The benefit of learning a new language is countless, some may say it could widen your horizon, add more dimension to your personality, or, just simply increase the chance of getting a good job that requires more than one languages.
There are a lot of online games teach self-learner from all levels to learn a new language. They often time can fit one or several learning theories and showcase as the following ideas (Tatou, 2013):
- Active recall- Ask users to complete a whole sentence, not just a short phrase or a single vocabulary.
This task would force users to “generate the words from their own memory as translation”, it’s a way to do a “recall test” of your knowledge, aims to increase the brain retention for certain information. See Doulingo, Bussu, and Memrise as examples.
- Spaced repetition- By applying this method, the games can slow down the forgetting process via those scheduled practices. Thus, the system knows when the users will start to forget what they learned a few days ago, it will promote a short practice to help recall the memory of the information. See Doulingo, Anki.
- Core vocabulary- It’s quite important to know those core vocabularies that are most commonly used in a language. Some game or learning platform would determine the core vocabularies in order to help users build the foundation of understanding a new language. See Doulingo as the example.
- Multi-modal learning- Using multi-media or tactile exercise to practice a new language can help users to train their language skill sets from listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Games or online learning platforms might integrate videos for listening, pictures for reading, typing games for writing, and recording for speaking. See Doulingo, Memrise, Busuu as examples.
The core of learning a new language is memorizing the vocabularies and how it structures as a sentence, no matter which language game you play or practice, it would probably fit all these four ideas I mentioned above.
Tatou. (2013). Re: What Language Acquisition Theory(s) Is Used in Doulingo. Retrieved from http://forum.duolingo.com/comment/579004/What-Language-Acquisition-Theory-s-Is-Used-in-Duolingo