Sunday, January 21, 2007

Let's learn English

This is seems like a really interesting site. It is a Moodle site for free English "classes". I haven't been able to find much in the way of classes but it looks like it's just getting started.

The most interesting thing about this site is a "partner" blog ( for a free, live Skypecast that learners and native speakers can participate in. I haven't been able to do this yet, but it would make for an excellent Website/software evaluation.

I really respect this approach and I'd love to know more about the folks carrying this out.



Mary Spaeth said...

Interesting blog site. A bit difficult to grasp the content and know how to act and react, however. I find that I am most attracted to sites where the graphics, comments, instructions and overall content are really focussed on "fast grasp"--the first step to user friendliness. I'll go back to revisit this one later however.

Dan said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks for checking that out. I agree. If it's not very obvious how to use the site from the moment it loads, it's difficult to get into it.

Really the part of this that is interesting, however, is that there is a group running English lessons for free through Skype. I really think that this, combined with the use of things like Skypecasts by ordinary language learners, will reduce the need for/desire for foreign teachers of English in countries like Korea, Japan, and so forth. While native English speakers might continue to be a commodity for young learners (Pre-K to middle school), I have a feeling that the highly paid "conversation teacher," in Korea at least, is going to be a thing of the past.

That's why I think that this site is so fascinating. It signals a coming change that is represented elsewhere in education. The movement from acquired content to developed content. Learners develop or participate in the creation of their own content for learning the language. This model has grown out of other participatory practices fostered by "Web 2.0" technologies and, more importantly, the change of mindset brought about by the read/write Web in general.


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