lin'guage - Self-Directed Language Learning

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Abstract

There are more than 175 million migrant workers around the world. For example, 25% of the population of Singapore is comprised of migrants. As a result, social alienation arises from the language gap needing to be bridged. This gap oftentimes causes high (and unnecessary) levels of stress in the lives of these migrants.

Mentally preparing for such a migration is but one of the steps which can help alleviate the stress cause by acculturation. Learning the local language and cultural mannerisms can help migrants better prepare for moving to a different country.

Inspiration and Method

Inspired by an immigrant mother who has learned French in order to adapt to her surroundings and many friends in similar situations, much background research was also performed in order to properly frame such broad language learning service. Testing over 28 existing language learning solutions, performing over 15 interviews and observing many learners in the wild contributed to the construction of many functional language learning prototypes. [Language Acquisition Projects], [Guided Conversation], [Social Profiler], [Lockscreen Flashcards] and even more prototypes were built as quickly as possible and tested with potential learners in order to validate their effectiveness, effectiveness for retention and fun factor.

Result

These prototypes were refined and packaged into the lin’guage service, a tool comprised of mobile software, a personal dictionary and language-specific branded objects; all of which could be used anywhere in the world to learn the local language wherever migrants move. The software is made for busy people, presenting fun learning challenges tailor-picked for learners which only take between 1 and 5 minutes to complete. Designed as a framework, lin’guage can be used to learn any language from any language. (A German speaker could learn Korean, or a Swedish speaker could learn Chinese).