Imagine a classroom in which, instead of interfering with learning, video game technology is at the core of the instructional paradigm. Video games are a dominant form of entertainment today because they are immersive, exciting, motivating, and often collaborative.
FluentWorlds has created a sophisticated 3D/VR game platform for language learning that is ranked among iTunes’ top 100 educational apps in the world (out of 220,000 educational apps) and rated five stars. The app engages learners through the most effective means possible—immersion in real-life experiences. Learners travel as game characters to 55 different virtual adventures, visiting places like an airport, café, hotel, or even virtual Las Vegas. Featuring a proprietary voice-recognition engine, developed by the team leader on construction of Amazon’s Echo, the app gives users instantaneous feedback on the phoneme or sound level, accelerating pronunciation progress.
Learning is based on simulation learning, in which individuals walk through virtual scenarios replicating activities and conversations they would have in real life. They actively “do,” so that when they encounter the same situation in real life, they have already practiced virtually, making it easier to remember and respond correctly. Thus, the memorable virtual experience creates a bridge to communicating in actual life situations.
FluentWorlds’ technology is at the confluence of major technology trends including mobile gaming, social sharing, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, and virtual reality. The app was also built in strict conformance to the widely accepted Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Complementing the app is PerfectAccent, a revolutionary AI-driven pronunciation app that includes features like custom input of practice sentences, 80 categories that offer hundreds of sentences to practice for specific industries, and a voice-print capability that reveals unique strengths and weaknesses in pronunciation and recommends targeted lessons.
Female founder and chief product officer Dr. Linda Bradford studied the potential impact of virtual worlds in the learning process. Her dissertation results showed statistically significantly greater learning gains occurring in 3D game environments as compared to learning in the traditional classroom. Recently, she was honored for her creation of FluentWorlds by BusinessQ magazine, which ranked FluentWorlds sixth in the top 50 hottest new companies to watch in Utah.
The FluentWorlds team also boasts the world’s youngest hyperpolyglot, Tim Doner, a recent Harvard graduate who speaks 23 languages.