Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

Fluent in a Foreign Language in 10 Days?

Conversation in outdoor café - Gamesforlanguage.com(Updated: You can also listen to this YouTube clip)
Fluent in a foreign language in 10 days?

It's a catchy idea, but can it really happen? Can you become a good tennis player in ten days? Or a great cook? You can't. Skill mastery takes time. So, if you want to learn a language, you have to find a way to make it part of your day.

GETTING STARTED

First you need to get started. You can faithfully go to a language school. Or, if you are into self-learning, you can work with a language learning course, let's say French from a book, from CDs and DVD's, or from a French online course.

Once you have a good foundation in your new language, you need to maintain momentum and build on your skills. Certainly, you should READ books, newspaper articles, or online articles in the foreign language.

And you should find ways to LISTEN your new language with audios, podcasts, videos and movies. For some, SPEAKING may come early, for others more slowly, but we all know: Nobody can learn a foreign language FOR YOU - in order to be able to listen, read, speak and write, you have to practice all those skills! 

Keeping a notebook to WRITE DOWN words, phrases, and sentences can be very helpful for recall.

RESOURCES TO HELP YOU CONTINUE

Fortunately, with the wealth of technology available, there are many resources. The Internet opens a new gateway to foreign language text, audio, and video content.
- French online newspaper articles are as easy to find as Italian news videos and Spanish online soap operas.
- You can join a foreign language learning website.
- You can sign up to exchange conversations with someone who is trying to learn English.
- There are television programs in Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese, etc., on the various international channels in the U.S. 

PRACTICE OFTEN AND REGULARLY

The bottom line is that if you want to become fluent, you have to engage with your new foreign language often and regularly. The key is “often and regularly.”
You have to find ways to hear, read, write, and speak your new language.

It's as simple or as complicated as that. But whatever you do to START your foreign language learning, you'll have to find ways to stay motivated and engaged with the language.

Gamesforlanguage's snappy and easy language games are one way to make language learning fun. And at any stage, adding fun and challenging games can help you maintain your motivation and momentum.

Posted on by Ulrike S. Rettig

Why Games for Language Learning?

games(Updated 7/29/2016) Why Games for language learning? Well, why not? If you want to learn a foreign language, you have to play around with it, again and again, until the new language gets under your skin.

Games are perfect for that. A “foreign language” isn’t something you cram for a week and then it’s yours. Learning a language is a journey of discovery. Putting the journey into a games format can definitely lighten the experience.

Our Own Experience

The challenge facing us at gamesforlanguage.com is to find ways to make languages learning into a fun game. 

I remember how we enticed our American born sons to learn German. We didn’t just give them the German translation of our daily vocabulary. Stories were key. We read stories to them. We unabashedly made up tales as we talked.

We built on the stories that they invented. All of this in German, with explanations when they were needed. Our sons ended up mastering the German language pretty well.
 
As the boys were growing up, video and later computer games were becoming enticing activities. How often did I wish that some of these games had a fun and worthwhile component for learning German!

Forward to 2011

So here we are in an age when “Games are creeping into everything” (according to Jesse Schell, game designer, who led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center).

Why not instill a playful dimension into learning a foreign language? Why not create an online German language course? And now, that’s what we’re doing.

Our language learning games at gamesforlanguage.com are built on the travel adventures of a main character. Traveling certainly is a great incentive to learn a foreign language.

The Benefit of Games

Games can provide short intense challenges with quick closure. Done right, they can put you into a kind of quick “flow learning” that bypasses slugging things out mentally. An online language learning site is a great resource.

You can go there to play games when you feel like it - maybe even on an iPhone while you are waiting or just sitting around. You want to get into the game setting easily and pick up the game where you left off earlier.
 
In games that I play, I like the visual environment of the game, and I enjoy the sense of challenge. I like getting a score and the feeling that I accomplished something worthwhile. 

All of this adds up. Working on gamesforlanguage.com brings to mind Jane McGonigal’s comment on her page "Gameful," a place where responsible game makers connect: “What all of these projects have in common: they’re dedicated to making some kind of a real positive impact on gamers’ lives and the world around them.”

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