Old Game Learns New Tricks–Mexican Lotería now Teaches English

Old Game Learns New Tricks–Mexican Lotería now Teaches English


Berkeley, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–November 28, 2005–Bigger than Monopoly, a picture-bingo game loved by latinos for nearly two centuries has been reborn as a tool for learning English. Xicalango Press, a Berkeley, CA bilingual publisher, is now offering ¡BINGLéS! La Lotería para Aprender Inglés in bookstores, toy stores and Mexican markets throughout North America.

Game of Chance Replaces Boring Drills with Good-Natured Competition

Instead of repetitive exercises, ¡BINGLéS! provides a series of entertaining games to teach language lessons. Players learn “Yes, I do/No, I don’t” while filling their bingo cards and racking up winnings. A fast-paced card game similar to “War” helps learners distinguish between “he”’, “she,” “they” and “it.” Use of question words “who,” “where,” “how” and “what” is the educational objective of a game called “A Little Gossip.” When players realize that their companions are responding correctly to their questions, they know they’re finally speaking English!

Although ¡BINGLéS! was designed for family use, teachers, program administrators, retailers and distributors are enthusiastic about it too. ALTAESL, “The World’s Largest Distributors of ESL Materials,” displays ¡BINGLéS! as a featured new product.

Produced in cooperation with Don Clemente, publisher of La Lotería since 1887, ¡BINGLéS! is illustrated in a classic 40’s style. Each set includes an audio CD that models the pronunciation of the vocabulary, the 14 games and activities, and the “song-sheet” (cancionero) of common expressions. The complete set will retail for about the cost of a music CD.

Xicalango Press director Deborah Frisch, M.A. TESL, has taught ESL since the 70’s, in New York, Mexico and California. “We mostly use language for personal interaction,” says Frisch. “Why not study it that way?” Ms. Frisch was twice awarded the Michael Jordan/NEA Grant for the Improvement of Education. She has taught on every level from kindergarten to university. Frisch’s language academy in Cancún, México, Escuela Xicalango, provided services to the working community there for 24 years.

A successful Cancún student told Frisch ironically, “You didn’t teach me English. La Lotería taught me English,” and a light bulb switched on for her: People can teach each other new languages, if they have pronunciation models, and the right games to play!

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Old Game Learns New Tricks–Mexican Lotería now Teaches English