Inspiration

The inspiration for Lingo Battles came from our team's experience as language learners. There are a lot of really great apps out there, but they make it difficult to fully immerse yourself in the language you’re learning. It is said that one of the best ways to truly learn a language is by practicing it - what better and more motivational way to practice than by competing against others!

What it does

Lingo Battles is an Amazon Alexa Skill with a complimentary website. Lingo Battles is a fun way to learn new phrases and pronunciation in French while competing against French learners across the world.

The Alexa skills app allows the user two game mode options; to Learn a language or test their skills in a head-to-head Battle against fellow language learners. In Learn mode, the user is able to practice French words from a word pool spanning over 27 categories. The user will follow Alexa to practice pronunciation and learn words by saying them aloud. At the end of each battle, a set of words that users need to review is provided.

Users can visit our companion website to review their battle history and check out global leaderboards. Users can also continue their practice by starting a learning session online or reviewing sets of words.

How we built it

The Alexa Skill was created by using ASK SDK for Node.js, and a combination of AWS and GCP services like Cloudwatch, S3, Firestore, Firebase Auth. The skill integrates the learning functionality with questions generated from a large database of French vocabulary. The complementary website was designed using Figma, and then implemented through React for the Front End.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenge we dealt with was translating our front-end design into functioning react-based code, as well as displaying the user precision course alteration data in a tabular format within the limits of our front-end design.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Jackson: It was his first time using react and he was able to overcome challenges to reproduce his front-end Figma design as code.

Palvisha: Solidified her skills with react development and worked alongside Jackson on the companion website, using the MERN stack.

Leah: Incorporated her knowledge of the French language in the ideation and learned about conversation design.

Ashish: Being able to build a language learning app, something that he would personally use, using his extensive knowledge and expertise of Alexa Skills.

What we learned

We learned how to combine our different subjects of expertise in French, Physics, Business, and Software to produce a functional voice integrated app and companion website.

What's next for Lingo Battles

We would love to continue to develop Lingo Battles by integrating other languages such as Spanish and Italian. We will also look into adding new game modes with different time frames and have a friend-based leaderboard.

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