Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Network Based Language Learning: Crowdsource Model

Published: February 17, 2008
If you can’t manage a trip abroad to learn a foreign language, the Internet and a broadband computer connection may do the job, too.

Commentary: Trend O'Rama!

One of the challenges of learning the foreign language becomes the available time to practice, and to a great extent learning the agility required for fluency.
"LiveMocha (, for example, is a free site where members can tackle 160 hours of beginning or intermediate lessons in French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Hindi or English. There is no charge for tutoring; instead, members tutor one another, drawing on their expertise in their own native language."
The "technology" has great potential (and testimonials from its users) and solves problems of time, location, and costs. Expect with time that these services will have certifications; institutions might well consider how to interoperate with these networked educational programs and leverage the resources offered.

Over time, both "real" video and improving audio will continue to enhance the "being there" experience (referred to as telepresence). For the shy, virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life) will be used to shield identities (as well as promise French instruction from, say, Pepé Le Pew).

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