It’s been a while since I’ve last written here, and I want to ease back in by sharing my friends’ amazing language education project and how you can help them to win a $100,000 grant from the state of Nevada.
Loogla stands for Looking Glass Learning. Jen and Tyler have built this system to turn any website into a personalized language tutor. The initial application is help independent learners get beyond the plateau of basic Spanish skills, to develop real fluency on their favorite topics. And their vision includes helping kids learn to read and gain all the benefits of thinking multilingually.
Here’s their inspiring video:
And here are some facts from Loogla’s profile:
Can we be bold? Loogla is a marvel, a breakthrough in education that bases learning around a student’s personal interests so they stay engaged. The ability to apply guided discovery to just about anything is the “Holy Grail” in education.
Why should I care?
You probably realize that in an increasingly global world, your native language just isn’t enough anymore.
Here are some things you might not already know:
- Bilinguals enjoy a 5-20% wage premium and are more employable.
- Advanced language learning delays Alzheimer’s disease.
- 85% of Americans believe children should speak another language.
- Despite improving literacy, critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and more, funding for language programs was cut by 40%.
- The United States is the second largest Spanish speaking country, between Spain and Mexico.
- There are 1 billion language learners. That will double in 10 years.
- Being bilingual helps people to better focus their attention.
- 31% of corporate executives speak more than one language
- Language learning promotes cultural understanding, and from that flows immeasurable global benefits.
- It just makes you smarter!
Foreign languages are important to me. (I’ve written about this before.) And in my experience teaching English in both China and Chile, it’s incredibly hard to train students to think in the target language. Every time there is even the smallest doubt, my students translate each word literally into their native tongue. This leads their focus away from the text in question, and I know it’s not the most effective method.
I’m so glad that Loogla has created a way to help learners push through to the next level without stepping outside the text into the comfort zone of Google Translate, a dictionary, or begging the teacher for a literal translation.
I met Jen and Tyler when we were all part of Start-Up Chile. They had previously lived in Argentina for several years, where they learned Spanish but were frustrated with the challenge of getting beyond an intermediate plateau to achieve solid fluency. So they used their experience in programming and e-learning to build a solution that’s unlike anything else out there. And they need your vote.
No logins, no Facebook likes, just a vote.
Here’s a short note from Jen and Tyler about how much your vote means, and how to spread the word.
1) Vote directly at http://ves.to/loogla (there is no login to vote so it’s really easy! One vote per device)
3) Share the video with anybody and everybody who believes that education matters!Voting begins on May 22nd and ends on June 21st, the summer solstice. Let’s make it a good one. Your support means the world to us, and could make the crucial difference and ensure that our years of hard work get to see the light of day.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And after you vote, I’d love to hear more about your experiences in getting beyond the language learning plateau. I think this is something every global citizen can relate to on some level.