I’m almost ready to launch Workwise English Quizzes, but my goodness, everything takes longer than I expected…

Meanwhile I have the excuse for a blog post, as I had a Fine Print review for Workwise English Puzzles. (Fine Print is the VALBEC journal – that’s the Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council.) I know not everyone worries about reviews, but for those of you who have to justify all purchases, they can be very helpful.

They’re also helpful for writers; it’s reassuring to read that what you produce really works for learners and teachers (not just for the people who know and love you and are bound to say it’s fantastic):

The need for some instant resources with an Australian English focus is an eternal one and Workwise English Puzzles makes a well-considered contribution to this space.

(c) Fine Print, VALBEC

What I particularly like, though, is that confirmation that puzzles are a great way to stimulate thinking and language exploration. (Full disclosure: I had to look up ‘etui’ … twice!)

Doing puzzles is good for your brain. As someone who has done crossword puzzles for most of my adult life, I can vouch for that sense of satisfaction when the puzzle is completed, and all the clues are solved. At the same time, I like to know that some new words have been added to my personal word bank (etui is one new word I doubt I will ever use)…

…Whether I am staving off the effects of ageing while sharpening my cognitive skills is a matter for the researchers to continue to puzzle over.

I do believe that regular engagement with word puzzles leads to increased word knowledge and language skills. Back when I was teaching, the nine-letter word challenge was a kick start activity for my Monday morning adult literacy class. It stimulated a whole range of language exploration and practical activities that would lead to further reading or writing. I would also create basic word puzzles using an online tool. Life would have been much easier at the time if I had a resource such as Workwise English Puzzles.

(c) Fine Print, VALBEC

So thank you to ‘Fine Print’ (and reviewer Lynne Matheson) – you can read more on my ‘Reviews‘ page. And watch this space, because the next post will be about Workwise English Quizzes