There is actually a video game that helps people learn a new language.
While video games have a reputation of being an empty, mindless and vapid exercise in meaningless pursuit of non-existent goals, there are many ways through which they could educate today’s generation. Besides building hand-eye coordination and being a safe way to pass the time, video games can help people learn new languages too.
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As an educational tool, many a video game has served mankind well. Take the language learning game “Crystallize,” created by Erik Andersen, assistant professor of computer science, and his students. When kids enter the world this game opens up before them with others, they gain the ability to speak a different language.
One’s vocabulary and linguistic skills go into hyperdrive thanks to this wonderful game. As for the sheer enjoyment that is derived from playing the video game, it simply cannot be beat.
The game “Crystallize” was showcased by Andersen and colleagues at the 2016 ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in San Jose recently.
Basically, it is a role-playing game that involves the player as an avatar. He or she enters a simulated environment and all the characters on screen speak in the language that is to be learnt. The social banter and deep rapport is needed in order to widen one’s circle of friends and get a job in the game.
The prototypical game includes Japanese as the target language. Yet it could be employed for any other language in the world. Players are sent on journeys into the unknown.
By careful observation of others, one learns the language one is supposed to master. As a character leaves, the one staying behind says “Sayonara”. This means “goodbye” in Japanese.
The words appearing in speech bubbles may be brought into other contexts in order to build sentences in the scheme of the game. As one becomes proficient in the language, one’s self-confidence takes to the sky.
Several language-learning skills abound in this game. As one rises up the scale of values, vocabulary efficiency increases, flashcards are employed and ocular as well as conditional reflexes spiral upwards regarding linguistic adeptness.
The really good thing is the motivation provided by the game all the better to allow language-learning to be a fun-filled activity rather than the dull and drab task it is commonly taken to be.
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The study involved 48 students. They played the game with partners. Those who showed high levels of interdependence learnt a plethora of words in the target language. In the times to come, the makers of this video game will streamline it even more so.