In laymen terms, LingoZING is an audio-visual story-telling system that allows a learner to see two languages side by side (in the LZTool box); and by seeing the speech balloons in the context of an image, which is part of a story, the User can easily assimilate the entirety. Context is very important, since the broader story can be intuited and allow the ‘sum of the parts’ to be understood.
We are wired to understand grammar. It may seem a strange statement, but as children grow – their language assimilation sets up automatically and also provides a certain logic and system of understanding, which is the reason why multi-lingual people have different perspectives according to the languages they speak (if these are, or become, part of their core ‘mechanisms.’)
The school that advocates the ‘Immersion’ technique believes that the best way to learn is to ‘immerse’ oneself in a surrounding where the only way to communicate is ‘in’ the language you are learning. We believe there is truth to that, however, having a parallel understanding of what words mean (in our LZtool box) and being able to hear and read the words simultaneously, by using our audio system, can make learning easier and friendlier.
Compare this to subtitles in movies, which many have successfully used world-wide for the same reasons; however, subtitles are handicapped because one cannot stop, repeat or record oneself—and act upon the learning at one’s own pace. But the mere fact that so many people have benefitted from that method is proof that the brain absorbs the duality between hearing one language while reading another.
One could use a regular comic book in the language being learned; however, the User is looking at the pictures and reading the accompanying texts without being fully able to ‘understand’ the word/s. The User may read them out loud—but have no idea of the pronunciation.
With LingoZING, being able to read attentively and hear the pronunciation helps truly absorb the word within the sentence within the story.
LingoZING also uses two speeds: normal speed (the way people talk) and slow speed (slowed down), giving additional assistance for those who need that pace—which is many of us when learning the sounds of a new language! Story appeals to the imagination and to many psychological factors – thus it can also be argued that emulating characters one likes is further incentive to pronounce better and ‘own’ the language.
On a separate note, amongst the titles we have chosen, there are some that are representative of the cultures that are the backdrop of their creators. We believe that such cultural understanding also assists in language learning on a subconscious level.
For an in-depth comprehensive exposé, please read the White Paper.
HOW DO YOU LEARN?
LingoZING has developed TOOLS (LZTools) to help the learning experience.
Whereas ‘How does LingoZING Teach?’ explains why you learn – the ‘how’ is by using the LZ Tools, which are mostly to be found in the Task Bar.
VISUAL: COMPARATIVE (The LZLanguage Slider) LingoZING! features the native language and the one the User wishes to learn side by side. Seeing the words and sentences next to each other enables the User to grasp vocabulary, and an intuition of the grammar of the language the User is learning – as not only can the words be identified, but so is the construction of the sentence. When presented in this manner, the mind strives to find the correlations. Sometimes very close translations are not possible. In these cases, LingoZING’s translators have adhered to the spirit of the sentence and translated accordingly. This allows for double learning, as the User learns both the correct colloquial expression and more vocabulary.
AUDIO / VISUAL: RAPID FLOW: Using the ‘language slider’ to switch from one language to the other allows for speed of transition so you hear one language then the other, back to back. This provides a comparative analysis, as often as a User wishes, and at the Users’ preferred pace – which better enables absorption.
AUDIO / VISUAL SPELLING & RETENTION: Reading the words while hearing the audio of the chosen words, helps master spelling and, combined with the audio, helps retention.
AUDIO / VISUAL. IMMERSION: CONFIDENCE LEVEL AND CHOICE OF METHOD (The LZ Change Visual tools) Swipe the Tool bar down and chose to only see the (one) language on the screen. This step helps perfect the User’s confidence and ‘own’ the language. If you only see and hear the language that is being learned, the User needs to mentally rehearse the meaning of the words and sentences. The User can then test their knowledge by running both languages next to each other in the LZTool box after finishing each segment. This uses an ‘immersion’ system and some may wish to try it alone without ever referring to the duality available.
AUDIO- PHONETICS: (The LZAudio Features) Touch a text caption to hear the audio: Every time you play an audio-text the User absorbs the phonetics of the words heard.
COMPOUNDED RETENTION: (LZPlay) Have the entire story read by professional actors. Reading AND hearing a story in its entirety enhances retention by leaps and bounds. Here we have Comprehensive Retention at play – a very effective and proven methodology.
AUDIO: HELP FOR POLYSYLLABIC WORDS: (The SLOW feature) By listening attentively, a User can ingest a word’s pronunciation easier than when heard in normally spoken speed. This allows the User to better emulate the speech sounds until they are comfortable with the word. This is especially helpful for more complicated polysyllabic words, which are easier to master using this function.
LZGRAM (Voice Recording Feature): Select a text and tap the ‘record’ button. The ‘LZGRAM’ function scores the User’s pronunciation, and if Users achieve over 70% accuracy, they are given the option to share their results on Facebook, Twitter, SMS and iMessage (a social motivator). This tool also gives the analysis of how the User’s pronunciation was evaluated by the LZGram recording tool, and encourages the User to keep practicing until the user successfully creates an LZGram. An LZGram is the User’s reward for mastering the correct pronunciation.
The ability to pronounce correctly is also key to language learning, as it gives confidence and allows communication, which in turn motivates the Learner. The LZGram is highly effective, as is the SLOW function, to perfect pronunciation. These factors motivate the User to work on their LzGrams till near perfect.
The LZGram also invites the User to repeat the chosen words until they get it right. Repetition is another key to language learning. Unlike language learning “flashcards”, which are divorced from all context, the repetition in LZ is made even more effective with the ‘LZ–live-audio-visual-in–context’, which connects words to myriad associations: the context of the story, the characters, and the emotions of the narrative.
VOCABULARY ANALYSIS: Each comic/ graphic novel has a certain amount of words, and uses certain grammar variables. The User can check the level, grammar and how many words (and what level of vocabulary) each title teaches by going to the “A pedagogical reference for titles” link (hyper-link, pls.)
For all the reasons listed LingoZING! has chosen this methodology to make language learning EFFECTIVE and FUN!
Neil Cohn Ph.D.
Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication
Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg The Netherlands
And Kyra Pahlen