Smart and Immersive Language Learning Environment
Language learning is a process which requires focus and immersion in the target language. With regards to e-learning, in which the language learner is much more autonomous in his or her language learning process, having an immersive virtual platform that enables the learner to pursue his or her own goals is a challenge to be reckoned with. In this scenario, it is important that the platform offers both ready-to-use instruments and adaptive resources that can recognize user-developed or user-prompted materials. In this way the learner is not completely attached to the predeveloped material and can focus on his or her own interests.
Distance learning is a flexible solution for coping with the extreme diversity of language learners interested in vocational training. e-learning solutions enable people, at any stage of their life, to take part in stimulating learning experiences. And it is clear that the adoption of these learning tools increases. Many free e-learning platforms (of various quality and coverage) have been released in the last few years and they tend to recruit more and more users, even if they sometimes have strong limitations. On the professional market, the same observation can be made: for the sole Walloon Region, more than 2 millions peoples enrolled in the Wallangues projects run by Altissia for the RW government.
But if people get more accustomed with the language e-learning paradigm, they also have raising expectations: they want their learning environment to be “mobile”, more personalized, and adaptive to their needs and profile; they want constant feedback and rapid results. The learning environment must include motivational aspects (gamification) and provide, when possible, live coaching (blended approach mixing e-learning and natural interaction in online classrooms). All this calls for the integration of Artificial Intelligence tools and advanced language technologies. In short, the learning platform needs to become “smarter”.
This project inserts itself in this scenario via a partnership between the Catholic University of Louvain, specifically the Centre de traitement automatique du langage (CENTAL), and Altissia, an enterprise dedicated to e-learning that handles Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support (http://erasmusplusols.eu/). This partnership is not new, and there are a few otherprojects that were already developed. Here are some of the codeveloped projects: The CENTAL has developed tools for text normalisation and spell checking programs in the framework of a RW First Spin Off project. The project lead to the development of technologies on which is based a training platform that has been licensed to Altissia.
- Région wallonne, DGO6, BEWARE
- Dr. Leonardo Zillio