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A new technology startup in Las Vegas is simplifying language learning on the web. Starting with Japanese as its first foray into language mastery,Nihongo Master turns learning a language into a game with points and badges as prizes for fluency.
“Our adaptive drills are built to address the way we acquire knowledge in the digital age. Our approach is social and aims to be the best online Japanese learning resource available. It’s friendly for the young and old and most of all, it’s fun!” states CEO and Founder Taylor Dondich .
Dondich, a Las Vegas native, came up with the idea in late 2011 after taking a trip to Japan. After studying with various materials available to him to prepare for his trip, he came back wanting to build a better tool for himself and others. Teaming up with Jeff Skiles , an experienced instructor with a specialization in East Asian languages, the two began to build a platform that helps users study Japanese online quickly. The program utilizes easy to follow lesson plans that teach learners how to write, read and speak Japanese with ease.
“The conventional methods for developing coherence in a second language are antiquated. Most platforms simply adhere to a call-and-response method where student repeat words and sounds from a teacher. This does not help one to fully understand or memorize what they’re learning. Nihongo Master redefines the way in which people speak and comprehend a new language that is both engaging and entertaining,” Dondich affirms.
The platform has optional social elements including the ability to synchronize with Facebook and Twitter. This allows students to compete against their friends; master levels together and share their awards and accomplishments. Nihongo Master currently offers free lessons, drills and quizzes to get started. The website uses incentives to keep participants engaged with the platform and turns foreign language into a fun and exciting adventure.
“We want to change the way people approach studying a language. With Nihongo Master, you can ‘play’ on your tablet, phone or laptop with our optimized mobile experience. You even have the ability to practice what you’ve learned with real time text and voice chat, ” continues Dondich.
The platform currently supports Japanese and the four-person team is opening up new sites soon that cover mastery of Spanish, German, French, Italian, and even English as a second language. In addition to these popular languages, the team is focused on keeping language alive by expanding into endangered languages in the near future.
Learners can sign up for free and get started learning Japanese immediately at http://www.nihongomaster.com/. Connect with the Nihongo Master team socially at Facebook.com/NihongoMaster and Twitter.com/MasterNihongo.