Dr. Katie Nielson, Chief Education officer at Voxy, gives her take on the translation approach to language learning.
More than a million people a day connect to Duolingo, an app which causes much derision in ELT circles with attacks on its pedagogical validity. But what happens if you judge it through the prism of research into Second Language Acquisition? Geoff Jordan finds out.
The criteria for evaluating the worth of any language learning software must include some assessment of its fitness for purpose. That is to say, does it facilitate learning? But how do you measure this? Short of empirically testing the software on a representative cross-section of learners, we need a rubric according to which the learning power of the item can be estimated. And this rubric should, ideally, be informed by our current understandings of how second languages are best learned, understandings which are in turn derived from the findings of researchers of second language acquisition (SLA).