Afaneen: The Design and Evaluation of an Interactive Mobile Game to Enhance Arabic Spelling
Muna Saleh Al-Razgan (King Saud University, Saudi Arabia)
Abstract: Spelling is an important skill for children learning to strengthen their knowledge of a language and enhance their reading and writing comprehension. However, many young Arabic learners nowadays lack spelling competency, which affects their overall learning process. Traditional spelling instruction, which is usually based on the rote memorization of words, has its drawbacks, and this might be one of the reasons for the incompetency. In addition, there is a paucity of technology-based aids for facilitating spelling skills tailored for the specific intricacies of the Arabic language. This paper describes the design and development of an interactive mobile spelling game "Afaneen". The application targets Arab students at the elementary and higher levels, and aims to enhance their Arabic spelling ability. In the game, the learner can listen to words and is required to type the correct spelling for these words in order to move to the next level. Immediate feedback is presented to the learners, and they can access the spelling rules at any time to check their understanding. To evaluate the usefulness of the spelling game, three evaluation approaches were used: a case study; think aloud sessions; and interviews. The results demonstrate an overall positive attitude toward the game, and reveal areas for further improvement and development.
Keywords: Arabic language, Arabic spelling, Usability evaluation, spelling game, think-aloud protocol
Categories: H.5.2, K.3, K.3.1, L.3.0