Monday, April 23, 2012

The K12 global language education conference season has been a whirlwind so far: WNYFLEC, CSCTFL, TESOL, NCLC, and NECTFL are the key events we were able to participate in.

We loved getting out of the classroom and out of the product development lab, talking with hundreds of educators from different geographical regions, different kinds of schools and across multiple different global languages including English (ESL and EFL).

Every member of our QTalk leadership team was able to attend at least one of the conferences. We came back and put our heads together and said, "Okay, we are doing the right things and we just need to keep doing them better and faster, to put the right tools into the teachers' and students' hands."

Thank you to all who talked with us, and if you completed a registration form or left your card with us, please know we will be following up in the next day or so, if we have not already emailed and/or called.

Pictures speak so much louder than words. 

We are fascinated by the news stories about teenage polyglots such as Tim Doner at Dalton School.
One of the commenters to the recent New York Times story about Tim surmises that "polyglot brains are different" in some way.

We could not disagree more, except to say that just as athletic experience makes one a better athlete, there's no doubt that exposure to more language-learning opportunities can make one a better language-learner.

To awaken the inner language learner within, it's essential to bypass the "translation impulse" and instead begin thinking and speaking right away in the target language. That's what all the QTalk books and teaching tools enable - and that's why our Student Books look like comic books, with very few words and lots of pictures!

While we know that technology and online learning tools can assist, we think they are best as practice tools; to really activate your skills, you need to be speaking with others, ideally without any use of English or your first language. Self-study has its role, but we believe you can only reach a certain level through self-study. Because language is interpersonal, it's really important to learn language through interaction with real, live people.

Polyglots and would-be polyglots --  one and all: if you want to try the QTalk Online Games, post a comment to this blog or visit our website to post an inquiry with your contact information and a link to your blog or website. Let us know why you want to learn French, Spanish, Chinese, or English, and we'll set you up with a FREE 90-day subscription to QTalk Online Games for your target language. Please make sure to refer to this blog post and the "Polyglot offer" in your comment or inquiry.

(Games in Japanese, Korean, Italian, German, Arabic, and Hindi are on the development list, so if you'd like one of those languages let us know -- you'll need to wait for a while, but when those games are ready, we'll contact you and ask you to help us out by testing the games and letting us know what you think.)