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GlassHouse is a chat application with an integrated learning processor.

Activity Log || Current tasks | Current discussions | Feature list

Simplifying the task of learning

A word processor takes care all the tedious, difficult and repetive tasks associated with writing, so that you can concentrate on your message. A language-learning processor takes care of the tedious, difficult and repetitive tasks of learning a language, so that you can concentrate on understanding and expressing yourself.

GlassHouse helps with tasks like:

  • finding new friends who share your interests
  • slowing down and simplifying your conversations
  • creating a mental image of a new word
  • remembering where you've seen a word before
  • choosing which meaning of a word is relevant in a given context
  • creating phrases which communicate your meaning
  • organising your understanding of how your new language works

Interactions

When you use GlassHouse for a text chat, you can also use a microphone to record the message, and send both the text and the recording. If you are speaking in your mother tongue to someone who is learning your language, she can listen to your recording over and over again until the sounds and the meaning are clear. Your text message helps your partner to understand which words you are saying, and to refer back to your conversation later.

If you are speaking in a foreign language to a native speaker, your partner can hear your pronunciation, and then use the same words when replying to you, so that you can hear the native pronunciation. You can correct your messages after you have sent them, you can make new recordings to replace your first attempt. Your native language partner can also correct your messages, if you find that helpful.

To help you to express yourself, you can use a whiteboard. You can create text and shapes and freehand drawings, or add photos or other images, and move them around, twist them and resize them.

Your conversations are automatically saved, and you can play them back as a continuous exchange, or message by message.

You can make notes about new expressions that you discover. You can tag expressions with images, explanations, translations, synonyms and other labels. The GlassHouse application automatically remembers the time of each conversation, so you can use your tags later to find a word that you half remember, or to see all uses of a particular word in context.

By default, your conversations are public, like messages on a Facebook wall. This means that other GlassHouse users can learn from your conversations. You can search for public conversations on topics that you are interested in, recorded in the language that you are learning. You can use the words that are have already stored for you in the database to filter for conversations where you already know most of the vocabulary.

Complete list of proposed features

Uses

Learners

  • Use the communication tools to express yourself more easily when you chat online with friends from other countries.
  • Use the organisation tools to acquire expressions faster
  • Practise reading, writing, listening and talking
  • Forget that you are learning a language and focus on sharing your enthusiasms with your friends

Language teachers

  • Prepare recordings with transcriptions and accompanying images, designed for learners at a particular level
  • Prepare dialogues with more than one speaker
  • Create interactive stories
  • Add tags to other people's dialogues to make them easier to understand
Everyone is both a learner and a teacher. Teaching is the best way to learn.
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