Have you ever tried speaking a new language? It’s hard right? To make it worse, there’s few opportunities to practice. You need to find a fluent speaker to practice with or spend a lot of money to hire a tutor. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing a platform for everyone to practice speaking new languages for free.
We are a language learning community to help you practice with other people in virtual worlds. We have introduced a credit system, called TBucks, which allows you to gain credits by helping others practice speaking in your native language. You can then use those credits to practice a new language you want to learn.
You can try it out here
Free Language Practice
We strive to create a community where each user not only learns a new language, but also acts as a teacher to assist others with their native language. After specifying the languages they know and wish to learn, we provide a live map of all current instances where those specified languages are being spoken. Users can then choose to join as a teacher to earn TBucks or as a student to spend them. This fosters a language learning community and allows for free practice opportunities for speaking.
VR allows us to build situations and an immersive environment for role-playing.
For example, we built a restaurant world with many interactive props. We noticed that many Mandarin learners will pretend to order food, talk about their favorite dishes, or try to rob the restaurant while speaking in Mandarin. This makes the language speaking fun and mimics real-life situations.
To take it a step further, we made contextually-driven prompts that provide topics to talk about. For example, when the user picks up some money in the VR restaurant, they will see “Buy some food with money.” This invites a conversation between the user holding the money and other users in the VR restaurant.
There are three ways we could monetize in the future.
Ads: We can place immersive ads in the VR world. For example, a branded soda in the restaurant world, or make branded coffee shop as a world for users to practice speaking in.
Professional Tutors: Some users may appreciate professional tutors such as 1:1 lessons in addition to the free community support. Hence, we can offer classes and take a percentage of the fee.
Subscriptions: We can offer a monthly subscription where users can gain additional features such as show hints to pronounce when grabbing objects, special status icons, and remove ads.
Under the Hood
We use Unity and XR Interaction Toolkit to create the app. The multiplayer networking, VOIP, synced variables and avatar sync are created using Normcore.
We made this app in 2 days and won the Best Shared World Experience Award at MIT Reality Hack!
PS: We created the icon of this page using Stable Diffusion.