Design of English Conversation Edutainment Game for Japanese University Students


Japan is a country where most of its people cannot communicate in English despite having English education in schools until the university level. This is because Japanese English education mostly focuses on grammar and reading with very little oral practices in class. Moreover, the environment in Japan is not conducive to the improvement of English skills. This situation burdens and bores the students, resulting in students giving up learning English. Thus, in this study, we have developed an English conversation simulation game with an edutainment approach, aimed to help the Japanese improve their English conversational skills. Users can practice speaking in English with Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots available in the system. The system implements game elements such as survival and quests to keep the users engaged and entertained while practicing speaking in English at the same time. We have integrated free and open-source libraries to develop the graphics, voice-recognition, AI chatbots, and the text-to-speech system of the game. The English contents of the conversation available are common topics such as hobbies, food, and family. To ensure that the design and contents of the game are suitable for our target group, we did a test-play with Japanese university students as the participants. Then, a questionnaire was distributed. It was found that the sound recognition system needs to be improved. Improvements are made to the game based on the results.

Author Information
Fatin Amirah Mohamed Yusoff, University of Toyama, Japan
Masahiro Satou, University of Toyama, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2019
Stream: Implementation & Assessment of Innovative Technologies in Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon