9.1 proposal: Language learning on the XO.

Eben Eliason eben.eliason at gmail.com
Tue Oct 28 22:48:13 EDT 2008

On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 7:46 PM, Chris Ball <cjb at laptop.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm learning Spanish at the moment, and I wish the XO made it easier
> for me.  I don't have any knowledge of what the right way to do either
> conventional or constructionist language learning on computers is; if
> anyone has much experience with either, I'd love to hear about it.
> I have some obvious candidates for software that could be produced in
> mind:
>   * A method -- similar to Scott's recent GtkLabel overlay for allowing
>     strings inside Sugar and activities to be translated -- that does a
>     dictionary lookup of a word on the screen and overlays the
>     translation of that word into a local language.  This should be
>     activity-agnostic, if possible.  For bonus points, translate
>     phrases instead of just words.

OSX has a really powerful built-in dictionary/thesaurus, which works
in a similar manner.  It's only available anywhere there is selectable
text, but even that is invaluable.  Here's a sample:

You could imagine offering dictionary/thesaurus/translation all in a
similar manner.

- Eben

>   * Perhaps some kind of Pronunciation Activity that gives you words
>     in the target language, speaks them to you, explains what they
>     mean in your local language, and asks you to speak them back,
>     perhaps grading your response?  (All but the last part is already
>     possible to do manually in the Words activity, but not in a
>     structured way.)
>   * Is there any free content that matches iconic images to words,
>     so that language vocabulary could be taught even without textual
>     translation to a local language?
> Feel free to come up with questions/ideas around language learning on
> the XO in general in this thread, and they'll make it into the
> conference talk.
> Thanks,
> - Chris.
> --
> Chris Ball   <cjb at laptop.org>
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