Posted on by Peter Rettig

How to Play and Learn With

Playing Practice - As we were adding more scenes to our 4 language courses – German, French, Spanish, and Italian, we are also interested in learning more about the playing habits of our visitors.

Everyone comes to learning a language with a somewhat different attitude and often discovers new and different ways to practice.

We don't track players that register, but we are able to see which lessons they played and how long they were on the site. From that information, we are able to distinguish a number of different types of players:

The Curious Player

We can reasonably assume that anyone clicking the “demo” button is curious about our invitation to “Learn Languages the fun way!”

Maybe he or she has tried other self-teaching language programs and found them either no fun, or is just intrigued by the idea of playing some free games.

The “0” Games Player

Now and then we see visitors who have clicked the “demo” button, but then decided on the next screen not to click on one of the four languages. They may simply not be interested in these particular languages. We promise: More languages will be coming!

We also know that certain browsers and/or screen/zoom settings, especially on netbooks, may be causing problems for some players. We are working on solving those issues and welcome your comments and suggestions.

The Nibbler 

May have listened to the dialog and may have played one or two games, but then decided this was not for him/her. Either the program itself did not interest these players, or they had selected the wrong language.

Some Nibblers try out another language later.

The Finisher

Plays through all or most of the games, though he/she may skip a game here and there.  Some of the Finishers come back at a later time. They sometimes redo the course after practicing the language in another way. 

The Focused Player

Completes all or most of the games of the first scene. Then, having met the score requirement, he/she immediately moves on to scene #2 or even scene #3. These players seem to be interested in one language only. They may also “nibble” sometimes by trying out another language, but then return to the language of their choice.

The Polyglot Player  

Plays at least one scene of two or more languages right away. From his/her scores we can speculate that this player may already know one or more of the languages.

Polyglot players sometimes are also Nibblers who try out different languages. Their scores are often high enough to let them move on to further scenes.

The Returning Player

We are very pleased and encouraged by the many returning players who probably fall mostly into the focused or polyglot player categories. These players may have logged on and registered several months ago and are now checking on other scenes or languages.

Is Gamesforlanguage a Serious Program?

It's clear to us that with a tag line such as “Learn Languages the fun way” some visitors to the site may assume that is not a serious and professionally developed self-teaching language program.

They could not be more wrong. Our courses are based on our own extensive experience in foreign language learning, as well as a 20-year experience in writing and editing self-teaching language programs.

Key Features for Mid-Beginners

Each of our four available courses integrates several key features into one unique comprehensive language learning program for mid beginners.
• A travel story sequel of a young American visiting the country of his father's family. Fun games that practice reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
• Vocabulary, which is introduced, practiced, and then repeated in later scenes.
• The first scene starts with easy sentences, but the sentences get increasingly difficult.
• 15 to 20 new words and structures introduced in every scene, and familiar words and structures repeated from previous scenes.
• Travel-related and culturally relevant dialogs, expressions, and vocabulary that are immediately useful on a foreign trip.
• There are no grammar drills in the courses, only grammar and structures that the learner can discover gradually. Brief comments and tips that clarify aspects of language and culture.

How to Play and Learn

One of the screens we intend to add soon will be titled “How to play and learn.” For those players who indeed are interested and committed to learning a first or another foreign language, we would like to suggest the following:
• Play only one(1) new scene per day.
• Play some games every day to get into the learning habit. You are free to re-play any scenes or games.
• Repeat the native speaker's words and phrases whenever you can in any game.
• Repeat any games until you get close to 100%.
• "Shadow" the sentences, by saying them along with the native speaker or repeating them a split-second after. You can do that as often as you want. Keep practicing until you feel that you're getting close to the native speaker's pronunciation.
• Before you start a new scene, listen again to the dialog of the previous scene. Re-play any of the games for which you score less than 100%.