New Skins for Potato Pals: From Page to iPad

The eltjam team is always eager to hear from authors or content creators who have experienced the movement from print to digital platforms and the implication that this transition has for their work. One such story is that of Patrick Jackson, an established author for OUP. He shares his experience with us today.

Speech Recognition Apps for ELT: SpeakingPal English Tutor

It often seems like a curious by-product of ELT ‘in action’; speaking out loud in English. Given that spoken interactions are scintillating moments of language in its most alive state, it’s remarkable how speaking (as a facet of the language learning process) is often subservient to the learning of grammar and vocabulary. As Scott Thornbury … Read more

Game-Based Learning 1.1: Myths & Mistakes

In this first instalment of a four-part guest series, David Dodgson talks about some of the misconceptions of GBL and the culture of gaming in general. Dave Dodgson is an EFL teacher working with young learners in Turkey. He has always had an interest in the use of technology to enhance the learning experience and … Read more

Feedback Loops and ELT

‘Feedback’: it’s the unwanted shrill shriek that announces a guitar or microphone as being too close to the monitor. It’s the ear drum-splitting whinny that can stop a band in its tracks and send the audience scurrying, fully riled, to the bar. It’s also a decisive and highly effective tool for motivation and self-direction. In … Read more

Co-opetition and Language Teaching Organisations

Fiona Thomas is Director of Languages at Net Languages in Barcelona. She’s also the author, alongside Andy Hockley, of Managing Education in the Digital Age, forthcoming on The Round. This post first appeared on Fiona’s blog. Over the last year I have noticed a shift in how some EFL publishing companies and other EFL groups are moving … Read more

How are we the free TEFL internet doing?

Guest post by Alex Case, teacher in Japan and blogger at TEFLtastic. I’ve somehow managed to keep blogging about TEFL for over six years mainly with the selfish motivation of keeping myself interested in teaching. In a similar way I post my worksheets simply to make the time I spend on them seem less wasted. However, … Read more

Did Apple accidentally invent a cool language learning app?

“What is today’s date?”
“It’s now Friday, September 20, 2013.”

Mike S. Boyle is one of the authors of American English FileYou can follow him on Twitter at @heyboyle or join one of his webinars on September 26 and 27. This post originally appeared on Mike’s blog mikesboyle.com.

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?

Read more

busuu.com: The State of Language Learning Pt. 1/2

busuu.com  is inconceivably big. It is in fact the largest social network for language learning in the world with over 30,000,000 users from 200 countries. That’s more than the population of Uzbekistan. It’s more than the populations of the Czech Republic, Sweden and Austria combined. It’s more than 800 times the size of Liechtenstein, the homeland … Read more

The Open Education Alliance: A Brave New World

During TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in San Francisco on Monday Udacity‘s CEO, Sebastian Thrun, announced the launch of the Open Education Alliance (OEA). The alliance represents the efforts of Google, AT&T and a range of educational organizations (Khan Academy, cloudera, etc.) who are combining forces with a view of developing and providing learning tools to help … Read more

Vocabla: The Words On The Street

The folks over at Polish startup LangApp have come up with something rather special; a heady mix of vocabulary tutor, social network and shareable media library. It’s a potent brew. Vocabla is a powerful demonstration of how addictive language learning can be whilst also being both effective and entirely free. Its premise is a simple … Read more

More news for Knewton

More interesting news from adaptive learning technology provider Knewton today, as they announced their latest publisher partnership, this time with Cambridge University Press, and the opening of a new office in London. The partnership will see the Knewton API integrated with the Cambridge LMS platform, which currently serves over 250,000 students and teachers globally. The move … Read more

Rosetta Stone Buys Up Lexia Learning

It’s appears truer then ever that a rolling stone gathers no moss as Rosetta Stone follows its recent acquisition of Livemocha by taking on the services and systems of Lexia Learning. The $22.5 million deal represents Rosetta Stone’s leading edge strategy of moving towards being an education solutions provider in U.S. schools as opposed to exclusively … Read more

Cengage – that bankruptcy file

Byron Russell is a Director of Woodstock Publishing and Pete Sharma Associates, as well as being the Joint Coordinator of the IATEFL Materials Writing SIG (MaWSIG). You can follow him on Twitter at @byronofcombe. A publishing friend called me up the other day, full of concern – “Cengage!” she said. “It’s bankrupt, you know!”  Formerly known … Read more