Explain3D - a system of educational simulations - has added a fun interactive iTunes Memory Game app for iPhone and iPad in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and German. There's also an Android app in Google Play for English. I played the iPad version of Spanish (Eduxeso-Spanish), which is a language I'm learning.
Like the other three Eduxeso games, "Eduxeso Spanish" is a card-pair game, in which you match a picture to a word. There are nine categories (Fruit, Animals, Colors, Food, Numbers, Nature, Clothes, Transport, and Tools). Each category contains 10 match-ups, so in total, you'll be learning, practicing, reviewing 90 Spanish words. The learning is just visual, there is no audio, but Peter Tomasovic, Founder of Explain 3D, said that in future versions, they would like to add audio.
Since I'm learning Spanish (now, as an adult), I knew some of the words, but didn't know others. For the words I didn't know - especially in the categories of Animals, Transport, and Tools - it was interesting to see how I learned. Here are four observations:
- In a match-up game, you have to remember where the cards are. But if you don't know the words, it's a hit-and-miss process. It was this process which engaged my brain in trying out and guessing the meaning. Getting it right, especially after making mistakes, definitely helps me remember.
- Repeating the same game, right away and then maybe the next day again, is a huge boost. For me, the category Tools was the most difficult. I noticed however, that the second time around, I remembered word-picture correlation much better, and by doing the game again the next day, I started putting the new words into my long-time memory.
- A great follow-up for new words is to write them down in a small notebook. I use a 4x6 spiral booklet that I can keep around easily. Writing something down by hand benefits your memory in a special way. The words I'm trying to remember get a new look in my notebook. When I go back and play the game again, I'll find that they are well-lodged in my memory.
- Last but not least, the memory match-up game is really fun. Since you're not just memorizing words, but engaged in remembering where the cards are as well as identifying and guessing words in a foreign language, your brain is in high gear.
Learning a foreign language requires you to stay motivated for some time. If your current course or program starts to bore you - try Eduxeso or other game-based programs and put some fun back into your learning experience.