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Akinator, the Web Genie

Twenty Questions is one of those "go to" games that require no preparation and can be used as a timesaver when the lesson finishes earlier than expected or as a student reward or even when you are too tired or ill to continue, (because let's be honest, teachers can have "one of those days"....).

photo by Karinamannott
A fun alternative to the game is Akinator, the Web Genie. Akinator is an internet game and mobile app based on 20 questions that can guess which character the player is thinking of by asking them a series of questions. It is an atificial intelligence program that can "learn" the best questions to ask you. What is interesting about the Akinator is that the more you challenge him the bigger his database becomes. 

With Akinator students can have the chance to see questions modelled for them before they actually try to ask their own - asking questions is not as easy as it sounds for language learners especially in lower levels. Akinator can also be used as a comprehension activity to help students understand what they are asked. Just make sure they write their correct age at the beginning of the game so as to avoid embarrassing questions.


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