Ready for a little friendly competition?

An essential part of successfully learning a language is staying motivated. And what better way to motivate yourself than stoking a bit of your competitive instinct?

Today we're introducing Quiz Tournaments.

How does it work?

A Quiz Tournament is a few rounds of short, multiple-choice reading comprehension questions. Each question is a race against the clock. You and your opponent will each be asked the same set of questions and you are tasked with trying to answer each question before the clock runs out. After you respond to each question you can study the content at your leisure before moving on to the next question.

A typical question looks like this:

You are tasked with reading the Chinese sentence and selecting the best answer among the four or five choices given. Only one answer is correct. The timer at the right shows how much time you have left to answer.

Initially, you don't have tap-through access to WordSwing's built-in dictionary. But after you have answered or the time ran out, you can use the dictionary and other drill-down tools to study anything in the prompt or answers that is unfamiliar.

Each tournament consists of a few rounds of questions. Here is what a partially completed tournament looks like:

Your progress is shown on the left, while your opponent's progress is shown on the right. Each subsequent round becomes unlocked when both you and your opponent have completed the previous round.

You will have 5 days to complete each round. If you fail to complete a round in that time, then the tournament will expire, and you will forfeit the win to your opponent.

Quiz Tournaments are asynchronous, meaning that you and your opponent can answer the questions at different times, whenever is convenient.

To begin a new tournament, you can either build a new tournament and invite someone to play or you can request a random opponent:

If you choose "Random opponent" then you will be automatically matched with an opponent and the sizing of the tournament will also be automatically determined. In practice, the random opponent will just be the next person to also select "Random opponent" or a student who has just done so and is awaiting an opponent.

If you choose to build a new tournament, you will be able to select how many rounds you want and how many questions per round:

There are three ways to select an opponent:

  1. Invite someone you know by email.
  2. Select an existing student from WordSwing.
  3. Start over and choose a random opponent.

If you choose either of the first two methods, your opponent will be emailed an invitation asking if he or she wants to accept or decline the tournament.

You will be able to see a list of invitations that you require your attention, such as this:

These will either be invitations that you sent that have been rejected, and you can select a new opponent, or invitations someone else has sent you.

There will also be a list of your current Quiz Tournaments:

These are ongoing Quiz Tournaments or ones that you have completed or that have expired. Tournaments that you can play now with either have a "Start" button (if they are new) or a "Continue" button. Tournaments that are complete or for which you're waiting for the next round to be unlocked, will have a "View" button. Expired tournaments are also shown. Tap on the button to go to any of these tournaments.

Who is this for?

The current set of questions are designed for intermediate to upper-intermediate students of Chinese. But if this game proves popular then we'll build out more categories of questions, offering both easier reading comprehension questions as well as questions about the Chinese language (asked in English), among other categories.

At present, there are only a couple hundred questions, and so as you play, you'll start to see some questions a second or third time. So even if these questions are quite challenging given your current Chinese level, with some playing, you'll soon be able to get many answers correct.

Getting started

To get started, select Quiz Tournaments, from the Select page (or just jump directly there).

This activity is opt-in, so that you don't receive unwanted invitations and so that the opponents you choose among are more likely to be engaged. By the way, initially the activity was opt-out, while we were testing it over the last few weeks, but we decided making it opt-in will result in a better experience. So if you haven't yet enabled it, you'll get asked if you want to do so:

Then, if you haven't chosen a handle (nickname) for yourself on WordSwing, you'll need to choose one in order to participate in Quiz Tournaments. This is so that your opponent can recognize you during rematches and subsequent tournaments:

Ready to give it a try?

Go play

We hope you enjoy, and don't forget to let us know what you think or report any problems.

Have fun!