The LANGO tool is intended to enable A1 learners to gradually build upon their initial language competences allocating daily a very short time to language learning activities with the help of flexible electronic platforms. The developers are especially concerned to help people who have to, or wish to, learn a language on their own without the advantages and disadvantages of a formal language course. Apart from the purely linguistic knowledge, the LANGO seeks to increase the level of cultural awareness: this tool allows embedding of cultural information about the countries where the target languages are spoken.
All lessons are structured in the same way and include audio introductions, one activity per day from a choice of activities in the template (e.g. matching, multiple choice, etc.) and a daily wordsearch game.
Interactive Mobile Language Learning in a Changing Europe: ICT Approaches in the LANGO Project
Interactive Mobile Language Learning in a Changing Europe:ICT Approaches in the LANGO ProjectDr. Alan Bruce, ULS IrelandDiana Tsotova, Eurinform, BulgariaICT for Language LearningInternational Conference (5th Edition)Firenze, Italia15 November 2012
OverviewLANGO is a project that was designed to explore opportunities offered by new advanced information and communication technologies in the encouragement of adult learners of less widely used and taught languages.Interactive language learning approaches have been combined with a strong intercultural component so that combined advanced technological tools help to motivate language learning and give insights into culture, traditions and everyday habits.
LANGO Language On The Go: e-Calendar to Encourage Language Learning Project No 519242-LLP-1-2011-1-BG-KA2-KA2MPTarget users: Adult language learners (18+) People participating in EU mobility for study and work Immigrants Other people wishing to develop their language skills in the target languages for personal reasons (cultural interest, friends, business contacts, etc.)
Challenges of second language acquisition• Modern research on challenges and issues around second language acquisition focus on developing awareness, competence and fluency• Role of ICT in gradual building language competences, especially for learners outside the system of formal education• Benefits of learning a language in informal settings• Process of communicative competence acquisition often given little attention despite declared application of communicative methodologies• New technologies give opportunities to develop modern learning tools which can support language learners in general and, particularly, for those learning less widely used languages.
Learner needs• Understandable content of language learning material• Real-life language to increase learner opportunities to use their language skills in direct communication• Using translation to support learners and increase comprehensibility: the LANGO approach is to use English as a ‘lingua franca’ so that to reach out a great number of learners who may be native speakers of various languages• Transferability: translations into native languages can be easily be integrated and replace the English translation (e.g. as specific customer-tailored editions of the tool)
LANGO: Language On the GoEU funded project• Innovative e-learning tool to teach learners Bulgarian, Maltese, Greek and Russian• ICT assisted language learning• Language learning through a mobile phone
Informing Issues• Intercultural learning is an integral part of language learning and needs to receive greater attention.• European migration patterns increase the number of people required to learn and speak another language.• Finding ways to overcome cultural differences, misunderstanding and disengagement is a key component of communicative competence.• LANGO aims to integrate cultural knowledge with language learning to develop mutual accommodation in multicultural societies by creating understanding, respect and dialogue.
Strategic aims• Provide immediate benefits to adult learners who want to further their competence in learning less widely used languages• Facilitate easy movement of citizens within EU higher education for purposes of further study or employment• Promote multilingual and multicultural awareness among all user groups in the longer term.
RationaleLANGOAddresses initial language learningFocuses on what people typically need or want to say in the initialcommunication stagesIntegrates technology for individualized and independent learningin terms of pace, time and place (home, work, on the move, etc.)Provides access to authentic online learning materialUses applications which do not require advanced skills and providebenefits even for lower academic levelsSupports improvement of linguistic and digital competence at thesame time
AdvantagesLANGO users• Gradually build upon their initial language competences• Allocate a very short time per day to language learning activities using flexible electronic platforms• Learn a language on their own without the advantages and disadvantages of a formal language course
Specific aims of LANGO tool• Enable A1 learners to gradually reach a higher level of the target language• Introduce and practice frequently used language patterns• Develop communicative skills: listening comprehension, spoken interaction and spoken production as well as basic reading skills• Motivation: easy language input through real life communicative situations• Increase level of cultural awareness of learner
Learning principles1) functional-notional: learning to recognize communicative functions and express concepts and ideas related to these functions2) situational-topical principle: taking into account topics and the user needs related to the most frequent everyday communication situations
LANGO approachLanguage learning activities are delivered in a calendar format: delivery of each daily lesson is associated with a particular day of the calendar.The learner will need to allocate only 10 minutes every day of the year to maintain and build upon their language skillsThe introductory part of each lesson and the instructions are translated into English to support the learners and increase comprehension.
Structure of the lesson1. Introduction – Listening and recording of a dialogue, short text or language patterns2. Daily activity: matching, multiple choice, filling in the blanks, etc.3. A wordsearch game The daily wordsearch game will be also available via Facebook widgets
Learning content• The learning content for each of the four target languages is divided between generic topics common to A1-A2 language curriculum (CEFR) and country specific culture topics.• The content is delivered inside a specifically designed template.• On the last day of the month users receive a short quiz to check how well they have learnt the monthly content. This helps users to control their progress.• Additional materials to support the learner: a short grammar reference a talking dictionary
Types of learning activities• A variety of entertaining learning activities are designed to motivate the learner to practice language patterns without getting bored: Multiple choice with text, sound or picture Matching pairs (text or pictures) Ordering sequences Media triggers Categorizing different language areas Listening to dialogue, recording oneself and listening to learner’s own recording Wordsearch games based on a sound trigger