My latest project has been to make a small edugame for Java that will help teach basic Spanish. Since the goal of the game is to introduce beginners to basic Spanish words and phrases, I have appropriately named it ‘Learning Spanish with Manuel’. Within this project I aimed to create an executable application which is small in size, easy to use, and could teach users some basic Spanish language skills.
The main question of this project was: “How do I create an efficient and effective instructional program and game system that can be used to help teach users basic Spanish language skills?” To address this question, I began by researching existing Spanish language edugames to determine what elements they were using to successfully teach users the language. After assessing the most popular methodologies, I decided on an interactive game system that displays simple words and phrases in a multiple-choice format.
I then began work on writing the code for the game systems. To start, I needed to list all of the words and phrases necessary for the multiple-choice drill. I chose to list the words in a database for easy accessibility and retrieval. To ensure that even novice software developers could use the program, I created a Neo4j database to store the words and phrases. As for the actual coding, I chose Java to create the actual application as it is a robust and reliable language that could most easily integrate with the database.
The most difficult part of the application was likely the interface. Here, I had the challenge of making the edugaming experience attractive and inviting, without distracting users from the multiple-choice exercise itself. I focused the interface design around the character Manuel, a personable caricature of a real-life Spanish speaker.
Overall, I think my project was a success. Learning Spanish with Manuel is an effective edugame that can teach users basic Spanish language skills in an enjoyable way. The user interface invites users to explore their new language while the multiple-choice drills accurately test their knowledge. I think this is an excellent way for both experienced developers and those new to coding to gain some programming skills while learning Spanish.