Polyglot Cubed

By University of Illinois-Chicago & Miami University


Student Category


Miami University



UIC logo






2009 Finalist


Skills and Ideas Taught: Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese languages.

Goal or Challenge:  Players match sounds to pictures to build vocabulary.

Primary Audience:  Students K-12 and beyond.

Assessment Approach:  When players correctly match sounds to pictures, a game tile is moved to the wall like a puzzle piece. Every time the player recognizes a word in a room, they get a new puzzle piece. Collect them all, and the player sees the final picture.

Description:  Polyglot is an educational game prototype for learning languages. The highly modular system was designed to aid in the retention of listening vocabulary. Polyglot can be used to improve comprehension of a variety of languages with minimal training.  The game is designed around 6 rooms of floating, cubicle tiles. Each tile is assigned a foreign language word, and a pictographic representation of that word. The cubes are clustered by topic, usage, or form of speech to encourage contextual recognition and aid visual memory. The player must match the spoken word with the cube that corresponds to it.

Game Engine:  Direct X/Blitz3D

Operating System:  Windows

Platform:  Personal computer

Special Hardware:  None