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.

Parents Are Key to Success for Young English Learners

Voxy’s Dr. Katie Nielson recently wrote an op-ed that was published by The 74, an online education-focused publication. Dr. Nielson takes on the very timely challenge of educating young recent immigrants in English. Here is a short excerpt: Like any student group with additional needs, English learners can achieve academically with access to sufficient resources …

[Video] Innovation in Edtech

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion on trends in Education Technology. The panel was comprised of participants from four different companies focused on different aspects of technology-mediated instruction, including one using compression technology to make streaming videos accessible in low-bandwidth areas, one that created a tool to …

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 Yet daunted at the prospect of sorting this out, many language programs revert to the outdated approach of just assigning everyone the same thing.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.

Why Authentic Content Is Important

man ordering at coffee shop

Authentic content gives learners exposure to the kind of language that they ultimately want to understand and create for themselves. If you don’t use authentic content, and teach learners with scripted dialogs or simplified materials written by language teachers, you’re not giving them models for how to produce or understand the language they’ll encounter in the wild. Not only is this ineffective, it’s also inefficient.