Slated translating keyboard app: reviewed

This app is both my dream and my nightmare. I love learning languages, and anything that enables me to understand and communicate in more of them is a fantastic tool. On the other hand, if tools like this get too good, my life’s work (as a creator of English language courses and resources) – and my future income – will be wiped out with a few swipes of a touchscreen.

The Future of ELT

It was interesting to be at IATEFL this year, the annual land grab for attention larger than ever, and a conference dominated by discussions, presentations and a plenary about the future of ELT, which – it is suggested – will be completely mediated by technologies (more of this fallacy later). With Sugata Mitra selling his … 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?

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2013: The rise of the smartwatch?

A new report from ABI Research predicts that over a million smartwatches will be sold in 2013. Forget (for now) that apart from the Kickstarter phenomenon, Pebble, there aren’t really any available yet. What would really change the landscape would be if Apple’s rumoured iWatch does actually make an appearance. You never know, but it … Read more