[Corpora-List] "Language Immersion for Chrome", and a Better Idea

Ziyuan Yao yaoziyuan at gmail.com
Tue May 15 17:31:40 CEST 2012


Dear Ramesh,

I just did a quick Google Scholar search about him. It looks like his research is about using movie subtitles + movies to do ESL teaching. I agree this has been a wide practice thanks to the advent of broadband Internet and BitTorrent more than 10 years ago and those online volunteers who have been tirelessly translating movie and TV series subtitles :-)

And it's even more amazing to discover that these subtitles can be useful for language learning not only when we're watching movies, but also when we're surfing the Web :-)

On Tue, May 15, 2012 at 8:03 PM, Krishnamurthy, Ramesh <r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk> wrote:
> Dear Ziyuan Yao
>
>
>
> I would like to applaud your idea! A Japanese teacher of English, Teruhiko
> Kadoyama, who was a distance-learning
>
> MA student of mine at Birmingham University, used English subtitles from
> Hollywood movies very effectively to
>
> help his students to learn a) onomatopoeic words (eg bark, quack, chirp,
> twitter, etc)  b) a range of verbs of motion
>
> for similar actions (eg walk, stroll, amble, dash, rush, scramble, etc), and
> reported on his experiments for his
>
> MA Dissertation in 1999.
>
>
>
> However, I don’t know whether he has conducted any further experiments, or
> published his
>
> Dissertation or other papers on this topic, or developed any software for
> the purpose.
>
> But it may be worth you doing a Google Search on his name, to check?  I had
> a quick look,
>
> and discovered he is now a Professor at Hiroshima International University,
> and is President
>
> of the Society for Teaching English Through Media…
>
> http://www.stemedia.co.kr/menu_1_1.htm?searchkey=&searchvalue=&page=1&board_seq=79&mode=read
>
>
>
> best wishes
>
> Ramesh
>
>
>
> Ramesh Krishnamurthy
>
> Visiting Academic Fellow, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston
> University, Birmingham B4 7ET
>
>
>
> Date: Tue, 15 May 2012 04:41:24 +0800
>
> From: Ziyuan Yao <yaoziyuan at gmail.com>
>
> Subject: [Corpora-List] "Language Immersion for Chrome", and a Better
>
>       Idea
>
> To: corpora at uib.no
>
>
>
> Google's "Language Immersion for Chrome"
>
>
>
> Recently a Chrome browser extension called "Language Immersion for Chrome"
> has been much publicized. Developed by "Use All Five Inc." on behalf of
> Google, the extension translates certain words and phrases on the Web page
> you're browsing to a foreign language via Google Translate, for the purpose
> of helping you learn that foreign language while browsing the Web.
>
>
>
> I have been researching this kind of thing for years, and one of my main
> standpoints is machine translation shouldn't be used in serious language
> learning as it is error-prone: it takes a learner a great effort to memorize
> a piece of erroneous knowledge, another great effort to "unlearn" this wrong
> knowledge and yet another great effort to "relearn" the right knowledge.
>
>
>
> But I do understand online machine translation services like Google
> Translate and Bing Translator are so readily available that directly using
> them to do the translation can minimize development costs. Upon seeing the
> this news, I asked myself: "Can we use a kind of freely available, manually
> prepared data, instead of machine translation, to do this better?" And the
> answer is YES!
>
>
>
> A Bbetter Idea
>
>
>
> Imagine if we have a database of manually-translated bilingual sentence
> pairs (such as those multilingual movie subtitle files on those subtitle
> websites), e.g.
>
>
>
>         (German)  Er ist ein guter Schüler.
>
>         (English) He is a good student.
>
>
>
> Now if a German wants to learn English, and he happens to be browsing a
> German Web page that contains the German word "Schüler" (student), and the
> computer finds out that this German word also occurs in a bilingual sentence
> pair like the above. Now, the computer can teach English for this German
> word, by inserting the above bilingual sentence pair into that Web page,
> like an embedded advertisement. This way, the German will learn the English
> word "student", and better yet, learn it in a bilingual sentence pair! This
> means he will not only learn the word "student" alone, but also its syntax,
> semantics and pragmatics, all implied by this example sentence. As to
> phonetics, the computer can use text-to-speech to read aloud the English
> sentence, or display some kind of pronunciation guide above or alongside the
> English sentence (see my recent project "Phonetically Intuitive English" for
> such a pronunciation aid:
>
> https://sites.google.com/site/phoneticallyintuitiveenglish/).
>
>
>
> That's the basic idea. But of course we can further refine this idea.
>
> For example, if there are multiple bilingual sentence pairs containing
> "Schüler", the computer can prefer a pair that contains words that appear
> near "Schüler" on the Web page (i.e. context words). This would be very
> useful if the word in question (Schüler) is ambiguous.
>
>
>
> Besides bilingual sentence pairs, we may also explore multilingual data from
> Wiktionary and Wikipedia, although their usage may not be as straightforward
> as the model discussed above. I leave this as homework for the reader.
>
>
>
> I also intend to develop a Chrome extension based on the idea discussed
> above :-)
>
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Ziyuan Yao
>
> https://sites.google.com/site/yaoziyuan/
>
>



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