2013 Mobile Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage




Project Overview

CanUHanyu is a Chinese language mobile app embracing flipped classroom education and gamified learning. It consists of a suite of five engaging digital recall games that make learning Chinese enjoyable and accessible, anytime, anywhere.
Developed for Education Services Australia and funded by Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, CanUHanyu not only supports the Australian Chinese language curriculum, but has proven to be a hit with children and adults of all ages, with a variety of Chinese language skills.

Project Commissioner

Education Services Australia

Project Creator



Susan Marshall, Senior Project Manager at Education Services Australia, has a background in linguistics specialising in Literacy, English, TESOL and Asian languages curriculum design, development and implementation. She has consulted on and managed several digital learning projects in Australian and overseas.

Lucy Booth, Project Officer, has supported the development and implementation of a range of digital learning projects at Education Services Australia. She has a keen interest in best-practice classroom pedagogy and of the ways ICT including apps and games can be incorporated into successful and engaging teaching and learning programs.

Leon Young - Managing Director
Leon started his career in digital at 14 years of age as a games developer and distributor. Since, he has worked in technical, sales, marketing, senior and executive management positions in a range of businesses from start-ups to publicly listed companies. Leon is also a regular speaker on the use of the digital medium for education and behaviour change.

Ross Duggan – Senior Producer
Ross is a Senior Producer with an extensive background in creative design and producing digital projects. Over nearly three decades, Ross has worked with some of Sydney's top design companies. At 2and2, Ross brings a strong knowledge of interface design and user experience to all projects. His most recent focus has been with responsive websites and mobile apps. He has a Diploma in Visual Communications.

James Sutton - Art Director
James has been working across interesting and creative briefs for the past 8 years. Originally from London he has a background in advertising and is now happily involved in creating beautiful games to educate and spark an interest in different subjects. James is well adverse designing for all platforms and takes great pleasure in finding a creative solution to a problem.

Phil Douglas- Technical Director
Phil brings a decade of visual communication, design and online education experience in the United Kingdom and Australia. Phil has skills across a range of programming, multimedia, design and broadcast technologies, and he and his team are proficient in the full suite of Adobe products, as well as HTML 5, PHP, SQL, jQuery, 3D Studio Max, After Effects and a range of frameworks.

Marcus Lam – Developer
Marcus is a Digital Media graduate at the University of New South Wales. He has been with 2and2 for over five years, playing a role in award winning projects such as the Lend Lease EH&S Passport, Education Services Australia Safety in the Home, Change2 Sustainable Office Challenge, ATO Tax in Your Community and Stockland Diversity.

Alexander Ocias - Developer
Alex is a Polish-Australian digital artist who creates challenging interactive experiences. His games have been played by millions across the globe and praised by the likes of Wired magazine as "Great high-brow lunchtime gaming". With experience from web and browser games such as Loved (2010, web), ABC Zoom (2013, web), CanUHanyu (2013, web/iOS/Android), Zogma (2009, iOS), Kid Command (2009, web) to multi-million dollar film work in Happy Feet 2 (2011).

Project Brief

CanUHanyu is no ordinary language learning mobile application. It’s quirky and colourful interface is makes the app engaging and enjoyable to use. The gamified learning experience inspires players to progress through the stimulating game levels, making learning enjoyable and rewarding while effectively improving their language skills.

CanUHanyu embraces flipped classroom education. Designed to accompany the Australian Chinese language school curriculum, it’s perfect for use as a classroom resource, or for adults who’d like to brush up on their Chinese language skills.

The five recall games; Monkey Match Up. Dragon Drop It, Panda Pairs, Great Wall Stack and Silk Road Search are perfectly suited to all ages and all skill levels increasing motivation to progress and achieve individual language goals.

To ensure it’s accessible, CanUHanyu dynamically adapts and renders to suit personal computers as well as iOS and Android web browsers. The simple but sleek design allows the interface to scale and transform between iPad, phone and desktop web browsers. It is also available as an installable app for iOS and Android devices.

