the words broken down and then pronounced is useful for learners and helps them become comfortable with the rhythm of longer Spanish words.
In terms of learning vocabulary, there are pictures for all of the words in this game. Children always know what the word that they are hearing and spelling means. Of course, more context is better, so if you are playing with your child, it is best to use the words in sentences and relate them to each other. This is easy to do because the words are grouped in categories.
Children learn from games that they will spend time playing. Beenny’s game is fun! Kids love mazes, and these are entertaining and not too long. The game holds their attention, exposes them to native speaker Spanish and teaches specific skills they need as language learners.