Vocabulary Game

There is a website for improving English vocabulary. It's FreeRice.com with an English vocabulary game.

Attending to this game, we will learn new words and feel socially responsible. This site began in October, 2007. It explains its purpose like this: " For each word you get right, we donate 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger." It says thirty billion grains of rice have been donated so far. The United Nations World Food Program does not really get rice. The donations are given in the form of money.

Advertisers whose names appear with links at the bottom of the game pay for the rice. Individuals can also become sponsors.

"Does FreeRice make any money from this?" That is one of the frequently asked questions on the site. "No, it does not. FreeRice runs the site at no profit," says the answer.

Internet businessman John Breen created FreeRice. Since October, five hundred seventy metric tons of rice have been donated, enough to feed about a million and a half people for one day.

Jennifer Parmelee is a World Food Program spokeswoman in Washington. She says cash donations help the agency to buy food locally and transport it quickly to where it is needed.

For example, with donations from the site, rice for Nepal was recently bought in the area at half the world market price. Bangladesh, Cambodia and Uganda also have received food through FreeRice.

Words are presented with four choices of answers. Players click on the one that best defines the word. If we answer correctly  three words in a row right, we go to a harder level. But if we get only a word wrong, we go to an easier level. This one-to-three ratio is best for us to improve our vocabulary. Spoken pronunciations are also provided at right angle of screen. There are 55 levels in all.

After I have done FreeRice for a couple of days, I notice an odd phenomenon. Words that I have never consciously used before begin to pop into my head while I'm speaking or writing. I feel myself using and knowing more words and speak English more fluently.

References: VOA News, CNN News, http://freerice.com

Tran Phuc

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