16 October 2020

Among Us For Language Learning?

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about language acquisition and games. Instead of making a game now, let's use an existing one. And what better game than the currently popular "Among Us"?
Other games do work as well, though. ("Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes")

Why Among Us?

AmongUsSkeldMapGerman
Among Us Skeld Map With Translation
~ by GreenyNeko
So, why specifically Among Us? Despite its fantasy setting, some of the vocabularies are practical outside of the game as well. Compared to other games, players need to describe the situation as detailed as possible while the imposters try to manipulate information believably. On top of that, the game encourages communication, specifically via voice. The fun and popularity play a role in this choice too.



Language Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis

Summarizing the Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis, we learn a language through comprehensible input. In the game, intelligible communication is fundamental to win the game. Whether or not you're an imposter or crewmate. Being unable to get your point across is sus. In this scenario, language production goes hand in hand with comprehensible input. The talker is the teacher, and the listener is the student. The game's context helps to make messages intelligible. Even with limited language understanding, your game's knowledge helps comprehension expanding your proficiency by filling the gaps.

How To Get Started?

Technically you can jump right in and figure things out, but you might lose the first few rounds. Alternatively, you can acquire a language by watching other people play. Similar to how kids don't talk at first.
AmongUsGermanAcquisitionComic
Among Us German Acquisition Comic
~ by GreenyNeko
Possible ways to learn the game's vocabulary would be
  • listen to Youtubers play "Among Us" in the target tongue (preferably with subtitles)
  • change the game's language to the target language (if applicable)
  • translate the game and most relevant vocabulary
  • lookup a list of the words
Now gather learners of the target language and a few natives. Among Us requires 4-10 players, but you know the saying the more, the merrier. Lastly, try to only speak in the target language, even if you only use single words. (report, blue imposter, etc.)

Off You Go!

Continuing to play this way will steadily improve your understanding through active listening and thinking. It isn't limited to this game but feels like it's a better one. Good luck with your language learning journey.

Have I mentioned this Among Us research I have going on?
It only takes 10-20 or 30-40 minutes!
>> Click to check it out!


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I'm a junior game developer and software developer and I created this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.