The future of language learning is virtual

Posted on Posted in Business, Business model, Idea

I love language learning. Well, I love the idea of understanding multiple languages. To do this I tried many things, classes, audio books, software, apps, etc. The best thing is still the real thing: immersion in a different culture with people speaking the language.

Sadly, most of us don’t have the luxury of living abroad just to learn a new language so we have to settle for the next best thing. Even though I love websites like Memrise, I think the future lies in Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality brings an opportunity to create immersion, but in the comfort of your own living room. (Some proof of immersion in Virtual Reality:

My ideal way of learning a language in Virtual Reality is a game where you go to a certain city (e.g. Madrid). In this city you’ll meet your friend and his Spanish cousin. But when you arrive your friend is not there yet and you’ll just have to make do with the cousin in Spanish. He’ll show you around at first, but he’ll make you speak the language and leave you alone in some conversations. In this ‘game’ you’ll be in an adventure where you’ll have to use an increasingly difficult vocabulary to reach your goals.

In a game like this you’ll learn a language faster than in a language course because of the immersion and the gamification. This combination won’t make it feel like learning. I’ve experienced the gamification effect when I was younger and played King’s Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. I ‘accidentally’ learned English by playing these games :).

If anyone in, for example, Silicon Valley is reading this and wants to build this: let me know, I’ve got some ideas to make the business case work ;).

What do you guys think, would something like this help you in your language learning endeavors?


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