Create And Add Basic Level Content To Your Own Language App In Encore
The Encore!!! language learning app is unique among its peers in its ability to allow users to create their own content. These user created mini apps can be an entire course or an addendum that is specific to a job, industry, or set of interests; and can be made either using languages already in the app or entirely new content. This ability for users to create and share content can help teachers, learners, and those who are looking to preserve languages at risk for extinction. Let’s take a look at the reasons why one would want to use this feature, as well as the possible uses for the content creation tools available in Encore!!!
How And Why We Learn Languages
Before we look at the way that the uses for the content creation tools in Encore!!! We should be familiar with why and how people learn languages. This knowledge lays the foundations for the approaches used by the Encore!!! app for teaching languages.
Why Do We Choose To Learn New Languages?
The reasons why people choose to learn a new language are as varied as the number of languages themselves. Most of these reasons can be broken down into two major categories, cultural or financial.
- Cultural Preservation – Without the knowledge of a language, a culture can slowly decay. This has happened to many cultures that have been colonized and enslaved. With many languages at risk for extinction today, representatives of those languages are trying to teach them to others in order to preserve them while others are seeking to learn.
- Cultural Connection – Many people who come from families who emigrated to other countries, or come from cultures who were subject to colonization, are looking to connect with the culture of their ancestors. One of the most important aspects of culture is language, and so they gain cultural connection by learning the language.
- Travel – When traveling, people want to be able to connect and communicate with people in places they are visiting. Learning the language also helps visitors to experience the culture in a more complete and immersive way.
- Employment – The world is more connected now than ever. Business has gone global and the ability to speak another language can increase your job prospects.
- Business And Investment – It is not just job seekers who can benefit from learning a new language. Those who are involved in business and investment deals, international banking, real estate, and more can all find increased opportunities if they can communicate in more languages.
How Do We Learn A New Language?
The opportunities to learn a new language are growing all the time. Classes in colleges and universities are an option for those with the access to those resources, and for others there are language schools that offer classes to all skill levels and experience. The modern world has also brought us YouTube videos, where people create content that teaches language while also giving insight into grammar and vocabulary. Online dictionaries and translation apps can be accessed anywhere and are useful on the go.
One of the biggest growing options for learning a new language are the various apps. Some use gamification to encourage learning by turning it into a competition like DuoLingo, and others are more like digital flashcards.
Encore!!! stands apart from these other apps by requiring less physical interaction with the app, while increasing the mental interaction. No promises of being fluent in 15 minutes a day, instead Encore!!! uses proven language learning methods and the time you put in will bring users the results they seek. Encore!!! also is designed to help overcome the typical hurdles that people encounter in learning a language.
Hurdles To Learning A Language
- Our brain does not easily memorize new pieces of information.
- Our tongue does not easily articulate new sounds.
- Our ears and brains do not easily comprehend and interpret new sounds.
- Hesitancy to learn a new language out of fear of being mocked or misunderstood.
Encore!!! addresses all of these hurdles and helps language learners to overcome them. Encore!!! does this by being composed of two parts.This first part is that content that is distributed with the app. This covers 3000 words of vocabulary for each language, grammar rules (verb conjugation, article placement, preposition use, etc.), and about 2000 example sentences along with conversations on a dozen topics.
The second part of the Encore!!! app is the one that we are discussing in this article: The My Entries section. My Entries feature allows users to add content that they feel is of use to them. A user in the medical field can add medical terms, or a marketing rep can add terms relevant to sales and marketing. The My Entries section is what will be used to create and add content to make your own language app.
For both types of language learning content, Encore!!! allows users to make a playlist using any content. They can hear each piece of content in their known language and then repeat it in the language they are learning with a pause for the user to speak the word themselves. This triggers our brain, ears, and tongue to learn to recall, understand, and speak new sentences after a few dozen repetitions. Grammar rules also start to make more sense after a few dozen articulations.
Creating A Language App In Encore!!!
The Encore!!! Language Learning App includes content for over 20 languages, which covers much of the most used languages in the world. While this is a massive amount of included content, some language teachers, mentors, and preservationists may wish to create a language app of their own using a language that is not part of the Encore!!! library. Encore!!! allows these experts to create an “app within an app” that will let them create this content and share it with students or even the world.
We are going to be focusing on how users can build an app that lets a user acquire a “basic level” language ability in any language. When we say “Basic Level”, we are referring to the first of three levels of language ability that can be used to describe a level of use and understanding.
- Basic Survival Ability – This level allows a person to communicate at a level where they can take care of their basic needs: food, shelter, health, relationships, and working an unskilled job. This requires around 1,000 vocabulary words and knowledge of their use to express ideas in a present tense.
- Intermediate Level Ability – This level lets a person function in society, pursue an education, and work a skilled job. This level requires around 5,000 vocabulary words and the ability to express ideas in past, present, and future tense.