CanUHanyu is enjoyable, embracing students’ technological interests and abilities it makes language learning enjoyable and accessible, anytime and anywhere.

Project Need

What makes CanUHanyu particularly innovative is its connection with the Australian primary and secondary school curriculum. Badges are awarded for graduating to the next level as well as speed and accuracy. This gamification enhances student engagement, motivation and enjoyment.

Perfect for pre-exam revision or homework tasks CanUHanyu offers students and teachers the ability to list their focus words in a dictionary for easy reference. Within the dictionary, users can listen the word’s is pronunciation, assisting with Chinese speaking skills.

Recognising that all students have varying levels of Chinese speaking, reading and writing ability, it allows teachers to assign lesson sets to challenge individual students. This tailored approach to language education means struggling students aren’t left behind, and ensures those who are excelling are encouraged to do so.

CanUHanyu was designed to be accessible to all students. The installable app dynamically adapts and renders to suit personal computers as well as iOS and Android web browsers. The simple but sleek design allows the interface to scale and transform between iPad, phone and desktop web browsers. A WCAG AA compliant web-based version of CanUHanyu is also available for students with accessibility issues.

CanUHanyu makes exam revision and homework fun. The app supports in-class language learning, by enabling students to access recall games online via mobile, tablet or desktop or in various other environments, like at home or on transport.

User Experience

CanUHanyu users range from Australian Chinese language students and teachers, right through to adults who’d like to refresh their Chinese speaking and reading skills. Designers kept the interface and functionality quirky, simple but sleek to engage users of all ages.

The app is designed to facilitate in-class language learning, and could be used by students either in-class or at home or on transport for revision purposes. To ensure this was possible, the 2and2 developers made the app dynamically render to suit personal computers, iOS and Android web browsers. The interface was specially developed to scale and transform between iPad, phone and desktop devices. A WCAG AA compliant web-based version is also available for students with accessibility issues.

To support individual learning needs, 2and2 developers incorporated functionality for teachers to create ‘class groups’ and allocate customised drill-sets of flash cards for individual students. Teachers are able to add words to their students’ dictionary list and assign a variety of games at for individual students.

CanUHanyu was designed to facilitate gamified learning and increase user engagement which is why 2and2 instructional designers incorporated a badge reward system. Badges are awarded for completing flash card sets correctly, for graduating to the next level as well as speed and accuracy. By gamifying language drills, the app enhances student engagement, motivation and enjoyment.

“The students loved competing against each other to try and get better scores. I heard things like, ‘Awesome! I just got an excellent badge’, or ‘I just got three stars!’” - Teacher

Project Marketing

Education Services Australia’s marketing strategy targets Chinese language teachers and Chinese language associations throughout Australia to encourage teachers to use gamified learning in their classrooms and schools.

CanUHanyu is being promoted in a number of ways including direct email marketing, marketing collateral mail-outs, publications and social media networks.

ESA’s marketing approach includes write-ups on their ScootleBlog and Scootle community forums, Twitter networks and Facebook pages. 2and2 has also distributed a number of blog posts and social media updates about the app on its blog site and social pages.

Considering CanUHanyu’s launch was only recent, inclusion on Language Learning Space will prove a highly effective marketing opportunity.

The Language Learning Space is the digital foundation for Australian language learning and is currently being produced by 2and2 in collaboration with Education Services Australia. This site will provide a depository or resources for all Australian language teachers to use in their classrooms and will be accessible nation-wide.

ESA produced a small film clip of students using the app which has been distributed to marketing networks and potential users, the organisation has also presented walk-through demonstrations of CanUHanyu at Chinese language conferences throughout Australia.

Market research shows 81% of students said they found CanUHanyu easy to use and 82% said they liked the ‘look and feel’. A huge 89% of students enjoyed playing the app.

CanUHanyu is available for free on the Android Google Play store, Apple iTunes store and at www.canuhanyu.edu.au

This category relates to educational and family games developed for the mobile platform.
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