'Internationalization at the grassroots level'
April 10, 2015
For nearly three years, a website conceived and developed at Queen’s has fostered a community where students and instructors around the world engage in valuable intercultural language exchanges.
The developers of LinguaeLive want to continue growing those connections, and they have launched a crowdfunding campaign to make it happen.
“We are doing internationalization at the grassroots level,” says Jennifer Ruth Hosek, Associate Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and a founder of the online tool. “LinguaeLive is unique because it connects language instructors as opposed to individual learners. This ensures trust between students and improves the chances of successful exchanges. We are proud of the tool and we want to continue sharing it with the community.”
Using LinguaeLive, language instructors can find other instructors around the world whose students have complementary expert and target languages; students then find suitable peers in the complementary course.
The students communicate with each other in order to improve their proficiency in the language they are acquiring. At the same time, they also learn about the culture and cultivate their independent learning skills, all while having fun.
“LingaueLive is a powerful tool that instructors can integrate into their course delivery in order to improve learning outcomes,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “It’s encouraging to see that active and collaborative learning – a vital component of student engagement – doesn’t have to be limited by geography.”
Mayu Takasaki, a Japanese language instructor at Queen’s who uses LinguaeLive, has found that students are not as nervous to practice their new language when talking with a peer.
“Having that personal connection motivates students, and they see that what we learn in class is relevant,” she says. “Making a personal connection to the culture and the country is so powerful, because it taps into their emotion and that’s what fosters life-long learning.”
Visit LinguaeLive’s Indiegogo page for more information about the tool and the fundraising campaign.
The last day to donate to the campaign is April 29.
Dr. Hosek has seen the impact that cultural exchange can have. Just recently, one of her former students travelled to Germany to meet the person he conversed with using LinguaeLive. Ms. Takasaki also hears from many students who have travelled to Japan to meet their language exchange partners.
Money raised through the Indiegogo campaign will help offset the cost associated with hosting the website. The funding will also support the hiring of Queen’s work study students, who get valuable experience providing technical support for LinguaeLive and promoting the tool to instructors and students.