We're often asked why we believe that learning with our GamesforLanguage stories is particularly effective.
There are 5 simple reasons:
1. Relevant Vocabulary helps you remember
When you start out learning a new language, every word is new and you need to remember it.
You remember a new word or phrase more easily when it relates to items, activities, feelings, etc. that you know or use yourself frequently.
Many language courses ask you to memorize lists of words, many of which you may rarely hear or say.
Our travel story uses real-life vocabulary, words, phrases, and sentences that you are likely to encounter when you travel, meet people, and interact socially with them.
For example, for our young traveler, practicing his foreign language begins in the airplane as he flies to Europe.
2. Interactive Games engage multiple senses and speak to the whole brain
Video games are non-linear, they use color, sound, and movement.
You can hear, see, say, and type words and phrases and do so in various combinations of the four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
Games get you to identify and imitate foreign sounds, find the correct foreign or native word, translate English phrases and sentences, spell words and phrases.
In addition, you can record your voice and play it back, as often as you want. All of this makes learning more effective.
3.The Story Context helps you recall phrases and sentences
Rather than trying to translate each word from English into the foreign language, you'll learn phrases and sentences in the context of a story.
You'll not only remember them, but you'll be able to use them without even thinking. Here's an example:
Suppose someone asks you what you would like to drink, let's say in French. Rather than trying to find the translation for “I would like a ...”, you'll remember the phrase “j'aimerais un/une...” which you practiced, and you can apply it without even thinking about the first person subjunctive form of “to like.”
Also, to both train your ear and memorize expressions, you can download the conversations as MP3 audio files or listen to the Podcasts.
Learners who like a hard copy can download the PFR file of each lesson's vocabulary.
4. Games and Memory drills are fun
There is no way around memorizing vocabulary. For vocabulary acquisition, an inverted cone is a good analogy:
You start with only a few words, but as you listen, read, write, and speak more and more of the story, the number of words you'll learn and remember will increase dramatically.
Various memory and recall games make - what could be a onerous exercise - into a fun practice, with scores that let you know when you are perfect.
5. You want to find out “the rest of the story”
Our travel story has a young man traveling to several cities where he meets with relatives and friends.
Rather than using unconnected and often unrelated dialogues and topics to introduce new vocabulary, each scene of our travel story builds on the previous one.
The 16 new words of Scene 1 will grow to over 100 new words by Scene 6 and to over 700 by Scene 36.
As a user completes one Scene she or he wonders what the next one will bring, and the story sequel adds more motivation to continue to the next Scene.
Practicing and improving a new language can be challenging, even for motivated learners. But with regular, ideally daily practice, learners will progress rapidly.
We believe that combining games with a story – the German 2 course uses a 72 lesson mystery story sequel of the German 1 course, which we'll replicate for the other languages – we are making language learning fun, interesting, and effective.
Bio: Ulrike Rettig is the co-founder of Gamesforlanguage.com. She is a lifelong language learner, growing up in Austria, the Netherlands, and Canada. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and leave any comments with contact.