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Japanese Language Inspires Student to Develop ­nique Computer Game

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A screenshot from Koe, a role-playing game that teaches users Japanese.

A University of Derby student has developed a role-playing game that teaches users Japanese.

Credit: Jitexh Rawal

University of Derby student Jitesh Rawal has designed Koe, a role-playing game that teaches users the Japanese language within the context of entertaining game play.

Koe, which means "voice" in Japanese, teaches Japanese as players use various items throughout the game. "All items are basically Japanese words that are initially taught using communicative language-teaching techniques, basically 'learning by doing,'" Rawal says.

Japanese culture is at the heart of the game, which begins in a Japanese airport, but quickly moves into a fantasy world of two-headed dragons and purple octopuses. The Japanese words from various sources that gamers receive are to be used as moves in battle.

Language acquisition is the subject of Rawal's dissertation, and he built language-learning techniques into Koe. "I always had the idea of a game that teaches language, but it had been largely done before," Rawal says. "However, instead of being quite boring and simply about learning language, I wanted to focus on game play."

From University of Derby
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