“How might we have an immersive language experience within a digital project?”
Immersive learning is known as the recommended way to learn a new language, but most people don’t have funds or availability to move to a new country. The next option is to learn online through websites or apps. Popular language learning apps focus on gamification and learning grammar rather than real-life applications of a language. There is a gap between learning a language on an app vs. being immersed in a language and being able to use it in a conversation.
SolutionNatural is a content-based language learning app that houses a hub of content from different languages around the world. Natural allows users to learn from natives, not robots, in immersive content that touches on all senses used in languages. This allows users to build confidence to talk in real life applications. Users get to reinforce the information they’ve learned through quizzes while learning from the content.
There are four main features in Natural: content-based material (listen, read and watch), practice (quizzes during material), and translation view.
These features are key to the usage of the app and contribute to immersing the user in the language.
Listen to podcasts and music albums to learn the nuances of listening to your selected language. Read any material in your selected language. Watch a variety of videos, spanning from YouTube videos to movies.
Test your knowledge with multiple choice, fill in the blank and matching quizzes using the content’s subject matter. Practice your pronunciation skills with reading the material out loud and getting feedback right away.
There is no pressure to start reading the native language right away. You can look at the translations, subtitles, and tap on any word to see more information.
Natural will help improve reading, speaking and listening skills that are required with real-life application of language learning. These skills are improved within content in the listen, read and watch sections of the app. Learning from different kinds of content would stimulate all senses used in real-life scenarios and create an immersive environment.
Practicing all senses of a language through the use of different modules and quizzes will make learning a new language less intimidating. This prepares users to apply their knowledge to communicate with people.
Having content-based learning instead of test-based learning invites users that don’t like to rigorously study/practice and instead focus on real-life application. By having a mobile platform, it will make it friendly and easy to constantly use on the go for those with busy lives.
Having a visually popping style helps keep the interface encouraging. Learning a new language can be discouraging at times; having a bright and inviting environment will help users continue learning.
Designing this app allowed me to play in general. I played with colour and played with new ways of ideation through Crazy 8 exercises and How Might We questions. I got to learn new software: I used Principle to animate user experiences and facilitate user testings on Maze.