How Lingo Jingo challenges the language learning application market

Research suggests language learning applications are failing

Recently, there has been a focused look at the efficacy of language learning applications in the educational technology market (Ed Tech), specifically how they assist English language learners (ELLs) with English acquisition. The outcome of this shows that many of the current language learning apps available actually do a poor job at serving the needs of ELLs with a lack of support in the following four areas:

·      Access to rigorous academic content

·      Social and emotional language learning support

·      Authentic and culturally relevant experiences

·      Increased engagement opportunities with families and communities1

 

How does Lingo Jingo succeed for teachers and students?

Lingo Jingo has largely been able to avoid the pitfalls that plague other language learning apps through a more engaged and invested relationship with teachers of ELLs as well as with the students themselves. Our approach to determining content and coursework that is made available on the Lingo Jingo learning platform is driven by our belief that educators need to have a greater say – and stake – in what types of supports are on our site. We do this through interviews with teachers and administrators where academic goals and learning objectives are determined and educational supports are created that are in line with these goals and objectives. Additionally, if there are standards (Common Core or WIDA for example) that must be supported, this is communicated and we design coursework that delivers this support. Nothing is done in a vacuum or offered as a ‘one size fits all’ solution – that’s a recipe for failure.

Access to rigorous academic content – Lingo Jingo offers coursework and activities that directly support the learning objectives of educators. This includes activities that assist in academic language comprehension and acquisition, standards alignment, academic goals, contextual understanding of language and more.

Social and emotional language learning support – Lingo Jingo understands that ELLs are much of the time learning new (and challenging) educational content as well as learning a new language. For school aged kids, the emotional aspect of being challenged academically is literally half the battle of the education challenge in which the learning process is 50% social-emotional and 50% cognitive2. We make every effort to provide content that is appropriate academically as well as from a language complexity standpoint so that students are not overwhelmed by the emotional requirements of problem solving and concept comprehension. Social and emotional learning outcomes are taken into consideration with how our supports are constructed.

Authentic and culturally relevant experiences – This is an area where communication with teachers in creating appropriate content is critical. Lingo Jingo can not only provide supports that help to achieve academic goals, but can do so in a way that is sensitive to the cultural sensibilities of students – this is part of the discovery process in our interactions with educators. If there are ways to develop and deploy content with cultural components that resonate with students, then we will find them and put them into our supports.

Increased engagement opportunities with families and communities – Frankly, this is probably the most important piece of all the criticism leveled at language learning apps. The phrase “it takes a village” is very appropriate when in the discussion of language acquisition. For any student (regardless of age or ability level), having support outside of the classroom is going to have a massive impact on their ability to become language proficient. Students are only in the classroom a few hours a day. When they get home, it’s critical that they are finding ways to continue their exposure to their non-native language. Parents and community members are integral in continuing this for ELL students. This is why Lingo Jingo provides, free of charge, two parent/caregiver licenses on Lingo Jingo to each student account that is created for a school.

 

We want to be an agent of change for language learners regardless of their circumstance. Offering parents or caregivers access to our platform allows for these incredibly important contributors of a student’s learning journey are also equipped with tools that will help them as well. It still requires determination, consistency and motivation from family or community members to make the use of Lingo Jingo effective for ELLs, but we will be happy to offer the tools and supports necessary for success.

 

The Lingo Jingo commitment

Lingo Jingo always keeps an eye on the challenges that derail other language learning applications and Ed Tech providers, so that we don’t fall into the same trap and fail language learners. Constant communication and goal setting guides our content development, and the supports we make available for students. Our ability to be flexible and address specific requirements of teachers and schools ensures that we can serve the needs of ELLs.

 

Create a Teacher account and get started!

To learn more, watch this demo.

 

References

1-    According to EdSurge. from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-04-19-why-language-learning-apps-haven-t-helped-struggling-ell-students

2-   Philip M.Brown, Michael W. Corrigan and Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro from Handbook of Prosocial Education.

 

Getting ELL Students Ready for STAAR

ELL students refer to those students who choose to learn the English language in addition to their native language. It can therefore be seen as acquiring a second-language. However, learning a new language isn’t all there is to it because at the same time, students need to have adequate proficiency in the language so that they can then move toward STAAR preparation. Until they have some level of proficiency in the language, going in for these tests will be pointless.  

