Language Learning Story

So I’ve been writing a little language learning story, partly to teach and partly to practice. (Who teaches learns!) I’m going to post it on Episode. I love Episode and Iove language learning so I’m combining the two. I’m going to start making a lot of them. They will be patterned heavily after the duolingo app stories. (I got the idea from wishing there was a story option on duolingo for more obscure languages like Latin and Gaelic. I’ll be writing stories in those languages too, and in French, but I’m not at a high enough level in them yet to make them as detailed lol)

I have chapter 1 written and originally I was going to have chapter 1 be the whole story in English, with three questions in Spanish. Then chapter 2 would be the main character speaking in English while the narrator and side characters speak in Spanish, no questions included. Chapter 3 would switch the languages of the main character and the narrator/side characters. The main character would speak in Spanish and the narrator/side characters in English, no questions included. Chapter 4 would have the whole story in Spanish with three questions in English.

Question 1.
Will I be able to publish it with the Spanish parts included? I’ve saved it ok so far, though it is recognizing the Spanish as spelling errors. I’ve gotten the unable to parse message once, but I exited and opened it back up and it saved fine. I really hope I’ll be able to publish it!

Question 2.
Would telling the story over and over be annoying for readers, even though it’s a different language? The story is VERY short and I was thinking having it all in one language in two of the chapters would be good for beginning learners of both languages. But I COULD knock off chapters 1 and 4…

Thoughts or suggestions?

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You are adding the translations of the Spanish sentences as reader messages , right? Or beside the Spanish dialogues in first brackets? :thinking:
I dont know Spanish myself, so if I look at the Spanish phrases while looking at the translations, I might also can learn some Spanish too lol :joy:

Hmmm I guess I could make a 5th chapter with the translations in brackets. I’m up for what readers want. :blush:

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Maybe take chapters 1 and 4 out, and have Spanish with English and have the last chapter be the one that has the translations in brackets :heart_eyes:

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I think you might want to narrow down what level of learner you’re targeting. Someone with 0 knowledge of the language, someone with a few basics, an intermediate learner? The trick of Duolingo is that it follows a pedagogically-sound progression through material. Meaning the new material introduced in each lesson is at the exact right level for where you are in the learning tree. That’s a bit harder to do with an Episode story, unless you’re targeting people starting from 0. Which you could certainly do, but it limits the amount of content you have to make a story with.

There’s a couple methods Duolingo uses that can be translated well to Episode - first is just teaching a new word. There’s many good ways to do that in Episode since you can use animations, props, and overlays to visually show what the word is as they say it. Or, like in Duolingo, you could use tappable overlays to let the reader choose the correct word.

The second is learning new vocabulary and grammar in context. Duolingo gives you a new sentence and bolds the new words and asks you to translate it. But they let you click on each word in the sentence to see what they mean in case you can’t figure it out on your own. I think tappable overlays are again your best bet here, rather than brackets with translations. If you have the translation visible for all to see, it takes away the possibility of figuring out the meaning from context. Whereas, if you allow the reader to select the new words to learn the meaning they still have the option to get a translation but they also have the option to try and figure it out themselves. Alternatively, if coding a bunch of tappable overlays is too annoying you can just make one full translation option. But that does slightly lessen the ability of readers to learn most of the words in context and only get help on the really hard ones.

The third is repetition in new contexts. This is where the story idea really comes in handy. If the story is about a certain topic, vocabulary related to that topic will keep coming up naturally. That way you can slowly phase out your translations throughout the Episode as you repeat the words.

If you use all these methods well, I don’t think you need to repeat the same episode multiple times. You can repeat words and grammar within one episode to get the same effect. First introduce them in a very obvious way, then use them in context and give an option for translation a couple times, then finally use them without a translation option.

Then in Episode 2, you can build off of the vocabulary from Episode 1. So you’re still practicing the first lesson’s vocab without training wheels, but also learning new vocab in the same way (introduce, practice with translation, practice without translation).

I don’t see anything in Episode’s rules or content guidelines about using foreign languages so I think it’s allowed but you may want to ask them just in case. But definitely make it clear in the story description that it is designed for language learning and what level of learner you’re targeting.


Wow these are all really great suggestions! I had thought about the tappable overlays, but I’ve been viewing them as something I don’t want to explore just yet, because I just recently started being able to code regular choices without constantly getting an error lol. I’ll definitely look into it now though. And I’ll try to put into practice your other suggestions. Thanks so much for this comment, its very helpful! :heart:

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