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IPA Bingo
by Lynn Santelmann
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Overview | Rules (pdf) | Game cards (pdf) | Caller cards (pdf) | Order form

IPA Bingo image   Retail package includes rules, 100 game cards, 2 sets of caller cards
(all pieces can be downloaded here for free)
publication date: October 2000
ISBN 978-1-57473-951-0 retail packaging, $35.00

IPA Bingo works well with both large and small classes to encourage students to learn the IPA symbols used for transcribing American English or to reinforce their knowledge of articulatory descriptions. This game can be used best in an introductory linguistics course, or early in a phonetics or phonology course.

In order to solve phonology problems, students need to be comfortable with the IPA and be able to match symbols to articulatory descriptions. IPA Bingo is a fun way for students to practice using the IPA symbols, and some simple variations help teach distinctive features and natural classes.

The retail package includes rules for IPA Bingo, 100 different game cards for students to use, and 2 sets of caller cards for the instructor to use. All of the materials are available on this web site for free download as pdf files for non-commercial use if you would prefer to print them out yourself. The game cards fit 2-up on 8.5" x 11" paper, and the caller cards fit 10-up and are laid out to be printed on Avery business card stock so they can be separated easily. The rules include suggestions for variations.

You can get the Avery business card stock for laser printers or for inkjet printers from office supply stores. Business card stock from companies other than Avery is sometimes laid out differently on the page, which would not work with the layout for the caller cards. Note that when you're printing from a pdf file, there is a "shrink to fit" option which you may need to turn off. Otherwise the page is printed at a slightly reduced size and the layouts will not fit properly. Try printing a single page first onto regular paper to see if the cards look like they line up with the business card stock. You can also print the caller cards onto cardstock and simply cut them apart along the dashed trim lines.

If students want a more advanced way to play with the IPA, try Magnetic Phonetics, also from Cascadilla Press. Magnetic Phonetics works best with smaller groups of students, while IPA Bingo can be used in a large class.

Related items

  • Magnetic Phonetics
  • IPA chart reference cards
  • International Phonetic Alphabet classroom poster at CafePress

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