Lingo Jingo - Helping Students Prepare for The STAAR

Everyone knows that STAAR preparation requires a lot of time and hard work; it certainly isn’t as easy as one might imagine. Luckily for you, Lingo Jingo can help you out. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) is geared toward testing students from the third to the twelfth standard. These mandatory tests are taken seriously by educators and parents alike as they help ensure that the students are progressing as they should and are meeting the required expectations of that grade.  

For most ELL students going for a STAAR L test is crucial as it helps them judge their proficiency in the language. It is important for ELL students to do well here and get a certain amount of linguistic capability in this version of tests that are linguistically accommodated to the English language. This online testing program will certainly help you to recognise where you stand in learning the language. If students do not do well in the STAAR tests or the STAAR L tests, they may be considered unworthy of joining colleges.  

How Does Lingo Jingo Help?

Though STAAR L prep can be tough, with the help of Lingo Jingo you should be able to come out with flying colours. Lingo Jingo is proud to boast a variety of content as well as extensive courses that are designed to supplement what is being taught in the classroom. There are a lot of resources available on this online platform that students can avail of that will help them in their STAAR L prep work.  

Lingo Jingo has lessons that try and bring together a wide range of topics so that students are not just offered a closeted approach toward their studies but are exposed to various subjects. On this online platform, you will find topics and issues related to those discussed and taught in the classroom along with various other topics which help ELL students understand the mainstream syllabus and relate to the topics which are tested for the STAAR tests.  

So in this manner, by choosing Lingo Jingo as their guide, students will be able to supplement everything that is being taught in class with additional information and activities that help them practice and use what they have just learnt. Joining Lingo Jingo will help you meet your English language acquisition goals while at the same time giving you the necessary training and facilitating your STAAR L preparation.

Education Research: how to "show" your data and tell your story - good tips from a data visualization expert

We just had the pleasure of hearing an excellent presentation on "Data Visualization for Education Research" by Jon Schwabish at the IES PI Meetings. Totally ripping from the bio on the conference materials, "Jon is an economist, writer, teacher, and creator of policy-relevant data visualizations". Which sounds cool - but this part is actually cooler - "he is considered a leading voice for clarity and accessibility related to the ways in which researchers communicate their findings". What does that mean? It means he - in clever and funny ways - tries to educate folks who want to communicate data in the form of (sometimes difficult) research findings in clear and  informative ways. 

As someone who has spent most of their professional life having to present statistical information, albeit more marketing and sales specific, to general audiences, the topic of his presentation applied just as well. Why? Because in these settings I most definitely gave presentations to sell myself or my (or my team's) plan or ideas. I had to explain sometimes abstract and boring data in a clear, engaging and persuasive way. Now that we're in the position of having to present research findings of the impact and efficacy of the Lingo Jingo platform on the education of English Language Learners, his tips and techniques are even more pertinent and will be absolutely front of mind when we need to do so. 

His summary slide in the pic below on the right is pretty succinct (and let's me get away with not having to give a blow by blow list of what he discussed over the course of an hour - yay brevity).

  • Use Good Techniques - don't fall into the trap of making your baby [presentation] any uglier than it may already be (e.g., don't use confusing graphs, don't put too much verbiage on a slide, use a reasonable color scheme, etc.) - YOU tell your story and don't tell your story on your slides, use them as tools to support you
  • Visualize - communicate your data (and get your findings across) in clean, clear and concise graphs or images
  • Unify - keep your messaging and your slide presentation materials aligned and they will help tell a deeper story
  • Focus - keep the content on your presentation slides brief, on point and don't distract your audience

Chances are pretty good that I left out some other great points from Dr. Schwabish's presentation - so you can actually see it in its entirety here (with pictures!). Note: totally worth it, check it out http://policyviz.com/presentations/better-presentations-2/ 

jon schwabish (@jschwabish)- economist and data visualization specialist for the urban institute and writes at policyviz.com (click the image)

jon schwabish (@jschwabish)- economist and data visualization specialist for the urban institute and writes at policyviz.com (click the image)