Help your learners to choose content

Unfortunately our Library is not as convenient to navigate as we would like. It may be necessary to suggest content items to your learners. You can try selecting some content items and making them the theme of your discussions.

I would like to make a comment about our content. There may be some content in your own language that you do not like. You may find some of the beginner content not natural, or the accent not nice, or there may be some mistakes.

You can point this out to our learners if you want. On the other hand I am not very concerned about this. We hope, at LingQ, that our learners will listen to and read many thousands of words and hours of content. The odd mistake or problem will not make a big impression on their learning. Not all native speakers speak perfectly. In language learning it is the volume of input, not any attempt to “nail down” the language that is important.

Please encourage our learners to not be obsessed about understanding everything, learning everything or remembering everything as they go along. They just need to get exposed to the language, as spoken by native speakers, some right and some wrong. On balance they will pick up the version of the language that they like, and they will notice the words and patterns that they hear most often.

Ok, Steve this could be okay for some people, who know LingQ very good. Though for beginners (in Language or LingQ) is a bad start, noticing the content is not correct or not of interest. It is fact that the Internet provides a lot of content in different languages, but sometimes I am not sure that it is correct. I think LingQ should give attention to high quality content, not always 100 percent, but in an acceptable level. One responsible person for every language would be optimal, but is connected with a lot of work and time. A rating from the students would be easier or good audio and transcript from podcasts. There are so much on the Internet and I can not believe that the podcasters and bloggers are not willing to share that.

It is not worth to have the library full with a lot of stuff. I think you have statistics about the used content and then you know what the student like. I know, you will change the library in the next time, maybe there are possible such things.

It is an good idea, to recommend the student content and to speak in the discussions about content. However, at the moment I have only in the discussions the possibility to inform the students about adequate content. What is with the new users? Would I have a file I could make a mailing …

Steve, be not stressed, we only try to motivate you for improving LingQ like you motivate us to work with and for LingQ. :wink:

I hope to see other opinions to that. Also the opinion from existing LingQ students would be of interest.

We will be introducing a rating system for content, rating the sound quality and the content.

We do intend to continue with our series of LingQ beginner content which is parallel in all languages. It does not matter if some of this content is not natural. For the time being we are not limiting the ability of people to add more content. We only remove content that is not in line with our philosophy, such as strings of unconnected words, or non-native speakers, or very poor or distorted sound.

We do not want one person deciding what is good or not good. We want to set it up so that the community decides based on what our members use, and how they evaluate the content.

In a week or so, we will have our Courses system where tutors will select content for “courses” designed for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced learners.

We will still allow learners to learn on their own. It may be a good idea for individual tutors to suggest course for self-study as part of their program of marketing their discussion sessions, even outside of the courses structure. But let’s wait until the new version is up.

I think beginner content should be quit correct. It should not contain strong accents or mistakes in pronunciation or spelling or intonation. A beginner trust in the correctness of the material and he can be disappointed if there are mistakes. I can see it because my friend is a beginner and it really hard and mistakes confuses him a lot.

Also I think paying members pay for LingQ in completeness including the content. And paying members are interested in correct material.

But I agree that an intermediate or advanced learner should be able to understand accents. But it’s acceptable and good as material to train hearing. But it is not adequate material to imitate in speaking. So I’m very interested in the rating system and I hope that it will be a differentiating system for the rating so that I can see why content is good or what the problems with some content are.

I have also put this on my blog for a wider audience since I feel it is a fundamental part of the LingQ approach and I want a wider range of opinions.

This is an interesting discussion. Let me explain the philosophical and practical reasons why we are going to continue to allow our members to put up content in our Library and we will only remove content that is of poor sound quality, or is just a collection of words, or is otherwise inappropriate or under copyright.

  1. LingQ is based a certain view of language learning that says that it is the massive input of content that matters most of all. We are not teaching the language. We are making it easier for the learner to get used to the language, and discover the patterns and components of the language, by him or herself. The interest level of the content is the most important thing. We do not object to people putting up content that is “instructional” because some people like that kind of content. It is up to the learners to choose what they want. Whenwe have an evaluation system in place that will be easier.

  2. At any level, and especially for the beginner, it is a good idea to learn the same words and patterns from many different contexts. Rather than trying to completely master one lesson at a time, the learner should expose him or herself to the same words and patterns in as many different content items as possible. So more content is good. If there is the odd mistake or regionalism here or there it does not matter. If the learner exposes himself to enough content he will sort out what is most common or useful.

  3. A beginner does not hear accents, does not know what is a mistake, and even if she notices mistakes she should not worry about them. As long as the content has been created by a native speaker, the learner should just accept it as a sample of the language. The beginner does not really imitate as much as he or she is learning words and trying to get over the strangeness of a new language. The learner should not be concerned about what is right or wrong, nor about getting things right or wrong when she uses the language. It does not matter at the beginning.

  4. It is only at a later date that the learner starts to imitate the patterns that he or she wants to master, and to imitate the accent that he or she wants to use.

  5. We want lots of content. If a native speaker goes to the trouble of creating content, we are not going to reject it because another native speaker does not like her accent or use of words, and, believe me, we get these complaints often.

  6. We know that the organization of the LingQ Library can be improved and we will get to it. Just think of the Library as free source of content, constantly growing, but free. We will soon remove the 5 item restriction in the Work Desk, so literally you can just wander into the Library and take what you want. It will still be there for the next person. If you do not like it, you just leave it or delete it, and grab something else.

  7. We know that many learners find our site confusing and we are working on simplifying it. We know that many learners do not know what content to choose to study from, and that is why we are building the course model.

  8. We need to focus on building up our Library and attracting more members.