Posted on by Peter & Ulrike Rettig

DECEMBER 2013 NEWSLETTER: A Crazy NEW Idea?

You had registered on our site some time ago. You may have purchased/subscribed. Or you just tried one of our languages, but for whatever reason decided not to subscribe and continue.

And if you didn't subscribe, you may have felt that our course was:

  1. too easy or too challenging for you, or you just didn't like it, or
  2. you don't have any interest and/or time to learn another language now, or
  3. you just thought you shouldn't pay to learn a new language as there are free online courses available.

There is not much we can do about (1) and (2) above, but if you fall into category (3), or are a current or past subscriber, we'd like to hear your opinion about our CRAZY NEW IDEA:

The Crazy new Idea of a FREE Deal:

We continue with our FREE lessons for those who register and will be happy about any subscriptions. However, those who score more than 500 points by the end of Scene 2 will be able to continue with a FREE unlimited but conditional subscription.

What does “unlimited” mean?

Unlimited means that there is no time limit to your subscription. You can replay any Games and Scenes as many times as you'd like. You can progress at your own pace until you complete your course. In fact, any current subscription would also become unlimited, as long as the condition below is maintained.

What does “conditional” mean?

We want you to play and learn. But we also know that you'll learn a new language only with regular practice. Your free (or paid) subscription will stay active as long as you play at least 4 times per week (Monday-Sunday). If you skip this schedule more than twice, you'll see the screen on your right and you'll then have to subscribe (or your current subscription will expire as scheduled) in order to continue with your course. Learning is FREE – you'll only be paying, if you are NOT practicing!

What might be the effects?

If you are a really motivated learner who likes our game/story-based approach you'll want to continue for free until you have completed the course. Even if you skip days and lose the free access, you may want to subscribe and continue. (Or, you may indeed just stop using our course.)

Why are we doing this?

  • We are a young, closely held company, and are less interested in revenues than in attracting motivated learners.
  • We hope that our “Learn & Play/Skip & Pay” model can keep learners motivated: We want you to learn for FREE and only pay, if you are NOT learning and practicing!
  • We want to test whether “avoiding to pay” is as good a motivator as paying up front.

What do you think?

Before we test our “crazy new idea” we want to ask our past/current subscribers and our registered users:

  • Would your learning behavior have been/be different?
  • Would such a “deal” interest you?
  • Would it motivate you to learn?
  • What are aspects of the “deal” we should consider (vacation, illness, other, etc.)
  • Is this too crazy or unrealistic an idea?

We'd love to hear from you. What are your thoughts?

Posted on by Peter & Ulrike Rettig

GamesforLanguage August 2013 Newsletter

old homepage - Gamesforlanguage  If you have been back to our site lately, you may have noticed several changes:

  • Vocabulary Lists - On the Playing Page, with your completed or Scenes in progress, you can now download the vocabulary lists of the words, phrases, and sentences of such Scenes. While online learning has many benefits, many users apparently feel that having a vocabulary list available both on screen and as a hard copy is helpful.
  • Mp3 audios - Once you have started the first Scene of each Level, you can now also download the mp3 audio of all six (6) Scenes of that Level (Except for Level 1, where the audio is available with Scene 2) By hearing “The Story” at the beginning of each Level you'll guess the meaning based on the context and on what you have learned so far – a valuable skill to use in "real life" when you want to understand a foreign speaker.
  • Reduced Score Targets - We have reduced the score targets you need to advance to the next Scene. As iPad users can't score with "Record It" and "Recall & Record", moving to the next Scene became difficult.
  • German Scene "0" - A new "Scene 0", added to our German 1 course, makes it easier for beginners to start a new language and we are inviting further comments from beginners of German.
  • Memory Game Splits - We are splitting the "Memory Game" and some "Snap Clouds" into 2 parts to make it easier to navigate and replay. Users with some background in the language often skip directly to "Snap Clouds" or "Shooting Gallery" to test their memory.
  • Students' Monitoring - Responding to teachers' and parents' requests we can now give them access to more detailed information about their students' or children's progress. Contact peter@gamesforlanguage.com, if you'd like to set up and start monitoring multiple accounts.

You can now connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gamesforlanguage, just by clicking the “Like” button. We continuously add links, tips, and mini lessons to our Facebook page and you can easily stay in touch with our Blogs and the latest progress in language learning.

Let us know, if you like the changes and we don't mind answering any and all of your language questions!

Posted on by Peter Editor

January 2013 Newsletter

GamesforLanguage works on iOS6 mobile devices!

IpadFinally, you can access our four language programs not only on your desktop or laptop but also on your iOS6 mobile devices. Many of our users have been frustrated that while they could access our online program perfectly well from their new iPad, the audio did not work!
With the release of iOS6 (the most recent release of the operating system on mobile Apple devices), Apple iPhones and iPads now support multi channel audio in HTML5. We have now integrated this new technology, called the Web Audio API, into our games.

This means you don't need to go through the Apple store to use GamesforLanguage. You would want to have a good Wi-Fi connection. Just open your Safari browser and login to our site and start playing and learning.  While for us the screen on the iPhone is too small for certain games, Memory Game, Snap Clouds, Shootout, etc. may still work for some users. We prefer the regular iPad and iPad mini.
One caveat though: As Apple does not support the Flash Player either, the recording functions, both in “Record it” and “Recall and Record” (which starts with Level 2) do not work on the mobile devices.

If you encounter any difficulties, write us! Some of the remedies are pretty simple, and it's always a good idea to first try again by reloading.
At this point we don't know yet when we can make Games4language also work on Android mobile devices. Android does not yet support the technology that now enables multi-channel audio to work on Safari in iOS.

Other Changes

Those of you who replayed some earlier Scenes may also have noticed the following changes:

  • An expanded Story dialog for the first Scene of German1 (with the other languages to follow).
  • Moon LandingAll Scenes have lengthened games for more playing practice.
  • “The Story” now appears at the end of each Scene by which time it will be easily understood (until level 4, when it switches to the beginning).
  • Quick, short games teach articles, pronouns, noun genders, etc. right from the start, and in the later levels we added other fun games such as Whack-a-Zombie, Falling Apples, Moon Landing, etc. (above). 

In fact, you will find that many of the games are even more fun to play on a tablet, as you can just touch the screen for the correct word or phrase.