Monday, 26 January 2015

Ba Ba Dum


 Ba Ba Dum is from two Polish educational book writers, husband and wife Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński. It's a vocabulary game which shows sets of four pictures and invites the viewer to match one of them with words. It can be used in 11 different languages, including French. There are five varieties of the game:

1.  You are given four pictures and a word in the middle in French to match with one of the pictures. the word is read out aloud to you. You choose a picture.

2.  You are given one picture and a choice of four words. When you select a word it is pronounced.

3. You are given four pictures but hear just a sound file. You choose a picture.

4.  You are given a picture and a word to complete beneath. You select from a list of letters to correctly spell the word. If you spell it wrong the programme immediately corrects it for you.

5. This one mixes up the above options; first question might just be an audio file, second a choice of four words etc.

You can sign in to create a free account. If you do, your scores are recorded to enable you to see what progress you have made. You can also compete with users from around the world and feature on a league table.

The programme uses one of those algorithms which note your answers and then adjust which words to present to you in future. When you get one right it is marked as learned. Then the probability of drawing a learned word is much lower. If a "learned" word comes up and you get it wrong, it becomes "unlearned" again, so you will see it more often. There are 1500 words in all. 

The pictures are colourful and clear, leaving little doubt over meaning. The overall presentation is bold and attractive, the concept simple.

Because the words/pictures are presented in a random fashion so you could not use the site to practice a chosen area of vocabulary, so a teacher could use the site from the front of the class, but, given the level of vocabulary, it would need to be at intermediate level at least and might be best used as a fun time-filler. The fact that words may be presented as sound files (well pronounced by the way), allows for repetition work.

The main use for this game (is it really a game?), as for other similar vocabulary learning games and apps, would be for independent memorisation. As such it has severe limitations as a learning tool, but might appeal to some students. The ultimate challenge would be for a student to have mastered 1500 words - quite some achievement, one which some learners might enjoy. Maybe it could be used as part of a lunchtime language club.

The game works fine on PC and iPad. I could not find an app for it, but you don't need one really.

Have a look and see what you think. https://babadum.com/

They have an interesting statistics page:  https://babadum.com/stats/




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