This is a very quick post, as there is not much time to let you guys take action. A new language learning initiative needs your help on Kickstarter. For anyone serious about foreign language learning, this should be a great chance to get involved. Read more about it here – then decide if your polyglot support should follow!
1. Not another language learning website?
If you’ve been visiting this blog for a while, you know I’m always keen to describe and support new language learning initiatives. I still don’t think anyone has cracked the code on how to learn foreign languages online. So my theory is this: the more attempts are out there – the more users they gain – the more feedback they get. It’s no point shouting just at Rosetta Stone and Livemocha – if you have a conversation with the people behind different platforms, they can all learn how to help you study better.
Having said that, there are a few things that make this new initiative a bit different.
2. Meet Papora
I’ve backed Papora a few days ago and I’ve enjoyed a trial version of their Spanish course. There are a few things I can already tell you about the project.
Every lesson on the platform is supposed to start with a real-life situation. This is useful and a nice break from either Memrise or Duolingo – where the items are studied either in isolation or as parts of a largely abstract progress scheme. With Papora, you’re starting out by learning the most useful words and phrases.
There’s plenty of well-structured input in the Spanish lessons I took – and most of them make good sense from a learner’s perspective. It’s not always easy to maintain the link between real-life contexts and basic building blocks of language – but the study and practice modules are well supplemented with grammar and culture bits.
The platform combines computer-assisted language learning with live language exchange. This, I feel, is potentially Papora’s greatest strength – it may turn out to be a really affordable alternative to Rosetta Stone, and a good way to supplement the communities of other foreign language websites out there.
Is it perfect? Of course not. The interface on my Mac still plays some tricks every now and then, the Android app is still in the works – and I’m personally missing more feedback on spoken and written production. But it’s powerful for a start-up.
Which is why it needs support to take it further.
3. Help Papora
The folks behind the platform are trying to make exciting things happen. They will need to cover more languages, get more promotion, and invest in apps to make Papora a success.
The Kickstarter they’ve prepared is actually one of the better-rewarded programmes I’ve seen. You get given several language courses – or get to feature in them – or even sponsor a language!
You haven’t got long to show this project some polyglot love. Go do so. Hope to see you there soon.
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