Thursday, July 09, 2009

Language Learning Online

Check out LiveMocha! It is an online approach to learning languages that works along the "social networking" model like Facebook and MySpace - only this international community is filled with people learning foreign languages.

There are online courses offered in several languages (a free version as well as very inexpensive "premium" versions that offer a few extra benefits, such as help from professional tutors) that make use of multimedia and instant feedback for learning (along the lines of the popular and expensive Rosetta Stone). And, your exercises (written and spoken) are critiqued by native speakers in the community. Also, you can help others learn by critiquing their English (or whatever language you speak).

You can "friend" people based native language or based on whatever other languages they are studying (as well as the level of their expertise).

If you are interested in taking a course, you can take a little quiz in the language of your choice just to assess where you are. I was placed in intermediate French (based on a short reading quiz). However, upon starting the free French 201 course, I realized my writing and speaking were rusty. So, I actually re-enrolled in the French 101 course for practice and review. And when I submitted exercises for peer review, I was asked to help out a couple people with their English.

LiveMocha is looking to expand the language courses offered, and there are many optional helps available, such as flashcards you can download and additional exercises for practice.

Here is a write-up on Wikipedia, also a review at VentureBeat, and here is the help page from LiveMocha itself.

Language is ultimately about communication, and it makes great sense to exploit the World Wide Web to share language learning and practice with people around the world. It is stunning how many people around the world are fluent or advanced in multiple languages - and are still interested in learning new ones.

The little I have used LiveMocha so far, I'm impressed.


Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

This looks really interesting. However, I must say that every time I try to register, I am told that an email has been sent to me (which I have never received), and then I am told that I have stumbled onto an internal error. I will keep trying, though.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Good news. Today I received an email from live mocha; they were finally ready to process my registration. Just as a warning to others, it seems that sometimes live mocha's system gets a little snagged. I am looking forward to seeing what they have to offer.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Deacon Latif:

I'm sorry you had the glitches. My experience with LiveMocha has been excellent so far. If you'd like to friend me, my username is simply my first and last names (in one word, of course).

Bonne chance!