Why Translation and Games Don’t Work for Language Training (…but Voxy Does)

dictionary entry

We know from dozens of years of research that learning a language requires motivation and engagement, but we also know that we are doing learners a disservice when we aren’t teaching them the right thing. While games are fun and translation intuitive, the right approach is something altogether different.

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, …

¿Por qué no sabemos cuánto tiempo toma aprender algo?

lecture hall

Existe evidencia de que, en general, la tecnología puede brindar oportunidades de estudio a quienes no podrían acceder a la educación de otra manera, lo cual tendrá un impacto enorme en la vida de millones de personas.  Sin embargo, los cursos en línea siguen siendo copias de las clases presenciales y, en cuanto al diseño instruccional, todavía podríamos ser mucho más innovadores y revolucionarios.  Quizás, parte del problema se deba a que no estamos aprovechando todo lo que la enseñanza impulsada por tecnología puede ofrecer a la ciencia del aprendizaje.

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 Yet daunted at the prospect of sorting this out, many language programs revert to the outdated approach of just assigning everyone the same thing.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