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The Conversation A blog from Livemocha

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Businesses Aim to Speak the Language – European Day of Languages 2010

Last Sunday marked the European Day of Languages. The annual event gathered 150 entrepreneurs, business organizations and reps of national and local administrations to consider a very relevant fact: Languages are good for business.

Bravo on choice of topics given the state of the economy. Attendees debated the link between language skills, employability and competitiveness. It makes sense for firms to think about beefing up their fluency:

A 2007 study conducted by the UK National Centre for Languages found that of nearly 2,000 businesses, 11% had lost contracts—often worth millions of euros—as a result of lack of language skills. It also noted that (listen up, job seekers) recruitment of staff with language skills is commonplace.

Consensus is that fluency improves employability of…  read more

Technology in the Classroom – Taking Language Learning Online

Foreign language instruction in schools has seen a steady decline in the last decade—blame it on budget cuts, teacher shortages, the No Child Left Behind Act, etc. The more advanced a student is, the fewer options they have and conversational offerings are scant.

No news there.

However, schools are using more technology in the classroom—and swinging focus toward the Internet rather than computer software, says a recent study from the Center for Applied Linguistics. Consider:

• 70% of Elementary schools are using Internet sources, up from just 19% in 1997, while just 59% of these schools are utilizing computer-assisted instructional materials like software and CD-ROMs.

• 87% of…  read more

Move out of the Stone Age with us

Today marks the launch of Livemocha Active Language Courses—our new set of ground-breaking online courses that promise conversational fluency in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

We’re already home to the world’s largest online language learning community and now we’ve harnessed the power of social networking and world-class content to teach real conversation skills online. We integrate world-class curriculum, personalized feedback from our own experts, and limitless practice with native speakers to bring you an innovative learning opportunity like no other.

Livemocha Active Language Courses smash the mold of expensive, one-dimensional courses and inspire the world to see beyond rote memorization and computerized voice recognition that are standard offerings of Rosetta Stone and other learning services. Instead we tap into our…  read more