A research team at Cornell University led by assistant professor of computer science Erik Andersen has developed a language-learning video game called “Crystallize.” This immersion experience creates a virtual world where two users interact with one another to learn new words. Unveiled at the 2016 ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in San Jose, California, Crystallize and supporting studies showed that immersion into a virtual world, which required interaction between two people, yielded better results than did rote memory of vocabulary using flashcards, for example. Based on research questionnaires and interviews, the Cornell team reported that the Crystallize’s immersion experience provided visual and situational context, while gaming elements added motivation for the learners. The designers of Crystallize are currently working on a virtual reality version of the game, with the intent of making the experiences more realistic with greater opportunities to teach users not only what words to say but also when and why to say them.
Learn a new language through immersion into virtual world
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