Web App

Learning a language through immersing yourself in everyday situations

  • Industry Education
  • Year 2018
  • Services Web development
  • Developers 2
  • Lines of code 97189

Language Learning Application

Learning a language can be easier and more fun if you’re using an application. The problem with many of the available apps is that they’re not down to earth. The application we were developing solved this problem giving the users an opportunity to learn using real-world situations.

Introduction

About the project

The application’s main goal was to make language learning easy and accessible to everyone. Special learning plans prepared by linguists are based on real-life, everyday situations that help learners immerse themselves in real language and make sure that they learn effectively, being encouraged to start speaking on day 1.

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Developing 2 modules of the application

The application consisted of two parts: for the teacher (admin panel) and for the learner. The learners could take the lessons previously designed by the admins and complete them gaining experience points.

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Making app efficient and easy to use

We knew that nothing detracts users more than a bad user experience! In order to keep the users engaged, the app needed to work fast and smooth, and also to be visually compelling and intuitive.

Challenges

01

1. Combining two parts of the application into one consistent platform

The whole application was in fact built of two separate applications with different features, different goals, created for different user personas. One was for the teachers who wanted to design their own lessons and find students online, and the other one was for the students who wanted to learn a new language with an app. The key was to combine these two apps into one consistent platform that would be available for teachers and learners.

2. Using speech recognition in lessons for the learners

When learning new languages, we learn to read, write, we try to listen and understand as much as possible. But how to learn to speak in a foreign language without an actual human interaction? In order to let the app understand what the user says and analyze it, we needed to use speech recognition that would translate spoken language into text which can be later analyzed by the app.

3. Making the app easy and fun to use

People quit learning foreign languages for different reasons: they are bored, they find it difficult, they don’t get instant gratification (the progress is too slow). The challenge was to keep them engaged and motivated to they don’t quit after a few lessons.

Working on this language learning tool was pure pleasure and an opportunity to learn new things. The product was interesting, communication was great and I hope to work on similar projects in the future.
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Jakub Wasak / Software Engineer, Neoteric

Solutions

02

1. Building an intuitive interface helping teachers easily design lessons

The drag’n’drop interface in the admin panel helped the teachers without advanced computer skills design lessons in an easy, intuitive way and share them with those who want to learn new languages.

2. Rewriting the speech recognition code in a simpler way

When we joined the project, the speech recognition code was already written but it was inefficient and didn’t work properly. In order to make sure that the app provides its user with the best possible experience, we decided to rewrite the speech recognition feature in a simpler way.

3. Adding gamification elements to the learning module

In order to keep the learners engaged and motivated, we used a trick that would help them monitor the progress and give them a sense of gratification faster than with a regular learning curve. Completing lessons let the users gain XP points which indicated the progress they made but also let them compete with their friends.

Technology we used

JavaScript
React

Project Results

03
Making an app ready to be used in only 12 weeks

As there was a tight deadline from the investors, we needed to squeeze the development cycle to make sure we are ready on time. High involvement on the Client’s side helped us test new features with users and iterate on them at a high pace, following the design-develop-test loop.

Building an app accessible to both teachers and learners of various languages

Even though the MVP was designed to help people teach and learn English, the whole application was written in a way that would make it possible to add new languages and soon as there are some teaching materials. Special learning plans were planned to be added by linguists who would base on everyday situations that help learners immerse themselves in real language and make sure that they learn effectively

Conclusions

Even though the MVP was designed to help people teach and learn English, the whole application was written in a way that would make it possible to add new languages and soon as there are some teaching materials. Special learning plans were planned to be added by linguists who would base on everyday situations that help learners immerse themselves in real language and make sure that they learn effectively

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