- Advanced Level Ability – This level allows a person to understand the politics and culture of the place where the new language is used and participate in these areas. This level requires at least 10,000 vocabulary words and the ability to understand idioms and cultural expressions.
A “Basic Level” language app should contain content that is logical and efficient for most people to learn in the shortest period of time.
Content For A Basic Level Language App
The main rules for the content that should be in a “Basic Level” language app is that the content should allow the language learner to function at a basic level of the six essential human needs.
- Relationships and Family – introductions, expressions of needs and emotions
- Food and Drink – buying, preparing, eating, ordering, etc.
- Shelter – acquiring, describing, give and get directions
- Work – the ability to describe and understand the requirements and duties of a job
- Health – the ability to interact with health professionals
- Culture and Weather – the ability to enjoy discussions of weather, cultural rituals, festivals, and seasons
For each of these six topics, prepare content in your known language in two steps.
Step 1: Basic Vocabulary for Each Category
- 50 Nouns And Pronouns: Words that describe people, tools, animals, food, drink and any other object. For each category collect 50 nouns that you feel are essential. An example is the food section containing fruits, vegetables, meats, and basic table items. You should also include basic words for describing a restaurant or kitchen goods. Include pronouns like “I, you, we, they, etc”
- 40 Verbs: For each category write down 40 essential verbs or action words. Back to the food category example, use verbs that communicate “to eat”, “to drink”, “to cook”, “to enjoy”, “to taste”, “being hungry”, “feeling thirsty”, “to buy”, “to sell”.
- 50 Adjectives: These are words that describe the properties or features of a noun. For food you could include “delicious”, “red”, “sour”, “sweet”, “salty”, “big”, “small”. Add 50 of these adjectives to each category.
- 25 Adverbs: These are words that describe the adjective or verb to a finer level. For the food category this could be words like “very”, “good”, “hungry”, “costly” etc. Add 25 of these adverbs to these categories.
- 30 Prepositions: These words identify location in space or time. These are words like “inside”, “to the left”, “between”, “over”, “under”, “after”, “before” etc. There are usually only 50 or so essential prepositions for any language, so you can collect them all and have the same content for each category.
- 20 Conjunctions: Conjunctions are words that give a flow to the language we use by helping two or more phrases flow together into a single sentence. These are words like “and”, “however”, “because”, “therefore”, etc. Much like prepositions, there are only about 50 prepositions that are the most useful so they can be repeated across the categories.
- Numbers (cardinal and ordinal): In any language we need to count and arrange things or people in order.
After doing this, you will see that (not counting words repeated in several categories) you should have around 1,000 total unique words needed to reach the “Basic Level” of language ability. About 3,000 words of vocabulary content is included and you can choose from this library as needed along with adding more of your own.
Step 2: Basic Sentences Using Vocabulary
For “Basic Level” language skills you only use present tense sentences. You may need to use two basic present tense forms of the sentence such as “I eat an egg every day” and “I am eating an egg”. For each category assemble 60 sentences that fit into the “must know” content category. Think of the sentences that you use in daily life. Prepare similar sentences where only the noun is changed and some where only the verb has changed.
I am going to the park.
I am going to the market.
I am going to school.
I am going to the park.
Remember, all of this content is in the language you know well.
Step 3: Putting It All Together
If you are developing content for a new language or one not included in the Encore!!! app, get the “known language” content translated into the language that is to be learned. If you are bilingual yourself, you can handle the translation. If you are creating an app for you to learn from, you can get help from a friend, teacher, or online translator.
In each of the basic categories you will have about 160 entries in the “known language” and the “to be learned language”, roughly 100 vocabulary words and about 60 sentences. These will form two columns in an Excel sheet (or equivalent spreadsheet app). If needed, you can create a third column that has transliteration or grammar rule explanation.
You then will:
- Send the content to your smartphone by email, airdrop, or cloud.
- Open the My Entries section of the Encore!!! Language App
- Copy and paste “known language content” in textbox 1.
- Copy and paste the “to be learned” content in text box 2.
- In text box 3, paste transliteration content. If none, tap “No Other”
- Tap Done.
After you tap the Done button, Encore!!! will ask if you wish to add audio for each item. If you add audio to the content, either yourself or with the help of the teacher, you can create a language app in any language. This includes languages that may be rare or among languages that have the possibility of becoming extinct.
Encore!!! is a unique addition to the landscape of language learning apps due to it enabling the creation of language content by users. This gives the app the ability to be used for nearly any situation needed by its users, and create specialized content. Encore!!! also helps with the preservation of languages by allowing native speakers to create lessons and keep these cultures and tongues from disappearing.
This article should have given you the knowledge needed to create your own language app in Encore!!! By utilizing this guide you should be able to create an app that can teach yourself or others how to communicate in a language at a basic level. Encore!!! puts users in control of language, including both learners and teachers.