Iya-Ola: a Call for Ideas Development Project by Attila Media in Collaboration with Futurelab

Gloria Gutierrez-Almarza

01 February 2006


Iya-ola is a collection of language learning games with a difference: the player can only progress through collaborating with a learner in a different country. Iya-ola provides carefully structured language exercises using web-based audio-visual chat technology. Initially focusing on English and Spanish, it has the potential to be developed for use with other languages.

Initial research included spending time with learners of the target age, discovering their likes and dislikes about being abroad with their parents. Year 5 pupils at Westbury Park School were involved in this stage of the project development and this gave some clues as to what kind of scenarios they would find interesting and the kinds of characters that they would identify with. Teachers with experience of linking classrooms and those with experience of video-conferencing were also consulted, to provide guidance on getting the system right for a classroom setting.