Friday, March 14th, 2014

An English language test developed at The University of Queensland is now available as an easy-to-use gaming app.

Brisbane-based International Education Services Ltd has developed the Wirdgame app, which uses an animal-themed gaming format to test English vocabulary and word recognition skills.

Wirdgame is an adaptation of the LanguageMAP (LMAP) vocabulary test developed by Dr Michael Harrington from UQ’s School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies and his colleagues in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The app aims to increase exposure to new words and provides practice in retrieving vocabulary knowledge quickly.

UQ commercialisation company UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said the app’s development reinforced UQ's leading position in discovery, engagement and commercialisation.

“The development of the LMAP test into the Wirdgame app is a great example of UQ’s research strengths in literary studies translating into a commercial opportunity and delivering real impact,” he said.

Wirdgame exposes native English speakers to less common words and a measure for vocabulary knowledge.

It aims to help people learning English to develop and solidify vocabulary skills, particularly core vocabulary needed for fluent speech. 

UQ Bachelor of Education student Yitong Bu said the app was valuable and easy to use.

“Wirdgame is a very convenient and useful game that I can play at any time in many places, like on the bus. 

“It’s very useful for learning words, especially for a non-English speaker or someone not at an advanced level. 

“It’s also a way to build your confidence when you get things correct, and also to check your spelling mistakes,” Ms Bu said.

International Education Services Ltd Managing Director Mr Chris Evason said the app had broad applications.

"Wirdgame engages students in their language learning and assessment, providing an educational tool that can also be used by a range of language professionals to supplement and support their students' formal English language programs.

“The real test for the app is that it works as a game and is fun for everyone to play, quite apart from any educational benefits that may accrue to a player," Mr Evason said.

UniQuest licensed the LMAP test to Brisbane-based not-for-profit organisation International Education Services Ltd in 2012.

Wirdgame is available on the Apple AppStore.

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International Education Services Ltd

IES is a Brisbane-based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, innovation and growth in the international education sector.

Chris Evason
M: + 61 421 620 423

UniQuest Pty Limited

UniQuest is one of Australia’s leading research commercialisation companies. It specialises in global technology transfer and facilitates access for all business sectors to the world class expertise, intellectual property and facilities at The University of Queensland, Australia. UniQuest enters into over 400 research contracts per year – many repeat clients from industry. UniQuest has created over 70 companies from its intellectual property portfolio, and since 2000 UniQuest and its start ups have raised more than $600 million to take university technologies to market. UQ technologies licensed by UniQuest – including UQ’s cervical cancer vaccine technology and image correction technology in magnetic resonance imaging machines – have resulted in combined sales of final products in the order of $13 billion net sales from 2007 to 2015. Learn more at

Nicole Cowan
P: (07) 3365 4037
M: +61409767199


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