I think the current system is great–but if I were to improve any aspect of it I’d try to make it easier to do some kind of daily writing in the target language.
I have an interesting solution! What I am suggesting is that there be some module that you can simply put up a photograph/drawing or comic and ask us to write a few sentences to describe it.
I don’t think how much you write matters, but that you do write. It might be a good way to engage members as well.
We do have a suggest Topics list in the Write area. Some people comment on the lessons when they finish them. But perhaps the easiest place to write is on the Forum for the language you are learning. We even have a button to enable the learner to submit the Forum comment for correction right there.
I have no trouble beginning a sentence with "I think that, " and then wait and see what occurs to me. But the modules that Omorphos described might be very useful, although the server system needs extra space of the hard disk.
I have thought many good things.
omorphos of the many good thoughts,
When you say “you would put up an icon” whom do you have in mind?
Note that we have Google Image as an option on every LingQ you make. You can always choose that image and write about it.
My thinking is that it might be too intimidating to write a paragraph in a language that you just started learning. So I immediately thought of like… twitter. how do you accomplish the same task in 140 chars(i.e. 1-2 sentences). so if you saw the following picture:
Then you could say something like, "the gang got together to grill up some sausages before the game ".
where you could say, “the woman is thinking about buying spinach at the grocery store”
last one, Cracked Egg Stock Photo - Download Image Now - Animal Egg, Close-up, Color Image - iStock
you could say, “one of the eggs is broken, I need to bring it back to the store.”
It is a creativity exercise where you can practice expressing in the target language.
and if that wasn’t enough, you could really blow up the idea and make peoples responses public or have option to make public and let the community see how other people interpret the different images–for some fun. Could be that every Monday there is a new image, and on Friday responses go public.
but yeah, just an idea I had. It’s just another way to engage and motive users to write and think in the target language.
I agree motivating us to write is important. Today there is more of a need to write than ever. With blogs, wikis and e-mails, writing is an important macroskill. I love your idea of posting images and encouraging learners to write a description. Even if our descriptions were public immediately we could learn from each other and be encouraged to be more creative.
We may look at something like that to give people something to write about, however, we do think the forums are great places to practice meaningful conversation. Just jump in on a forum in your target language and join the conversation. You can write as much or as little as you want.
Not to be a spoil sport, but I do not see why writing about an image is more motivating than trying to engage a member of our community in a discussion on some subject of interest.
It can be a couple of lines with your thoughts on something. It would seem to me that it is easier to trigger and exchange in this way rather than by describing an image. Surely we all have lots of thoughts and images in our minds, or surrounding us in our lives.
Try the forum in the language you are studying.