Shake to learn Chinese

This is a game to help you with the repetitive task of memorizing Chinese words and characters. This app have 600 Chinese words that includes all the words from Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) from level 1 to 3. Note: Chinese words are denoted by one or more Chinese characters.

The objective of this game is to select from a list of Chinese characters, those that matches the meaning of the given English word or phrase. You select the characters by physically moving (tilting) your device and dropping them into preassigned boxes on the screen. The score screen tracks how successful you have been in learning the Chinese word. The presented words for testing are based on a combination of factors that includes the words you least remember and since the last time you were tested.

In addition this app has a usage tracker in a form of daily or monthly usage graphs. This graph informs you of how many times in a day you have used the app.

Screenshot_2014-05-17-21-19-13TiltAlign Game

TiltAlign Game


Thinking in a Foreign Language Affects Your Moral Judgments?


“Two years ago, researchers led by Keysar found that people thinking in a second language tended to be more even-headed about risk-taking. A certain lack of fluency seemed to encourage deliberation, dampening emotional reactions to the idea of loss.”

Researchers, Keysar and colleagues reasoned that If language indeed affects emotional processing, then it should influence your decision processes.

In a specific experiment, researchers found that 20 percent people who spoke English as a first language and Spanish as a second, as well as Korean/English, English/French and English/Hebrew speakers made a utilitarian decision in a classical ethical  trolley problem when they read the dilemma in their native tongue. The number jumped to 33 percent when they read it in a second language.

The researchers still don’t know exactly why test-takers reacted this way. Something about thinking in a second language may have reduced emotional arousal, or perhaps the challenge of communicating in a less-familiar language encouraged more deliberation.

There are anecdotal evidence and research that supports the idea that second languages tend to have less emotional resonance. Some studies indicate that swear words in a second language seems less offensive.


How Diplomats Learn Foreign Languages

In addition to class time, we generally receive homework every day. This gives students a chance to refine some grammar points and drill certain structures outside of the classroom. I have to admit, this is generally less useful than conversation, but it does help to improve our skills and gives you a chance to review anything you with which you are having difficulty.