Spanish Language Maze

Welcome to the information page for the Spanish Language Maze app – a Spanish language learning app created by Dr. Elizabeth Enkin in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

The Spanish Language Maze is a game that asks you to construct Spanish sentences word by word in a maze-type format. You can play the game by downloading the mobile app for free from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

There are two sections in this game: the Story Maze and the Sentence Maze. In both, your task is to weave your way through sentences as quickly as possible by making correct word choices as you go. In the Story Maze, the sentences you construct will make up stories, and each sentence has an illustration that goes along with it!

This game allows you to practice some Spanish in a different format. It is designed for beginner Spanish students who have already had some Spanish instruction (those who are at about the university second-semester level). But, anyone at any level is welcome to play the game!

HOW TO PLAY

Story Maze
  • There are four sentences that make up each story.
  • Each sentence begins with a picture about that sentence. After you view the picture, you will see the first word in the sentence. After you tap the first word, two words will appear on the screen side by side. Only one logically continues the sentence.
  • Tap the correct word to advance forward in the sentence.
  • Each time you advance forward, you will see two new words on the screen. Keep making correct word choices to complete the sentence.
  • Try to make word choices as quickly as you can while keeping errors to a minimum.
  • If you make an incorrect word choice, the game will pause, and you can choose to try the sentence again.
  • If you choose not to try the sentence again, that entire sentence will be shown to you before you can move on so you do not lose your place in the storyline.
Sentence Maze
  • Each sentence begins with its first word. After you tap the first word, two words will appear on the screen side by side. Only one logically continues the sentence.
  • Tap the correct word to advance forward in the sentence.
  • Each time you advance forward, you will see two new words on the screen. Keep making correct word choices to complete the sentence.
  • Try to make word choices as quickly as you can while keeping errors to a minimum.
  • If you make an incorrect word choice, the game will pause, and you can choose to try the sentence again.

GAME OBJECTIVE

Each time you complete a sentence all the way through, that time is logged. The timer for each sentence starts after you have moved past the first word and resets each time you make an error.

Each completed sentence time gets added to your total time, which will be displayed to you at the end or if you decide to exit the game early. You will also be shown the number of errors you made as well as the number of sentences you completed.

The goal is to complete all the sentences in the fastest time possible while keeping the amount of errors to a minimum. There are a total of 24 sentences (6 stories) in the Story Maze and 25 sentences in the Sentence Maze.

Try to beat your lowest time and decrease the amount of errors you make by playing the game again!

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GAME

This game is based off of the maze task, which is a psycholinguistic research method used in laboratory testing in order to measure sentence processing time (sentence processing time is a measure of reading and understanding a sentence in real time). The maze task is unique because it forces you to incrementally fully integrate each incoming new word with the preceding words in a sentence.

For English speakers learning beginner-level Spanish, research has shown that this task may be able to serve as a fun and helpful practice tool that can help you process sentences quicker and more fluidly (specifically, sentences that contain structures different from English). This may help you with your Spanish language learning.

This project was supported by a research grant from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Please email maze.info@unl.edu with any questions.

FURTHER READING

Several research articles have been published on how the maze task can help with Spanish language learning. See the following references for further reading:

Enkin, E. (2016). Second language learning with the story maze task: The training effect of weaving through stories. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquée, 19(1), 1-21.

Enkin, E. & Forster, K. (2014). The maze task: Examining the training effect of using a psycholinguistic experimental technique for second language learning. Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching, 5(2), 161-180.