If you're like most Americans, you will probably answer "almost everyone" to question #1, but an honest response to question #2 might not be as optimistic. (If you are in another country, substitute Spanish for a foreign language of choice... like English).
Research on second language acquisition provides very useful insights into how this situation can be improved. The problem is that much of this research does not make its way into the practice of language teaching very easily. As a result, languages often end up being taught and learned in suboptimal ways. Many researchers and practitioners will agree that this gap between linguistic research and language education is truly hindering progress in this field.
In 2011, the Andrey A. Hudyakov Center for Linguistic Research (an independent non-profit association of linguists) embarked on a mission to bridge this gap. We started a project, named "Linguatorium," with an aim of developing a new kind of software for language teaching and learning.
What did we think would be different about our software? Most importantly, it would be grounded in current research and therefore would accelerate students' learning. We would also make it compatible with any curriculum and easy to implement in any classroom without burdening teachers (or students). As more and more teachers adopt our software, it would then serve as a platform for further research, which in turn would feed back into development and implementation. This way, we aspired to establish a full cycle of theoretical, experimental, and applied research and development in the field of language learning. Everybody would win.
Fast forward to 2018. The Hudyakov Center has member researchers from six countries, many of whom contribute to the Linguatorium project. We maintain the non-profit status of the project, striving to offset operational costs by offering access to our learning tools
for a nominal fee.
Thus far, we've built two systems that can be adopted today by any language teacher: Linguatorium Lexis
, an adaptive spaced-repetition vocabulary learning tool, and Linguatorium Auris
, a high-variability phonetic training system. Both tools have been integrated into classrooms all over the world.
Through our blog, we look forward to sharing more about our research, our software, and the many exciting things that we've learned about language learning over the years. Please Like us on Facebook
to stay connected.