Dr. Juliane Leinweber is a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and graduated in 2006 at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany. She gained her clinical experiences in the field of neurologic diseases in adults and primary speech and language disorders in children. In 2013, she took a research position at the Hochschule für Gesundheit Bochum and obtained her PhD at the RWTH Aachen University in 2014 investigating the semantic impact on speech production with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In December 2015, she became a research associate and PostDoc at the department of language and communication at the school of rehabilitation sciences, TU Dortmund University, Germany.
Since September 2017, she is a professor for Speech and Language Therapy working together with game developers and game designers. Her research focuses on the aspects and effects of end user’s perception in the context of technology, especially in the health care area.
Designing a game-based language learning app for children
Within the health care context therapy effectiveness often depends on high frequent functional training. However, patients’ motivation is difficult to maintain because of the redundant repetition required to achieve a goal. Ultimately, many don’t maintain their training as frequent as required or even give up on their learning goal. In such cases, the combination of gaming principles and learning promises to extend the motivation for learners. Health apps in language learning, for example, could have a substantial effect if effective language learning methods and adequate game technology are integrated in one framework that encourages voluntarily and persistant usage of the training system.
The challenge for game design lies in building a game-based system (e.g., app) that elicits intrinsic motivation for enduring and repeated usage while at the same time providing effective learning opportunities. In an analysis of free language learning apps for children with German as a second language recently demonstrated that most apps only focus on linguistic elements but neglect the gamification framework. In our interdisciplinary group experts from speech and language therapy (SLT), media psychology (MP), game design (GD), and software programming (SP) collaborated on designing a motivating learning game to foster lexical learning in second language learners.
During the design process different core aspects were considered: Information of learner characteristics and learning content are provided by the SLT, story line, game characters, gameplay and feedback mechanism are developed by a team of MP and GD, finally, both perspectives were integrated by the SP. A first proof of concept will be introduced that is currently been piloted with members of the target group.