ToneWars: Connecting Language Learners and Native Speakers through Collaborative Mobile Games

  • Andrew Head
  • Yi Xu
  • Jingtao Wang
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8474)


In this paper, we present ToneWars, a collaborative mobile game for learning Chinese as a Second Language (CSL). ToneWars provides a learning experience that combines mastery learning, microlearning, and group-based interaction between CSL learners and native speakers. The game explores how unique input modalities, like touch gestures and speech recognition, can improve language acquisition tasks on mobile devices. We report the design motivations and lessons learned through the iterative design process. We believe many insights from developing ToneWars are generalizable to designing productive language learning technology. Through a 24-participant (12 CSL and native speaker pairs) user study, we found ToneWars provides learning benefits for second-language learners and engages native speakers.


Mobile Learning Serious Games Crowdsourcing Collaborative Learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Head
    • 1
  • Yi Xu
    • 2
  • Jingtao Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science & LRDCUniversity of PittsburghUSA
  2. 2.East Asian Languages & LiteraturesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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