A lot of people who join LingQ end up doing nothing and leave. We are looking at two possible ways to help these people.
I have created two pages at our Wiki. Please feel free to comment, edit, change. Eventually, if these are considered useful things to do we would like to translate them
- Very simple starter course at LingQ with short lessons. We feel this may help with the problem that some people are frightened by LingQ as Konstantina said. The idea is that everyone would start with this short 10 lesson course, in the language they are learning.
- A LingQ Academy, or course on how to take advantage of LingQ. This would be a series of “personal” emails from me, over a two week, or even one month period. We may even have hold a series of scheduled webinars to discuss these lessons. Newly registered members would have the change to sign up free of charge, and of course to unsubscribe whenever they want. This would be optional.
Again, any ideas and editing and additions welcome.
I should make it clearer that the first of these “Getting started” would be a series of lessons at LingQ, in the target language. This is content for learning. It would be at the top of the list in our Library.
The second, Lingq Academy would be a series of emails in the language of the learner, explaining how to get the most out of LingQ. This is not planned as study content.
It would be great to get the many perspectives of people who have come to LingQ, especially those who have found it difficult. Please feel free to answer in your native language. We can all use Google translate to get the gist of what you are saying if we do not speak your language.
I look forward to a discussion. All ideas are welcome.
. yeah the aim should be not to overwhelm anyone and gradually increase difficulty.
another idea- this is just me brainstorming, in addition to the above, how about this concept: many people (like me, at least) were drawn to this site after watching your videos on youtube- perhaps this can be extended. For instance, the first time a user clicks on, say, the flashcard page or his known words page etc etc there could be short instructional videos of you on every page explaining how to combine everything to successfully use ling. Though even to me this seems like overkill- I’d implement the above idea first and see how it goes…
I have put some simple intro videos in the LingQ Plaza in a few languages. Is this what you would have in mind? What do others think?
I found today at a social function that some people in their 30s seem to be afraid to even start learning a language. “That’s okay for you, you already speak another one, but I’ve always been bad at languages” was the general tenor. Videos and an idiot’s guide might be the answer for that generation.
In my modest opinion, I think the best way is to do some “quick starts” videos. These videos should show the screen while a voice in off is telling the steps to do. For example:
- “Getting used to the new enviroment: main features”
- “How to add our first lesson and how to add lingqs”
I hope the idea will be understood
I think your videos would be a great intro for people looking to get started on LingQ.
Speaking of your videos, why don’t you put the videos from The Linguist homepage with you standing outside on your patio onto the homepage of LingQ before people sign up?
These videos with you speaking in each language were what originally impressed me and convinced me to sign up on LingQ.
I also think any additional intro video to USING the site should jump right into the main user-text interface with highlighting and audio downloads and progress tracking, so that potential users can immediately see the real ‘meat’ of what sets LingQ apart from other sites.
Maybe I can give a fresh view as a newbie, or maybe I’ll be run out of town. I’ll take my chances.
First of all, I like LingQ very much, maybe too much. The best thing was the video tour Mark gives. Maybe it should be easily accessible from anywhere on the site for easy review.
LIST OF TUTORS
I’ve noticed that most of the people who have stayed are motivated and many are professionals in various fields. They are motivated to find out about the site. I suppose you could pitch to them, but it’s better to keep things simple for everyone. I think it would help to have a list of tutors and their profiles in one place for each language.
GENUINE WARMTH (without pressure)
Welcoming people: If a new person joins and there is an obvious connection (same languages, hobbies), maybe a seasoned member could write a message of introduction on the wall and offer to answer any questions. I don’t mean a tutor, I mean someone who would be willing to be a buddy of sorts, probably someone of the same gender.
MORE CARROTS, PLEASE!
I’m a basic member because I would like to see LingQ’s continued success, but it would be nice if the points didn’t expire so quickly. New members may not be ready to write or speak right away and whoosh! ninety days later the points are gone. I think there needs to be a bigger box of candy to get members to upgrade.
