This project aims to provide youths and adults wishing to improve their basic language skills with free access to materials for the development of communicative proficiency in French, Dutch and English through web-based minigames that support spoken interaction.
Worldwide, and especially in Europe, millions of people have to learn foreign languages every year, or a second language which they need to integrate in socio-economic contexts. Still, some groups participate to a lesser extent, or lose interest in formal language education altogether. Moreover, in foreign language curricula, it may be argued that speaking practice and grammatical accuracy receive little attention nowadays.
Educational mini-games are small, self-contained games which focus on well-defined learning topics, which are highly motivating, reusable, and cost-effective. Mini-games are particularly fit for the development of language skills at the lower end of the proficiency scale. Moreover, there is evidence that disadvantaged and low-skilled language learners profit most from such mini-games. Finally, mini-games can be easily and cheaply distributed via the web, which has become a primary source of entertainment, especially for the mentioned groups.
This project aims to develop such mini-games in a user-centred way for the teaching of grammar in use, vocabulary and basic communicative skills in French, English and Dutch as a foreign or second language. Learning materials target the A2 level of the CEFR. Dedicated speech recognition technology will be put to use for stimulating speaking practice in Dutch and English.
Target users include language learners, teachers, and institutions in adult and secondary education, as well as independent language learners at home. Through the motivational aspect of gaming, we especially hope to make an impact on the language learning experience of low-skilled learners. The mini-games and accompanying materials will be available for free on the web.