Monday, August 10, 2009

Learning Languages on the Web

I'm grateful to dchud for pointing out to me these two outstanding open-access web sites: lang-8 and . I'm particularly intrigued by the way lang-8 connects people around the world who are trying to improve their language skills. For example, it lets you keep a "journal" that native readers will review and correct for you (and you do the same for them), and might even help you make new friends along the way. You collect something like karma points for correcting other people's journal entries and doing other helpful things, which then elevates your site ranking. What I like about are the language tutorials (along with toolkits for building your own tutorials) with digital flash cards, vocabulary quizes, example sentences, native speaker pronunciation, usage notes, and other features. I wonder if these kinds of sites will soon be putting the text book publishers out of business.

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