Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: My secret weapon for teaching Spanish

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

My secret weapon for teaching Spanish

I have a new secret weapon for teaching Spanish, and it is muy efectivo!




Your kids may already be familiar with this powerful tool, and think that it is just a fun game they stumbled upon online. But they do not know the whole truth.

Akinator, the Web Genie, is a popular game, wherein the user chooses a character and the Akinator attempts to guess the character's identity using yes/no questions. My kids introduced me to the game last year, and we have been playing ever since, trying to stump the Akinator with characters we hope he will not be able to guess.

The character you choose can be a real person, like a celebrity or historical figure, or you can choose fictitious characters from books, television, movies, or video games.

The Akinator has successfully guessed all sorts of characters, from Thomas the Tank Engine to George Washington, and just about everyone in between. In fact, one of the only characters I have been able to stump him with was Phronsie from the classic book, The Five Little Peppers. The Akinator seems to know just about everyone in this universe and beyond.

How the Akinator helps us learn Spanish


There is no better tool for helping a student learn than one they love to use. When my kids started taking Spanish this fall, I found a few resources I thought they might like. I even ordered a subsciption to People en Español. But when I remembered that the Akinator game was available in several different languages, including Spanish, I knew I was on to something awesome.

Being new to Spanish myself, I was excited to play a familiar game and help my kids and I build our vocabulary at the same time. We gave the Akinator a trial run, using a character we knew he was sure to get. It only took him 14 questions to get to this one: "¿A su personaje le picó una araña radiactiva?" (I'm pretty sure he meant radioactiva.)


Si! Si! And now, thanks to Google Translate, we know that una araña radioactiva means a radioactive spider. We have new words!

Let's play again!


We decided to try another character, this time a real person chosen by 9-year-old daughter. Within just a few questions, the Akinator was on the right track.

¿Su personaje está relacionado con el mundo de la música?

¿Su personaje es un cantante?

¿Su personaje tiene pelo rubio?

¿Su personaje suelen llevar los labios rojos?

Is my character related the world of music? Is she a singer? Does she have blonde hair? Red lips? Oh my gosh!


Yep, the Akinator got me. My character was Taylor Swift. I'm going to have to think a lot harder if I want to stump him next time, but look at all the new vocabulary words we've picked up just playing a couple of times. Check it out. It's free to play, and a whole lot of fun!