[kde-edu]: ESL Software Proposal

Chris Crook operation.redstorm at googlemail.com
Fri Nov 28 15:28:51 CET 2008


I've been an English teacher in China and Japan for around three years  
now, and have amassed quite a library of English exercises. and have at  
least two complete curriculums that I use to teach English as a second  
language from complete beginner to advance students.  As I've seen,  
especially in China, that computer based self-sudy is becoming more and  
more popular (and large money spinners too, given the success of Wall  
Street Institute's English Online programme) I've come to the conclusion  
that an Open Source alternative is needed in the market.  Products from  
companies like Wall Street, DyEd and Rosetta Stone essentially promote the  
idea that quality English education is only for the super-rich, which  
effectively keeping English education out of reach of the people who need  
it the most.

I've looked at the English education software available from KDE  
Education, and can't really find anything that gives a complete course to  
adult learners.  I have a course, comprehensive grammar activities and  
conversation exercises that can be used freely.  I feel that while no  
software can really replace a good teacher, it will be able to provide a  
standardised course for volunteer teachers working in the poorest parts of  
the world.  The software could be used in the classroom, as a complement  
to students already enrolled on an existing ESL course, and as a framework  
for training centres and other English teaching institutes to base their  
curriculum on.

The only problem is...I can't program for toffee and I really will need a  
lot of help from talented KDE/QT coders to help me to realise my vision.   
The software will be quite complex, as ideally I want to focus on speaking  
and listening rather than reading and writing/typing - I imagine this to  
involve a lot of voice recognition.  I've used Linux since the heady days  
of SuSE 6.2, and I think that a KDE based project would be ideal for  
English students throughout the world.

I look forward to hearing critique and comments from anyone interested.

Chris Crook
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