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7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL
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7000 Languages Project in partnership with NCOLCTL


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Overview of the 7000 Languages Project, a partnership between Transparent Language, Inc. and the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) to leverage technology for the …

Overview of the 7000 Languages Project, a partnership between Transparent Language, Inc. and the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) to leverage technology for the preservation of the world's less commercially-profitable languages, such as heritage and endangered languages. Presented at the 16th annual NCOLCTL Conference on April 26, 2013.

Published in: Technology, Education
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  • Great initiative, Michael! It's nice to see people like you do things because they are the right thing to do.. not just business!
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  • Transparent Language and the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages are proud to announce the 7000 Languages Project. Our goal: to make the most powerful teaching and learning technology we know of available to proponents and practitioners all of the world’s languages.
  • According to Ethnologue, there are currently about 7,105 living languages in existence.
  • Technology is changing our world. New tools, practices, and means of communication mean that anyone willing to make the effort can become proficient in another language. Whoever you are. Wherever you are.
  • Will languages of limited commercial interest be left behind? Of the 7,105 living languages, 100 or 200 get significant attention from the developers of technology – automated speech recognition, web page translation, reading web pages aloud, etc. Some benefit trickles down to other languages, but in general, the top tier languages get the attention of top tier technology. The 7000 Languages Project intends to change that, at least with regard to the technology for teaching and learning languages.
  • Transparent Language deals with far more languages than most companies. For libraries and educational institutions, we provide materials in about 80 languages. Our government customers think seriously about perhaps 150, sometimes more, and because of that we sometimes do things with less-common languages that as far as we know, no other company is doing. Still, 150 is not 7,000.
  • Enter the 7000 Languages Project. This is a non-profit effort. Our aim is to work with language friends and colleagues to take the fruits of the investments we make for our government and commercial customers and make them freely and practically available to people who care about almost never taught languages and never taught languages – “The Earth’s other 7,000 languages.” I’m now going to tell you about why Transparent Language’s technology is particularly suitable to the 7000 Languages Project. Or, in other words, how did Transparent Language end up with certain kinds of technology that no one else has, and how does that apply to the 7000 Languages Project?
  • But first let’s take a brief look at the most recent 7000-style project we’ve been involved with. Our company has long done pro bono projects of this sort for Heritage languages and Endangered languages. This has been on a small scale – here and there, as resources and workload allow. We called it HELPP, the Heritage and Endangered Language Preservation Program. Our most recent HELPP project was to work with a language team from doing Balinese. Because of a number of successful projects like this, we know that the idea works, and in fact the technology just gets better and better as time goes on, so projects actually become easier. Email from Alissa Stern of BasaBali 2/11/2013: “Just wanted to give you an update and also, to thank you so much again for all of your help with this. It’s been a tremendously wonderful project to work on.” “1 class of 40 kids each in 12 different Balinese middle schools have now signed up to pilot the materials (total of 480 children). University linguistic students under the guidance of their professors will work with the middle school teachers to teach from the materials and to add more…” “Meanwhile, we've been getting really nice feedback and lots of appreciation.”
  • Excerpt from the BasaBali April newsletter: DVDs have been mailed to those who ordered them. Will be available at the Ubud Earth Day Celebration. Free to nonprofits. Modest fee to individuals. Or be green and use the online version, Internet permitting. National Education Curriculum We look forward to supplying whatever schools are interested with our software free of charge in either the Balinese –English version available now, or the Balinese-Indonesian version (estimated release is next summer.) It’s very exciting to see that the Governor is likely to issue a ruling that allows Balinese to be taught as a separate subject in the schools.
  • So we have proof of concept, but how did we end up with a different set of technologies and capabilities than other companies? Our primary customers are government organizations with stringent language requirements. For these organizations, language training is essential but disruptive; it takes people out of their primary jobs. The economic and operational impact of having so many people in long training programs is enormous. It is critical to find a way to train much more quickly, with reliable results. That’s what we do. Our customers are trying to achieve what some of them call “language transformation”. Our mission is to innovatively and aggressively support their efforts.
  • We do some things that many other companies also do. And some that are done only by a few - or even just by us. In particular, our work on technology for “surge” requirements, and on technology for declaratively-accelerated blended learning, is unique.
