Harvard Square Coop Cafe in Cambridge, MA, USA
On a scorching hot Thursday afternoon in August, I sat with my student, Miguel in the Harvard Coop bookstore.
Miguel and I were struggling. We had been working on grammar rules for conditionals, gerunds, infinitives, and other fun things like that.
But then we got to phrasal verbs. What's the difference between "look up" "look over," and "look down"? Good question!
He asked me about the rules. I looked at him blankly and said, "there are no rules. You have to memorize them."
I wasn't satisfied with my answer. I wanted to a better way to help my student learn these confusing and often intimidating verbs. I knew there were dictionaries available, but, really? Who wants to sit and memorize 500 phrasal verbs? No one does! And they shouldn't have to do it.
A lightbulb went on...
The following week I was still feeling frustrated about phrasal verbs and I needed a better way to teach them.
As I finished up a lesson with a student from Thailand, I watched her immediately grab her iPhone and start playing a car racing game.
I observed her and tried to figure out why the game was so interesting. I had never played any mobile games before...and then the idea came to me.
"Why don't we create a mobile game to help students learn phrasal verbs?!"
So I worked on my idea, found my development and design team, and got started on Verb Dive!
Ten months later, we are almost finished.
It hasn't been an easy process, but I think you, as a student of English, deserve this app.
When you learned English in school, you learned how to memorize and conjugate verbs, how to use conditionals, proper pronunciation, etc. but you didn't learn phrasal verbs!
That's a problem! Why? Phrasal verbs like "figure out", "keep up" or "run out" are exactly what you need to communicate with native English speakers in any part of the world.
We plan to begin beta testing in a few weeks to make this the best mobile game in the phrasal verbs category!
There is a better way to learn phrasal verbs! Join the Verb Dive movement!
Follow this blog every day for new updates, tips, quizzes, and stories to help you finally learn how to use everyday English with native speakers! And get ready to download the app on the App Store soon!