If you ask anyone beyond the age of 50 to operate an iPhone, change the channel on XM Radio or read the instructions in a computer setup manual, the responses tend to vary drastically. Some people will adapt to the technology right away, some may even teach you a few pointers and for some, it will understandably take a few wrong turns to get where they want to go.
Indeed, technology can sometimes seem as complicated as a whole new language. And yet when it comes to learning a whole new language, it’s technology to the rescue – especially now with the development of a new iOS app from Rosetta Stone that offers practice exercises to linguistic novices.
In the process of learning a language, recognition and memorization activities are a go-to method. And while those are helpful, the next step has to be speaking practice; more specifically, conversational speech with another person. Does any new app have the ability to teach a brand-new language while maintaining that necessary back-and-forth between people?
Cue the call center. Some newly-developed language apps – in addition to exercises in reading and listening in a foreign language – connect their users to human translators with questions or clarifications regarding speech. One such virtual call center employs more than 8,500 certified translators, each having passed a proficiency exam before being considered for the position. Having human responses for questions of speech plays a crucial role in language learning, where translators are equipped to understand different dialects, inflections or emotions that may impact the meaning a new student gathers from a word or phrase.
Call centers are going increasingly technologic in this modern day and age, yet when it comes to proficiency in a new language – a process that remains crucial in our global society – there are elements of learning for which computers just may not be suited. Having a call center available for questioning and understanding could be a major plus for language-learning apps. After all, languages can be frustrating for newcomers; creating a user-friendly experience that combines human interaction with technological advantages may be just the ticket to making the language-learning process one that remains relevant for generations to come.
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