There’s a great deal of potential with digital badges for language education. The gamification aspect appeals to many language learners, particularly the younger generation and provides a type of motivation not present in many online language-learning sites. At the same time, the badge structure provides a learning map for reaching higher levels. Badges also encourage learners to explore their personal interests. Educators can create various badge options that allow students to select which aspects of the target culture they’d like to explore in greater depth and to make comparisons and connections across cultures. Cultural badges might include field trips or other out-of-school experiences.
Abby Dings is Associate Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of the Spanish Language Program at Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX.