Using Gamification to learn languages

La Coruna

As part of my University Degree Im had the pleasure of spending a year living in La Coruna, with the aim of improving my Spanish. The full immersion in the langauge obviously helped me become fluent.

However, seventeen years later my Spanish isn’t as good due to lack of practice, even thought I subscribe to publication such as Punto y Coma.

Fortunately I’ve now been accepted onto the BETA test for Duolingo which is a learning and translation platform to help people learn a language, or improve their language skills, while helping to translate online documents.

The video explains it better than I do;


What further peaked my interest in the platform is the use of game mechanics (trophies, level-ups and leaderboard point systems) to encourage you to keep learning.

Duolingo Trophy

It’s a fascinating concept and if elements of it sound familiar, that’s because it comes from the same team that brought the world Captchas. You can see Luis von Ahn talk about the projects in one of my favourite TED sessions here:
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