Let’s game: busuu taps into Virtual Reality


We’ve got some really exciting news – we’re taking your learning experience to 360 degrees! We are proud to announce our partnership with Oculus, owned by Facebook to develop the virtual reality appThe Hacienda” – now available in the Oculus store.

The partnership lets busuu tap into the immersive capabilities of virtual reality and provide our world-class teaching and speech recognition technology to our learners of Spanish for beginners.

Our interactive game will let you practise Spanish for Beginners in person, by putting all your spoken skills to the test to level up your learning.

busuu’s ongoing mission is to empower people all over the world to speak a new language. That means an unintimidating approach to education. We know it only takes 10 minutes a day to improve your skills. We hope that by making these 10 minutes as enjoyable as possible, we’ll keep you on your toes and (hopefully) coming back for more.

So, let’s find out a bit more about the game…

Enter “The Hacienda”. You’ll be greeted by the Mendozas: a large, eccentric family that really need your help. They’re throwing a big fiesta; no pressure, but they need your assistance to make sure it’s the party of a lifetime!

Each family member will give you a different task and the words you’ll need to complete it. Through speech recognition, the game will recognise your voice and allow you to ask and answer questions as you progress through each challenge. If you’re stuck, you can turn to Will, the family’s helpful telepresence robot (it is the future after all) who’ll be your guide throughout the game and the one to give you hints.

Once you’ve learnt a word, you’ll see your Spanish dictionary fill up as each phrase is taught. That means you can repeat and practise the phrase whenever you need to.

We’re proud to have been approached by Oculus to develop this game and excited to see how VR gives us a new way to explore learning in the gaming environment. We’ve specifically designed the platform to let you immerse yourself in a language. Rather than monotonously memorising grammar and punctuation, “The Hacienda” allows you to experience the world of spoken Spanish. You’ll be put in real-life situations and answer questions on the spot.

Plus, once you reach the end, you’ll know how to throw the best fiesta this side of Mexico.

Intrigued? Why not play now!

The Hacienda is available on Gear VR. Check out The Oculus store here!

Kirsten is the Chief Learning Officer at Busuu, where she runs the team of learning designers who create Busuu’s courses, and the teacher operations team who look after our faculty of over 10,000 language teachers worldwide. Kirsten has spent over 20 years working in the field of digital language learning, creating websites, apps, video games and VR experiences for companies like Pearson, EF and Macmillan. She has an MSc in applied linguistics from the University of Oxford and is passionate about bringing research-informed pedagogy into the digital language learning experience.