This week, Dr. Heidi shows you how to play two American games, Monopoly and Scrabble!
Watch this week’s video on YouTube below.
Read the text of this week’s video to check your understanding and practice your new words!
The next two games I want to show you are both American games and when I was doing research for this video I learned something. Both of these games were invented in the 1930’s! And the 30’s was a really bad time in the United States. We were in a depression, people didn’t have jobs, they didn’t have food, and when you think about it it kind of makes sense, because the whole idea of games is they’re called a diversion; they make you think about something else. They divert your attention from your problems. So it makes sense that some good games came out of that otherwise very bad time period.
So this is Monopoly it’s kind of a classic American game. The word classic means something that has been around for a long time but is still very popular. Here you take playing pieces so these pieces are kind of funny. There’s a shoe, and there’s a horse, an iron, a dog, a thimble, a car, a hat… I love these funny pieces! I’ll zoom in on that! Monopoly is nice because you don’t just need two people to play you can play with your whole family or invite your friends.
Okay now we’re ready to play. Everybody’s got their Monopoly money. $1,500, which is exciting! Monopoly money is, it’s kind of even a phrase in English when you say you have Monopoly money it’s like I have a lot of money but it might not really be worth that much. So we talked about games of chance and games of skill. Monopoly is really a game of chance. There’s not a lot of skill; the strategy for Monopoly is to buy everything you can but you don’t really have a choice of what you can buy, because you have to land on it. So Victor is the hat he goes one two three four five six seven eight nine ten. He’s not in jail; he’s just visiting. Then I’ll let little Heidi go. In games usually the turn goes clockwise. Five. One, two, three, four, five. So, this is the railroad. So she can buy the railroad by paying two hundred dollars, and now she has the deed to the railroad. And this is the main idea of Monopoly is you try to accumulate property, and then when other people, so if I were to roll a five and I land on Reading Railroad here, now I have to pay her rent of twenty-five dollars. So it’s basically a capitalist system. You get as much property as you can, and then when you have enough property you can start building houses on the property and even hotels, so if you have enough houses and hotels in the property it will cost a lot more money - it will cost a lot more money when the person lands on there. So the goal of the game is to get all the money for yourself, and to bankrupt everybody else. If you’re bankrupt it means you don’t have any money left. It’s a brutal game! Play with your children! It will be fun. The other thing is you can land on like Community Chest here and then you draw a card and you might get something like this get out of jail free card, and this is another thing from Monopoly that has kind of moved into the language and popular culture. People will use the phrase “get out of jail free card” to mean something that will keep them out of trouble. So that’s Monopoly. It’s a fun game, not a lot of skill, and you get to play with Monopoly money which makes you feel rich even if you’re not really rich.
The last game I want to show you is Victor’s favorite type of game. This is a word game called Scrabble, and here is the Scrabble board, and again this was invented in the 30’s by a man who likes games, and he thought that word games would be more fun but if they had a score. And, he’s right about that. I think everybody loves playing a game that lets them have a high score and competing with their friends. So, each player has a rack and they get seven letters chosen randomly.
So, the goal of this game is to earn points by making words out of your letter tiles. And each each letter is worth a different number of points, depending on how common it is. So, a common letter like S and O is only worth one point but an uncommon letter like H and C are worth more points. When you play your word on the board you can actually increase your points by going, like on the pink squares you get a double word score, so twice as much. Here you get a double letter score, so the letter here is worth twice as much. So let’s look at this, and this is a really good game. I’m going to say, what do I see here? Well there’s shoe… or, look! S-C-H-O-O-L. School! That’s a great word, so I’m gonna play school. I’ll put one of my letters here. H O O, okay, The first time, you have to play on the star, but I’m gonna scoot this over because the C is worth three, so I’m gonna put that on the double letter score. I get one two three four five six seven eight nine 10 11 12 13 14 but then I get double ‘cause it’s on pink so 24, so that was a great first turn! So, if we were playing for real instead of for pretend, I would write down my score now. After I play we would go around the table, again, clockwise, so that it’s Victor’s turn, and he needs to spell a word that uses some of the letters in my word. So, we’ve got, well I see a-r-e that’s a good pattern there’s an S but look! I can use this H! S H A R E share, and he got it on another double word score! Good for you, Victor. Yeah! So he’s gonna get double points for that word. So, Scrabble is a lot of fun it is entirely, well, it’s not entirely a game of skill, because there is some randomness. You don’t know what letters you’re gonna get, but people who play Scrabble a lot know a lot of tricks like they know how to use like all the short two letter words to get extra points, and this is the type of game that will really improve your vocabulary because it forces you to think about not just the words you know, but the patterns of patterns inside words like if I see an e in my rack I will immediately try to find a word that has a silent e like share so it’s good practice for for building your vocabulary and just thinking about how words are formed. So Scrabble is another fun game I highly recommend.
Here are the 20 words for week 23. You may know some of these words already. However, it’s very important with vocabulary that you practice the words that you already know in addition to learning new words. This is all good practice and will help your language skills. All these definitions are from the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary, which is highly recommended for English language learners.
|a clever and effective way of doing something
|a small, flat piece that is used in some board games
|to cause (someone) to be in a specified place or situation
|having a lot of money and possessions; wealthy
|used to describe something that has been popular for a long time
|something (such as coins or bills) used as a way to pay for goods and services and to pay people for their work
|a place that has rooms in which people can stay especially when they are traveling; a place that provides food, lodging, and other services for paying guests
|to create or produce (something useful) for the first time
|the activity of getting information about a subject
|chosen, done, etc., without a particular plan or pattern
|extremely cruel or harsh
|something that people do because it is enjoyable, entertaining, or pleasant
|money that you pay in return for being able to use property and especially to live in an apartment, house, etc., that belongs to someone else
|a device with a flat metal base that is heated and is used to press wrinkles out of clothing
|two times as great or as many as the number, amount, size, etc., of something else
|to gather or acquire (something) gradually as time passes
|a piece of land often with buildings on it that is owned by a person, business, etc.
|a frame or stand that has shelves, hooks, slots, etc., in which or on which you place things
|a period of time in which there is little economic activity and many people do not have jobs
|occurring or appearing frequently; not rare
This week, practice your English by telling us about your favorite game in the comment section!
Finally, download our app Vocab Victor which is available for Apple and Android phones. This vocabulary learning software will help you build and strengthen your vocabulary. What does that mean? Build and strengthen. Build vocabulary means it will teach you new words. Strengthen means it will improve the knowledge of the words you already know. Play Vocab Victor for a few minutes every day to help improve your English! Read more about Vocab Victor at our page for students, Vocab Victor - Students.