Over the past few months we have continued to work relentlessly on the HandsOnTurkish project. Here are some of the highlights and breakthroughs:
First Steps in Turkish
Some of the feedback we received regarding the HandsOnTurkish project, was that the beginning level was too steep. We maintain that the level is appropriate for those who are beginning the language and want to ‘dive in’ and start learning and speaking. It became evident that, in fact, there were actually two types of learners:
- beginners who want to learn the language. Typically they might know already something about Turkish or have had some experience of hearing it.
- absolute beginners who want to try the language before they decide to continue.
For the internet generation, it seemed important to offer a ‘taster course’ of Turkish. This fits in nicely with a lot of language learning curricula in the United Kingdom and most of Europe whereby, students can opt to have a ten hour course and earn credits.
We therefore developed First Steps in Turkish to meet the need of learners who want to try the language and conform with the curricula credit specifications.
The First Steps in Turkish contains three units of reduced and modified dialogues. The are fewer exercises and shorter cultural notes. The language notes have also been reduced.
More content on HandsOnTurkish
Learners can now enjoy up to eight complete units of Turkish suitable for business learners and general learners. All units include interactive dialogues, comprehensive vocabulary, countless interactive activities
The HandsOnTurkish online course can be accessed online via handsonturkish.com
Turkish app updates
Work has continued on the apps and the new smartphone releases (version 2) for Android and iOS will be coming soon. This will include an improved interface, extra content and – if we can manage – the inclusion of First Steps in Turkish.
We are also working on a log in feature so that learning progress can be tracked with a centralised profile (see assessment for further details).
New intro audio
We have added a new musical introduction to the online courses. We selected a composition which included the Ney instrument. This has been popularised by the multi-talented Turkish compser, Ömer Faruk Tekbilek. You can listen to him talking about the instrument here.
The opening unit has been blessed with a new image!
Certification and assessment
We are proposing a system which incorporates two components of language learning:
1. Language learning log
The log will monitor the hours spent on the learning interface and the extent of the interactions undertaken. We will also integrate algorithms to assess whether the time spent was actually spent interactively … or whether the user simply logged in and made a cup of tea.
Interaction will be tracked securely from our servers. Users can track their progress and can see for themselves how many hours they have spent. They can then share this data with teachers or make the page publicly visible via a URL if they want potential employers to check their credentials.
2. Assessment results
Test results will also be made available to the user. Again, if the user wishes, they can make this available to the public via the same URL.
At this point the user can download a badge or request a certificate. Badges can be added to online profiles, such as Mozilla’s Backpack or LinkedIn’s AddToProfile with a direct URL to the evidence. The weight of the certificate will then be based on four things:
- The level achieved
- The evidence of participation in terms of hours and interaction
- The course descriptions and criteria
- The reputation of the developers of the course, for example, Pendragon Educational Publishers
All of these can be validated immediately via the URL. Let’s say a future employer is looking through a CV. They can check what grade the applicant received, the hours he spent and the course requirements – instantly.
HandsOnTurkish is an interactive and innovative Turkish language learning resource. Learn Turkish online at HandsOnTurkish or download the apps for iOS and Android from the appstores.