Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

A Multi-Player Vocabulary Game that Teaches While It Learns

Adam Skory, Maxine Eskenazi

Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

We will demonstrate one game from a set of multi-player webgames targeted at advanced English language learners, and particularly at those preparing for standardized English proficiency tests (such asTOEIC, TOEFL, GRE). These games will be made available to play for free online.

The suite of games not only uses state-of-the-art student models, but introduces the use of content models. One primary difficulty in text-based language games is that of content creation. Language technologies exist to find content from resources such as corpora and the Internet, however these technologies do not have the discriminative power of human content authors. Active learning of content models is achieved by building implicit crowdsourcing techniques into the mechanics of the games. As more people play, higher quality game content is identified and favored, and targeting of that content is improved. In other words, the players themselves become the content authors.

The first game within this framework is a fast-paced, cooperative game. Two players interact through hinting and guessing to cooperatively solve fill-in-the-blank questions, in the process building and sharing contextual and semantic knowledge of vocabulary.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Skory, Adam / Eskenazi, Maxine (2010): "A multi-player vocabulary game that teaches while it learns", In L2WS-2010, paper D2-2.