BRIDGING THE GAP IN THE LANGUAGE INDUSTRY
I think LingQ needs to attract the intermediate learners-people who want something other than the fantastically expensive Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and Michel Thomas. After all, unless Rosetta Stone has changed in the last year, it only takes the learner to an intermediate level. LingQ is what the intermediate student needs to kick his or her language up a notch after the basics. You graduated in French twenty years ago and now you want to get your teaching certificate? You want to get back the Spanish you learned in high school and write to that girl you met on Spring Break in Mexico? LingQ is for you. Pitch to the people who need languages. Music students. Young engineers in manufacturing. People interested in genealogy and tracing their roots. People who want to keep their brains active. LingQ is not pictures and repetition, but a writing coach, speaking opportunities and the vocabulary YOU want to know! I could think of a hundred pitches and I’m not even in advertising.
A FEAST FOR LANGUAGE LOVERS
Forum: I’d like to see more vigorous discussion and fewer tech problems displayed so prominently. Some people just want to ask questions about languages. I’ve been reading several language forums for two years now. People love the opportunity to talk freely about languages without being shouted down. If you have grammar mavens, give them a corner to answer questions. Let linguistics majors talk. If they use LingQ and get hooked they can add their own testimonials on top of your obvious multilingualism. Everyone loves LingQ! That’s the way it should be! If you want lots of fish, throw a big net, a double net, so the fish don’t fall through.
I have my backpack in case I get run out of town…
Another idea is to get information from the people who have stopped using lingq.
This can be done sending a very politely mail telling something like this:
“We realised that you don’t use Lingq anymore. We respect your decision, but because we can improve, could you tell us what things we can do better?..”
I take it the two suggestions that I originally posted did not generate much enthusiasm. Did anyone have a look at the Wiki pages. Should we abandon this idea?
Thanks for all the other suggestions. That is hell helpful.
I meant all helpful…sort of got caught between help and all…and ended up in hell…gulp!
I missed the original post and jumped in when everyone was talking about videos:/
I like the idea of a set of mini-lessons. As I’ve said in previous posts, A.J. Hoge does this in the newsletter you sign up for on his and I think it’s quite effective. The seven points you’ve written for the LingQ Academy could be split up nicely into 7 emails.
As for the plan to have 10 intro lessons, I think people would respond well to them, and I think they should be something like the motivational stories that you (e.g. Your Language Adventure), Helen (Using LingQ: a teapot’s guide), and Vera (Vera’s Corner) tell.
I have read the text of first suggestion (short 10 intro lessons), and I like it.
As this intro lessons will be provided in all languages, I suppose it will be useful to have a panel of links to translations somewhere at the lesson page. I mean, now we have New words, audio, and My lingqs at the right tab of lesson. It would be useful to have
-Translation (links to Japanese, Portuguese, etc. variants of this lesson)
System even can order these links: native language of the user, learning languages, all other translations.
Links will be edited at import page by the owner or editors. Something like “Additional settings” → Add link to translation. Choose the language and enter the ID of that lesson. Than again “Add link to translation”, choose lang, enter ID. These links will be stored at separate table in database, so it will not require to change existent data.
I re-read text of these 10 short lessons… There is nothing about lesson counters (times of reading/listening).
And there should definitely be a link to video with completely the same text, as at lesson.
Aber, natürlich, was glaubst du denn__
By the way,
these 10 intro lessons could be of different level. So, a new member signs up at LingQ, chooses a target language, a level, and then the system creates course of 10 intro lessons and redirects newcomer at this page.
@Maitee: Unpack your bag, mate - get writing!
@Steve: This will sound stupid, but I keep forgetting how to get to the Wiki - could we have a button, please?
Was it elsewhere that David suggested making the initial LingQ Homepage more appealing?
If the theme of that ?video? were to be continued within the subsequent pages, always offering ready access to help/suggestions for next steps, that might guide and encourage the more timorous learners. Remember, anyone can learn a language!
Would anyone be willing/able to start learning a language for the purpose of making a LingQ video for YouTube, demonstrating how to start from scratch? “This is how I did it, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 etc?”
there is a link to Wiki at help page – http://www.lingq.com/help/ru/lesson/