New Academic Language Game Uses Game-Based Learning and Non-Linguistic Activities to Deepen Understanding and Retention

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Ballard & Tighe, Publishers releases Word Raider: Quest - a learning game that teaches academic language and vocabulary using animation and picture-based problems to support its listening, speaking, reading, and writing exercises. The combination of linguistic and non-linguistic activities, game-based learning, and live-graded assignments work to engage students while enabling deeper understanding and retention.

...[language] learning is vastly enhanced and more effective than dictionaries and workbooks alone. - Mark Espinola, CEO Ballard & Tighe, Publishers

Ballard & Tighe, Publishers announced today the release of Word Raider: Quest – a language learning game for grades six and up that combines robust instruction and game-based learning to teach academic vocabulary, sentence construction, grammar, and complex text. Specifically designed to prepare students for the Common Core, the game is aligned to over 50 language objectives for reading, writing, listening, and speaking, as outlined in the standards (for grades 6-8).

Traditional vocabulary instruction typically involves linguistic teaching methods that use dictionaries, workbooks, and text-based definitions. While these methods have long been accepted in education, research is encouraging the incorporation of non-linguistic activities to more effectively teach academic vocabulary.

“Word Raider: Quest gave us the perfect platform to teach language and vocabulary in ways that support deeper understanding and better retention in students,” says Mark Espinola, CEO of Ballard & Tighe, Publishers. “Besides engaging and motivating active student participation, the game environment enabled us to build in non-linguistic learning elements such as animated word meanings and picture-based problems. With over 3,500 questions involving all aspects of language, learning is vastly enhanced and more effective than dictionaries and workbooks alone.”

In Word Raider: Quest, students collect coins, buy new vocabulary words, solve problems, discover new artifacts, and earn rewards, all while interacting with new vocabulary through complex sentences and text. When working with the new vocabulary, students are also gaining skills in sentence construction and grammar through activities that require them to understand word meaning, usage, and application in real-world and academic situations.

The web-based learning platform allows students to access the game during class or play at home as a homework assignment.

With reporting features that capture student progress, the Teacher Portal allows teachers to review, approve, or reject students’ writing and speaking assignments in real time. Teachers can also access progress reports provided at the student and class level to monitor student learning.

“With vocabulary development, [students] don’t get too excited, but with this game I do see that,” says Summer Villegas, a 6th Grade Teacher at Washington Middle School in the La Habra City School District. “Word Raider is a nice extension of learning and teaching.”

The suggested playing time in Word Raider: Quest is two to three times per week, twenty to thirty minutes each session. Limited, two-week game trials are free, and one-year subscriptions are available for purchase at $6.99 (per student/year) for 1000+ students, $7.99 (per student/year) for 600-999 students, $8.99 (per student/year) for 100-599 students, and $9.99 (per student/year) for 1-99 students.

More information on free trials, school pilots, alignments, and purchasing are available at

About Ballard & Tighe, Publishers
Since 1976, Ballard & Tighe, Publishers has produced high-quality instructional and assessment materials for English language learners. Ballard & Tighe materials are used in more than 3,500 school districts across the United States and around the world. For more information, visit or phone 1-800-321-4332.

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Khoi Nguyen
Ballard & Tighe, Publishers
+1 (714) 990-4332 Ext: 304
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