If you haven’t already read Nick Robinson’s excellent post on ELTjam about book piracy and the lively conversation it’s started, go check it out. To sum it up, just about every ELT textbook that’s ever been published (including mine) have been ripped off by pirates and put on innumerable free PDF download sites all over the Internet. The conversation has branched off in many directions: Is piracy really that bad? Is copyright law generally a moral thing? Are authors totally screwed? And so on. One thing I think hasn’t been addressed fully is what we can do to limit piracy or make it work for us. Expanding on suggestions I’ve made in comments on the original post, why can’t some of these things be done?
I’ve just upgraded my iPhone to the new iOS 7 operating system and discovered some amazing improvements to Siri, the virtual assistant that responds to your voice. The old Siri barely understood a word I said, but the all-new Siri understands my English perfectly. Not only that, it even perfectly comprehends my far-from-perfect Mandarin Chinese.
So, what is the potential for the new Siri as a language learning app? How can it help learners of English?
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