  • A surge is a situation where resources, often humanitarian, are suddenly needed somewhere in the world. In such situations, responders need to rapidly come up to speed on a language that could easily be one of the “7000”. Transparent Language's unique abilities have allowed us be of some help in some recent surge situations, like the Haiti emergency, the Pakistan floods, and Fukushima, by making specialized software and content available to responders. What language software has to deliver for such a situation: - Rapid development, rapid distribution - High-quality, robust products usable by average teachers and people - Assignable, trackable content And, especially when dealing with language support for under-resourced languages: - The technology for displaying appropriate fonts - The ability for the user to enter text – not as simple as it sounds! Our tech provides virtual keyboards, functionality to allow the remapping of the physical keyboard, accent cycling for using keyboards without the accented characters, and other systems and ways to type in a less-common language. And don’t forget mobile functionality – anywhere, anytime. And VOICE INPUT!
  • Supporting all languages is actually really tough. Other companies aren’t working on it. One feature we’ve developed is a speech analysis technology we call EveryVoice. EveryVoice is a fundamental speech analysis technology that focuses on the capabilities needed to drive language training activities. It works in all the languages we’ve tried so far, and we’re constantly improving it. One reason this feature is so important to language learning is that using your own voice breaks down the intimidation barrier of speaking out loud, and builds automaticity. Automated Speech Recognition can be used for similar purposes, but is available in too few languages.
  • Our technology supports any style of teaching or learning. Most language software companies want you to adopt and support their curriculum and their instructional methodology. Our approach is to support your curriculum and your methodology. Completely different. One methodology we are big fans of is called Declaratively Accelerated Blended Learning, or the “declarative-first approach,” “lexical spine,” or “flipped language classroom.” This approach can deliver truly transformative outcomes – by which we mean reaching training goals in much, much less time, or achieving stronger and more consistent outcomes in the same amount of time. So that’s a favorite teaching method. The reason we single it out is that it presents significant challenges for the technology component of the blended learning. In particular, because the technology is highly customized to each unit of each program of instruction, courseware and learningware need to be authored and delivered in vastly less time and for much less cost than possible with traditional multimedia. Solving these problems required us to develop a new type and layer of technology. And that technology is particularly suited for used with the 7000 Languages Project.
  • This same tech allows a seamless transition to lifelong language sustainment. I mentioned the economic and operational costs of having so many people in long language training programs. Imagine how frustrating it is to have that knowledge just fade away after training ends. We prevent this by allowing the user to efficiently refresh Learned Items anywhere... anytime. And that will be true for 7000 Language Project learners as well. In serving our customers searching for transformational results, we have created what seem to be the perfect technologies for the 7000 Languages Project. It’s knowing that our assets fit this purpose so well that that compels us to make it available in this way. It would be a waste if we didn’t.
  • So how will the NCOLCTL 7000 Initiative actually work? Transparent Language will provide the technology and will train and support NCOLCTL. NCOLCTL 7000 Committee personnel will: - let the world of NCOLCTL and beyond know what’s possible with the 7000 Project - choose the language teams to work with - help those teams decide what they want to build - stick with each project to completion
  • The first tier (“level 1”) of a 7000 Language Project could consist of choosing the 100 most used words and phrases for the language. For each word or phrase, the content creators will need to provide the following: Target language text English meaning Target language pronunciation Image (optional) Notes (optional) After they collect this information, they can enter it into our tech…
  • The 100 items can then be divided into 10 vocabulary lists of 10 items each, for easier learning.
  • The result is a system of highly functional and pedagogically effective courseware that can be launched and tracked from a Learning Management System, companion learningware, and companion mobile apps. (iOS and Android, for the moment)
  • Once the core course is created, there are several distribution avenues available, including: The 7000 Language team’s website DVDs or another physical media format Transparent Language’s Library and Institutional products The expectation is that the results of the 7000 project will usually be given away free, or included free with other products. The language team who created a 7000 project retains content ownership.
  • The next level of a project could involve creating sample sentences for each of the initial 100 words and phrases. This content can then be used to create a Word of the Day service, one of our most popular free resources on the mainstream language side.
  • Adding alphabet information allows the creation of industry-leading alphabet learning activities.
  • If a program of instruction for the language already exists, we can work with that content to make LMS-tracked courses, aligned by lesson and unit.
  • Don’t overlook the powerful tools that social media presents. If a project has a social media presence, such as a Facebook page or Twitter account, content feeds such as Word of the Day can be integrated into that experience. In the case of our BasaBali partnership, we’ve integrated their own blog feed and Facebook community right into the language learning interface.
