Let's Play Chinese Characters - Mobile Learning Approaches via Culturally Inspired Group Games.

Feng Tian, Fei Lv, Jingtao Wang, Hongan Wang, Wencan Luo, Matthew Kam, Vidya Setlur, Guozhong Dai, and John Canny
ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (2010)


In many developing countries such as India and China, low educational levels often hinder economic empowerment. In this paper, we argue that mobile learning games can play an important role in the Chinese literacy acquisition process. We report on the unique challenges in the learning Chinese language, especially its logographic writing system. Based on an analysis of 25 traditional Chinese games currently played by children in China, we present the design and implementation of two culturally inspired mobile group learning games, Multimedia Word and Drumming Strokes. These two mobile games are designed to match Chinese children’s understanding of everyday games. An informal evaluation reveals that these two games have the potential to enhance the intuitiveness and engagement of traditional games, and children may improve their knowledge of Chinese characters through group learning activities such as controversy, judgments and self-correction during the game play.