The Benefits of Live Instruction

Video conferencing software has made enormous strides in the last few years, and most people probably have encountered multiple applications that can easily facilitate virtual, face-to-face conversations with friends, family, and colleagues from phones or computers.  In the “olden days”–that is, even just three or four years ago–tools like Skype or Google Hangouts would crash, …

Why Don’t We Know How Long It Takes To Learn?

lecture hall

In general, there is evidence that technology can provide educational opportunities to people who would otherwise not have them, which is going to have an enormous impact on the lives of millions.  However, the online courses we offer still tend to be replicas of their face-to-face counterparts, and we are not nearly as innovative or disruptive as we could be when it comes to instructional design.  Perhaps part of the problem is that we are not harnessing the power that technology-driven instruction can bring to learning science.

If You Want to Learn a Language, It’s Time to Stop Playing Games

video game controller

Now more than ever, the education industry is focused on “gamification,” or creating learning activities from games. But many of the things that make playing a game fun are the same factors that make language learning hard. Let’s explore several ways game and language application designers can bridge this gap.

It’s Time for Language Learning to Embrace Individualized Instruction

students in college lecture hall

We know from copious amounts of research that instruction works best when it is personal. Yet daunted at the prospect of sorting this out, many language programs revert to the outdated approach of just assigning everyone the same thing. However, maybe incorporating individualized instruction into a group curriculum isn’t as hard as it might seem.

Immigrants’ Top 10 Language Learning Needs: One Size Does Not Fit All

globe on desk

There are over 43 million immigrants in the U.S., and more than 20 million are adults who are what’s called “Limited English Proficient,” or LEP. This means that on top of all the struggles they face to provide for themselves and their families, they have a huge and staggering additional barrier–not understanding English. Yet our ESL programs often don’t address the multitude of needs of this population in solving the real-world problems they face in their daily lives.