Getting Down To The Basics Of English Grammar With Grammar Pop

Grammar can be a notoriously difficult subject for students to master and teachers to present. It requires a good deal of memorization, process-thinking and study which can make it become abstract and difficult to apply. Grammar Pop is an app that seeks to change this by testing student understanding of grammar topics through the medium of competitive play.

The simple goal for students who play Grammar Pop is to complete levels and advance to the next, more difficult level. Players do this by answering a series of questions, which involve identifying parts of speech such as verbs, nouns and articles, in a real sentence.  Because the sentences are real, they are also sometimes challenging, making the game a real test of a player’s grammar knowledge. When players correctly identify certain target words, they are rewarded with coins and every player must complete the level’s series of questions within the time limit. Starting off with the basics, students soon move onto more advanced grammatical concepts such as participles and infinitives. With over 14,000 words and 28 levels of difficulty, the game is well developed with a great deal of content.

The game itself is fairly straightforward, which means it could be appropriate and helpful for a range of ages. Younger students may need some training on the app—the rules about clicking the part of speech first may cause them to unwittingly lose points—but older students will likely be able to pick it up quickly and easily, aiming to score better than their friends.

The app features a caricature of Grammar Girl, an online personality (New York Times author Mignon Fogarty) associated with the app. When a player fails to complete a level within the allotted time frame, the game automatically provides an encouraging message from her (“You can do better than that!”) and restarts to encourage successful completion of the level.  The encouragement is nice and tends to remind users that the point of all of this game playing is to learn and retain information.

The app has a few problems. The game seems overly complicated, involving coin bonuses that seem to have no real purpose other than a subordinate score, and the navigation is not nearly as clear as it should be. It makes use of buttons that should be fairly straightforward to understand but, with so many of them, become confusing nonetheless.

Grammar Pop is, however, at its heart a great way to drill students without losing their interest. While it’s not a great game in its design, the app itself is engaging and the challenging nature of the content ensures that users are building or reviewing important skills. For its relatively small price tag, Grammar Pop is an engaging app that could be of real help to teachers who don’t know what else to say about a noun, verb, or article. Let this app do the work for you!

Grammar Pop is available on iTunes for $1.99.