  • Today, we’ve only taken the first small steps into the potential of the 7000 Project. As we grow into it, we hope to truly revolutionize what’s available for the learning of all the world’s languages. Technology makes that future possible, but not without the support and help of those passionate about world’s “other 7000 languages”.
  • If you want to get involved, contact NCOLCTL or the originator of this presentation, Transparent Language’s CEO, Michael Quinlan, [email_address] . Thank you.
  • Transcript

    • 1. - Ethnologue, 2013Image by NASA Goddard via flickr
    • 2. Technology is changing ourTechnology is changing ourworldworld
    • 3. Will languages of limitedWill languages of limitedcommercial interestcommercial interestImage by PatrickCastania via flickr
    • 4. A Linguistically Richer TomorrowA Linguistically Richer Tomorrow
    • 5. National EducationCurriculum UpdateWonderful news on thecurriculum front: theEducation and CultureMinistry has declaredthat Balinese couldindeed be taught as aseparate subject if theGovernor issues a decreethat regulates howBalinese will betaught. Governor Pastikahas indicated a clearintention to issue theappropriate decree. Welook forward tosupplying whateverschools are interestedwith our software (free ofcharge) in either theBalinese-English version(available now) or theBalinese-Indonesianversion (estimatedrelease is nextsummer). If you know ofschools or organizationsEndangered Alphabets CarvingsTim Brookes of Endangered Language Alphabets hasgenerously offered to make customBalinese scriptcarvings to encourage people to donate to ourKickstarter campaign, through which we are trying toraise funds for the creation of the Balinese-Indonesianversion of the materials. Our campaign is at Kickstartercampaign( and you can see samples of Tims work are available and ready to shipWith many thanks to Jonathan Olier, Ayu Mandala andAgus Pranayoga, many of our DVDs have been alreadymailed to those who ordered them. If you happen to bearound Ubud on April 21st, we’ll be participating in anEarth Day celebration at the Jiwa Damai Permacultureand Retreat Center, south of Mambal Market and willhave DVDs available then (or you can order themonline through our site, As always,they free for nonprofit organizations and available at amodest fee for individuals Better yet, be green and,internet permitting, use the online version!
    • 6.  Language Awareness Language Familiarization Supplemental Instruction Generic Curriculum “Surge” Languages andDomains Declaratively-AcceleratedBlended Learning Not unique Not unique Not unique Not unique Unique Unique
    • 7.  Haiti Earthquake Pakistan Floods FukushimaThere will always be unexpected needs for language training, inunexpected corners of the world.Tomorrow?Image by American Red Cross via flickr
    • 8. Example:Example: EveryVoiceEveryVoice™ Speech Analysis™ Speech AnalysisTechnologyTechnology
    • 9. Declarative(Words, Phrases)Procedural(Skills)Unit Unit UnitExample:Example: Declaratively-Accelerated BlendedDeclaratively-Accelerated BlendedLearningLearningAsynchronous(Computer)Synchronous(Instructors, Peers)
    • 10. ContinuousContinuousRefreshRefresh......
    • 11. How will theHow will theImage by wwarby via flickr
    • 12. Image by Metor153 via flickr
    • 13. Enter or import the data in 10 groups of 10itemsImage by Metor153 via flickr
    • 14. Result: World-class Software for Web, Desktop,MobileImage by Metor153 via flickr
    • 15. Distribution Options7000 Language team’s websiteDVD or other physical mediaNCOLCTL 7000 websiteIncluded in Transparent Language 80+language offerings forLibraries and InstitutionsExpectation is that 7000 products will usually be given awayfree (If sold, 20% royalty)Language Team retains content ownershipImage by Metor153 via flickr
    • 16. Add sample sentences to create aAdd sample sentences to create aWord of the DayWord of the DayImage by JacobEnos via flickr
    • 17. Add alphabet information to createAdd alphabet information to createalphabet learning activitiesalphabet learning activitiesImage by JacobEnos via flickr
    • 18. Got a program of instruction?Got a program of instruction?We can make LMS-trackedWe can make LMS-trackedcourses, aligned by lesson andcourses, aligned by lesson andunitImage by JacobEnos via flickr
    • 19. IntegratingIntegratinglexicallexicalcontent withcontent withsocial mediasocial mediaImage by JacobEnos via flickr
    • 20. Image by wackybadger via flickr