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Summary Details

Query:   Open Source Language Learning/Addendum
Author:  Doug Whalen
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Computational Linguistics

Summary:   A while back, I posted this query:

> Does anyone know of any open-source programs for teaching a language?
> Ideally, this would be something modularized so that new languages
> could be introduced into the system.

I received some responses, which I summarize below. I thank:
Monica Ward
Anders Damgren H?jen
Deborah W. Anderson
John Dowding

Monica Ward had the most directly relevant posting:

>I have developed a template for developing CALL (Computer Assisted Language
>Learning) materials for Endangered Languages (although it could be used for
>any language). I have used XML technologies and the design is modular.
>I have developed courseware in Nawat (or Pipil), an Endangered Language of
>El Salvador. There is an online version of the course at:
>There is also a CD and a printed version (for those with no computer
>I have started working with Louanna Furbee on developing a version for the
>Tojolab'al language of Mexico.
>I have also developed a (very rough) demo lesson for Kabiye (a language of
>Togo, Benin). It is available at:
>It is not difficult to generate the courseware (it mainly involves entering
>plain text into files and running a script to create the web pages).
>The aim of the template is to enable Endangered Language communities to
>develop CALL courseware easily and without too much difficulty. I believe
>that developing modern, online courseware can help raise the prestige of a
>language, both within the EL community and amongst the wider community
>(amongst other benefits). I have written several papers about the template
>and CALL in the EL context.

Deborah Anderson also had reference to a relevant project:

>One resource being developed at UC Davis in Open Remote
>Collaboration Tool (OpenRCT), described at
> . This is being supported (or is in
>some way related to) the UC Language Consortium as a means to teach
>languages, though it can also be used for other purposes as well.
>They have a multilingual chat capability, which works well in a
>cross-platform environment, except for a particular problem with
>Arabic on the Mac. The developers, under Dick Walters, are eager for
>input and would be happy to answer questions.

She also pointed out that there is an email list called Language
Learning Technology International at, which might
be a place to continue a discussion about open source programs; there
is not much there right now.

Anders Damgren H?jen pointed out VISL (,
which has tools for various languages. It is not immediately clear
whether this is open source or not, but it's a very interesting site.

John Dowding runs a web site that makes some open source software
available: None of this is geared toward
language learning, but it might be useful for other interface issues.

Thanks to all,
Doug Whalen DhW
Doug Whalen (
Haskins Laboratories
270 Crown St.
New Haven, CT 06511
203-865-6163, ext. 234
FAX: 203-865-8963

LL Issue: 13.2303
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2002
Original Query: Read original query


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