Understanding LeapOn: How Our Game Teaches “Conversational Intelligence”

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LeapOn is not merely a language learning app — it is a sophisticated platform that allows one to achieve conversational intelligence (Glaser, 2016).

Language is usually taught using a framework of grammar, vocabulary, and phrases. Our target learners – working corporate professionals in global companies across India – are mostly equipped with these mechanisms. Teaching the art of communication in English as a second language is where our job (and the learner’s) gets trickier.

Practice, feedback, and reflection on learning are the essentials of good communication. These concepts must be applied to the learner’s pre-existing base of language in order for them to ‘activate’ their language.

Communication skills used within our app are measured and evaluated based on how strong the player’s influence is on their virtual conversations. Better communication leads to a higher degree of success in the player’s mission. Subpar communication leads to added obstacles.

Here’s how LeapOn accomplishes the task of teaching communication and helps players monitor their progress:

Real-time Feedback

Choosing their responses to different characters allows players to see how the conversation unfolds, mirroring real life. The only difference is that in the game, players have the opportunity to backtrack their conversations.

A detailed report at the end of each round provides feedback to players, illustrating specifically where they demonstrated good communication in their conversations, and where they could have improved. The ability to retrace one’s steps allows for stronger responses in future rounds and encourages consistent learning and growth.

Simulated Interaction

Gamers can immerse themselves in virtual scenarios and engage with other characters. These interactive sequences accurately replicate real life conversations, thus requiring the gamer to be attentive and involved. LeapOn enables the practice of reading and listening, and responding in the most appropriate way possible. This practice is a far better tool to sharpen conversational intelligence than passively reading English newspapers or watching English television channels.

Reflective Game Play

LeapOn deals with a set of communication concepts that appear in different scenarios as the player moves ahead in the game. Challenges based on these concepts gradually increase in difficulty and induce the unconscious recollection of previously encountered tasks where knowledge of similar concepts was tested. Gamers begin to notice patterns and naturally gain a better grasp of good communication.  

Glaser, J. E. (2016). Conversational Intelligence: How great leaders build trust and get extraordinary results. Routledge.

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