Memrise’s Gamified Repetition Brings Results for Language Learning

Memrise’s Gamified Repetition Brings Results for Language Learning


Memrise Maximizes Memorization with Better Repetition is emerging as one of the best language-learning online web tools. Although Memrise could hypothetically be used for any type of memorization, it specializes in language learning and in particular, vocabulary retention. In order to engage users, Memrise uses gamification techniques that keeps users coming back to learn more.

The first example of gamification lies in overall learning process of the website. Memrise has a special learning system that features spaced repetition. First, users either subscribe to a course our create their own one, and then users “plant” the words, similar to how a gardener would plant the seeds of a new beautiful flower. This involves choosing the correct translation several times and entering the word for correct spelling.

The next step of the process is what truly sets Memrise apart from other online memorization websites. Memrise uses a special algorithm that requires users to “water” their words after a certain amount of time. This is when the spaced repetition factor comes in, and it ensures that users don’t simply forget the newly learned words as if they were just learning a new unit in school. The algorithm is supposed to detect which words the user has likely forgotten, so it’s ultimately based on whether the user accurately remembers the words during the “watering” stage or not.

my garden on memrise

The “watering” stage is enough to keep users coming back on its own. Memrise also offers to send emails that alert the user when he needs to “water” his words again. There is also a Memrise button in the Google Chrome store, which allows users to constantly keep track of their Memrise progress.

In addition, Memrise uses a points system that works on two levels: overall points earned, and points earned in a specific course. That way, users can see how others are making progress along the way and find motivation in trying to earn the most amount of points. Points can be earned during the “planting” and “watering” stages of the learning process.

Between the “watering” feature and points system, Memrise’s use of gamification is successful in retaining users and challenging them to learn a new language.


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  1. Is there data behind the statement “The “watering” stage is enough to keep users coming back on its own”

    I would love to use that as a reference in my thesis if it is based on data, I can’t site this article for it.