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iPhone English: Sports World

With the Olympic Games right around the corner, we’re continuing our series of posts related to the big event. This week, it’s time to brush up on your vocabulary and knowledge of the big event as we take a quick look at the latest app from The British Council, themed entirely around the games.

To use its full title, the Learn English Sports World app is a great, hidden word game with an Olympics theme which will help you to learn hundreds of new words.  The interface is very simple, but the game can be deceptively tricky.  Upon opening the app, you can choose one of two game modes:

  • In ‘Explore’ you can look at all the words, see a definition of the word, hear its pronunciation in English and even see a translation into one of ten languages.
  • In ‘Play’ you have to find all the sports words and try to win the Super Cup!

The game itself takes place on one piece of art work and you can see part of it in the picture above.  The illustration is a gorgeous mash up of various Olympic venues, including Athens, London and Rio and is incredibly detailed.  And it’s the detail that counts, because you need to look very carefully for what’s hidden.  If you’ve ever tried to find Wally, you’ll get the idea. 

Hidden within the picture are almost three hundred sports related words.  By tapping on any of the events, the app zooms in on the picture in more detail and using the clues on the screen, you can guess either the name of the event or the equipment being used.  Sometimes the clues take the form of words with missing letters, similar to a crossword.  On other occasions, the letters of the word you are looking for appear on jigsaw pieces and you have to complete the puzzle to find the answer.  

You can win gold, silver and bronze medals and earn wild stars which make it easier to guess new words.  This is particularly useful as the game can be quite difficult and sometimes you will need these wild stars to help you find the answer.  There is an extra mini-game where you need to find all thirty-five events, and when you have found all the words in the picture you can qualify for the Super Cup.

I think it’s a great little game and I learnt quite a lot of new pieces of vocabulary, particularly about The Paralympic games.  You can find more details of the app here and can download it for free during the Olympic Games.

Happy zooming!

By Andy


to be right around the corner – (idiom) to be happening very soon

to brush up on sth – (idiom) to improve your knowledge or skill in a certain area

interface – (n.) the program in which the game is played

deceptively tricky – (adv.+adj.) surprisingly difficult

gorgeous – (adj.) very colourful and attractive in appearance

mashup - (n.) a mix of two or more separate images used to create a new image

zoom in - (vb.+prep) to bring sth into closeup

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