LanguageBug covers Novice-level, Brazilian Portuguese. It focuses on helping learners build the speaking skill.
LanguageBug addresses problems and issues that are genereal in the field of language learning. This thesis project could cover any language, as a consequence. However, I chose Brazilian Portuguese.
First, I am a native Portuguese speaker and a content-wise expert.
Secondly, I live in the United States, so it is very easy to find potential user testers who had never spoken Portuguese. Any person (my peers, for example) who is willing to learn a little Portuguese may benefit from contributing to my design process.
As a language teacher, I have dealt many times with Novice speakers than with speakers in any other level. As a language learner, I have reached at least the Intermediate level in 4 different languages. Therefore, I opted to make target Novice learners only, so that I can build on these experiences.
The most common approach is to divide language learning into of four main skills: reading, writing, listning and speaking. This project addresses mainly the speaking skill, but also tackles listening and reading.
According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL, 2012), Novice speakers usually face problems regarding intelligibility, functionality, participation in a conversational exchange, speed, vocabulary, syntax, and pronunciation.
Secondary content domains
This project also covers metacognition principles and mindset strategies as vehicles to foster successful language learning.
- Metacognition: usually how polyglots and hyperglots accomplish distinguished results in their language learning experiences.
- Mindsets: emotional strategies to overcome shyness, embarrassment, foreign language anxiety, and perfectionism.
LanguageBug covers basic phrases, greetings, cognates, main verbal structures, and self-introduction sentences. Part of the vocabulary involved in the process of acquiring such competencies will depend on the learner’s goals and interests.