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New Online Language Learning Game

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Nick_321, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Nick_321

    Nick_321 New commenter

    Hi everyone!

    I’m Nick - a computing teacher in London - and I’ve created a free language learning game called ‘Second Voice’.

    The game allows students to practise having conversations - they speak to characters in the game, and the characters speak back.

    Conversational practice can obviously be hard to arrange, and I’m hoping the game can support the great work MFL teachers do.

    You can try it out at secondvoice.online, and see if it’s right for your class. At the moment it covers the basics of Spanish, but if you find it useful I will expand to more languages and more advanced content.

    As such, I would love any feedback or ideas you have. Thanks so much, and hope you enjoy the game!

  2. CatherineD6

    CatherineD6 New commenter

    Hi Nick! I had a go but it's too buggy to play :( During the conversation with the dog it didn't pick up what I was saying, then I had to press "continue" several times randomly, now in the next scene I'm stuck in a conversation with another character with a "small talk" button that doesn't do anything and I can't get out of it. It sounds like a great idea though! Chrome OS/Chrome browser :)
  3. Nick_321

    Nick_321 New commenter

    Hi Catherine!

    Thanks so much for trying the game! Really sorry to hear you had some issues with it.

    It seems to be working fine in Chrome for me and others.

    It sounds like the browser simply isn't recording what you're saying. When you first play the game, Chrome should have asked you if secondvoice.online was allowed to access your microphone. If it failed to do this, you can check your microphone permissions by going to Chrome's settings, and selecting:

    Privacy and security > Site settings > Microphone

    You should then be able to see if the microphone is always blocked, or blocked for particular sites, and change this as desired.

    I really hope that solves the problem - let me know if not! I'd be extremely keen to get your feedback on the game.

    Thanks again,

  4. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    This is so cool. I really enjoyed playing. I know no Spanish but picked up quite a lot from the beginning of the game. Good level of progression, although occasionally I felt the dog's explanations were a bit wordy. For example, he repeated quite often about the endings of masculine and feminine words.

    Feedback: It would be good to have an indication of the number of words required for the answer as soon as the person asks the question - not just after you've given an 'incorrect' answer. For example, if the person asks "Is your mum short?", it was frustrating to answer "She is tall" and get the 'incorrect' noise because it was looking for "My mum is tall". Seems obvious when you see it written, but when I was trying to understand the question and remember all the necessary vocabulary, it was difficult to keep in mind the exact form of answer required as well. Possibly could be good to offer a chance to see the words required in English underneath, too.

    There were a few times where the browser didn't pick up correctly what I was saying... or my pronunciation was off somehow, but sometimes it was accepted and sometimes now. I ended up being kicked off the game because the person I was talking to lost patience with me repeating over and over "He is short". Apparently I got none of the words correct, even though I was sure I was repeating them correctly. That was frustrating because by that point I had had to use them several times, so presumably am able to say them correctly, and don't know what went wrong this time (was it my pronunciation or a technical problem?).
  5. Nick_321

    Nick_321 New commenter

    Hi Kartoshka,

    Thank you so much for playing the game! I'm really glad you enjoyed it, and were able to learn some basic Spanish.

    Even more so, thank you for your incredibly thoughtful feedback. I agree that it can be too difficult, particularly at first, to keep in mind the form of the response required, as well as the vocabulary/grammar you need. My aim was to try to avoid any written words for pedagogical reasons, but I like your idea about showing the number of words required, and will test it out - thanks so much!

    In terms of the voice recognition, it's definitely slightly temperamental, and will be effected by things like internet connection issues. The hints are designed to help you if you're sure you're saying the right thing but it's not being accepted, but I will continue to try to optimise the recognition.

    Thanks so much again for your help, I'm really grateful. If you have any colleagues or students who are interested in trying it out, I'd love to get as much feedback as possible.


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