Category Archives: News

LingoBee @mLearn 2012 – Helsinki

During the busy month of October Lingobee was also presented in Helsinki at mLearn Conference on 15-18 October. With a small information desk by the conference room was a good opportunity to have some interesting “watercooler conversations” about mobile apps, language learning or platform issues and sharing the results and visions of our project.

As one of the basic pillar of the conference, language learning had its own workshop section on Monday, where we got acquainted with some advanced projects on the field like English in Action or iSpot. It was nice to see the complexity of these programs, and get information about the future possibilities of app development.

Small Lingobee gadgets, flyers and posters about the features were available for the audience during the conference, and from the event’s Twitter channel, online users could get some further information about the project.

More pictures from the conference:

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Maseltov Workshop, Barcelona

Maseltov Logo

Last week we presented Lingobee at the Maseltov workshop on Mobile Services for Immigrant People. Recognising that language skills and cultural understanding are key factors for migrants to settle in and find a job in their host country, the workshop organisers invited us to present Lingobee and discuss how the experience in SIMOLA can inform the Maseltov project.

While the Maseltov project has a strong language learning partner in Busuu, an online language learning community with over 7 million users, Lingobee’s simplicity and its focus on in-situ language learning struck a chord with workshop participants.

Busuu’s strength lies in partnering language learners with native speakers and providing tightly focused learning materials for its users relating to specific contexts and situations. While the system implements a traditional transfer model of learning based on instruction and practice, it is very popular with learners due to the direct interaction with native speakers, who correct exercises and are available for chats.

Lingobee, by contrast, is based on social-constructivist learning theory. Instead of completing ready-made exercises, Lingobee users actively collect and annotate language- and culture-related content they encounter in their daily lifes. Content is shared in user groups, ensuring relevance to other learners and honouring the fact that dialects and customs can vary greatly between regions in the same language space.

As there is little overlap between these two systems, an interesting approach would be to combine their features. Busuu could benefit from the integration of in-situ user-generated content, to scaffold the interaction between learners and native speakers and to inform the creation of relevant and authentic learning materials. In return, Lingobee could benefit from the involvement of native speakers to clarify meanings and correct mistakes, and from structured learning materials to broaden the learning from user-generated content.

An app combining these features and integrating with Busuu’s huge user base would make for a well-rounded language learning service. However, even without an integrated service, it certainly makes sense for learners to look at both models and spice up generic language learning with active content creation and authentic materials found in their daily lives.

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Generation Mobile

Not so fresh, but useful infographic about mobile usage of students. It should be nice to see another one, which shows how they learn actually. We hope, Lingobee will show the way to outline some useful attitudes and we can represent them like this one.

Lingobee @ Bett 2012

Lyn Pemberton and Robb Cunningham @ Bett 2012Last week Lyn Pemberton, Marcus Winter and Robb Cunningham from the University of Brighton had a Lingobee stand at the 2012 BETT Show in London Olympia. BETT is visited by more than 30.000 education professionals from all over the globe keen to learn about the latest educational technology products, resources and best practices.

There was a lot of interest in Lingobee from across the board. Talking to teachers, community workers, consultants, policy makers, educational publishers and developers our heads are still buzzing with new ideas and use cases for Lingobee.

What was striking in all these discussions is that while Lingobee was developed in first place to support informal in-situ language learning, many professionals we talked to see it as a more general tool for mobile and social language learning. Marcus Winter @ BETT 2012

Among the many use cases we discussed were children of Jamaican immigrants using Lingobee to learn the native language of their parents and grandparents, English learners on a school trip to the UK using Lingobee to collect material and share it with their peers at home in Spain, and publishers using Lingobee as a tool to enrich their professionally edited materials with user-generated content.

Well, there are lots of leads to follow up over the coming weeks. For now we’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to see us at BETT.

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