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Author Topic: Alternatives to LEAP: Hot Potatoes, Spoken English Learned Quickly  (Read 3958 times)
Gerry T. Galacio
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« on: May 11, 2015, 09:21:52 PM »

LEAP stands for "Learning English Application for Pinoys" and is a joint project of UP Diliman and the DOST. LEAP is meant to bolster the government and the BPO industry's drive to make the Philippines the premier BPO destination in the world. Once completed, LEAP will be distributed freely to schools nationwide. But LEAP's release has been delayed. Originally set for release to the public in June 2013,  it's still in closed beta testing at this time.

Without waiting for LEAP's release (or to complement LEAP), stakeholders like the BPO industry, English teachers and students, etc. can implement measures to help improve English proficiency among Filpinos.

1. To create your own interactive grammar and vocabulary exercises, use the freeware Hot Potatoes v.6.3.0.5 from University of Victoria (Canada).

LEAP has grammar and vocabulary modules that feature interactive exercises with graphic elements. But the Internet already has hundreds of thousands of this kind of exercises. Anyone can simply go online and use these exercises. (My website at http://tinyurl.com/betterenglishforeveryone has thousands of links to interactive grammar and vocabulary exercises.)

Also, if you're an English teacher, you can create your own interactive exercises using Hot Potatoes version 6.3.0.5, a freeware from the University of Victoria in Alberta, Canada. With Hot Potatoes, you can create cloze tests, flashcards, matching type quizzes with time limit and automatic scoring, etc. You can incorporate graphics, sounds, and videos into these exercises. The exercises can then be stored and used offline. They can also be stored and shared online by uploading them to Dropbox or Google Drive.

(Using Hot Potatoes, I have created more than 190 quizzes and flashcards on Plain English at http://tinyurl.com/plainenglishexercises hosted on Google Drive.)

Hot Potatoes works with Windows XP/Vista and Linux running Wine. Java Hot Potatoes runs on Mac OSX. Here's the link to the Hot Potatoes home page: https://hotpot.uvic.ca/

2. Speech and pronunciation: Rosetta Stone and ABA English's Listen, Record, Compare

LEAP has a speech and pronunciation module that's designed to correct common errors in English pronunciation by Filipinos. This module is exceptional because, based on my research, there are only two commercially available programs similar to it. These are Rosetta Stone and ABA English's "Listen, Record, Compare." Perhaps, the BPO industry can make these software programs available to colleges and universities nationwide. (Rosetta Stone is available online on subscription basis, as CD, or as download. ABA English LRC is only available online on monthly subscription basis.)

3. Spoken English Learned Quickly: The best way to learn to speak English and to learn grammar at the same time is to listen to and speak grammatically-correct sentences.

I stand to be corrected, but it seems that LEAP is following the theory that learning vocabulary and grammar leads automatically to proficiency in spoken English. This theory is simply not true. The majority of Filipino college students today cannot speak English proficiently, and yet, they have studied grammar since their grade school days.

(Back in the early 1980s, I taught a grammar review subject in a private high school in San Mateo, Rizal. My students couldn't speak English fluently in complete sentences even though they could diagram sentences proficiently. Also, millions of Filipino college students from the 1960s to the 1980s took 12 units of Spanish. But because Spanish professors focused on teaching grammar, only very few Filipinos learned to speak Spanish, even conversationally.)

Even if Filipinos learn to pronounce English words and phrases correctly through LEAP's speech module, this does not guarantee that they can construct and speak coherent, grammatically-correct English sentences. People do not learn to speak English by studying vocabulary and the rules of grammar. The best way in learning to speak English fluently and to learn grammar at the same time is by listening to and speaking grammatically-correct sentences.

Part of my website is "Spoken English Learned Quickly" at http://tinyurl.com/spokenenglishlearnedquickly hosted on Dropbox. The SELQ materials were all developed by Dr. Lynn Lundquist. SELQ uses what is called "Proprioceptive Language Learning Method" or simply "Feedback Training Method." This method emphasizes the simultaneous training of the mind, ears, vocal cords, lips, tongue, jaw, and facial muscles in learning a language.

SELQ emphasizes five rules of learning how to speak English fluently, three of which are:

1. To learn how to speak English correctly, you must speak English aloud.

2.  To learn how to speak English fluently, you must think in English.

3. The more you speak English aloud, the more quickly you will learn to speak it fluently.
 
By using the "Spoken English Learned Quickly" materials, a person can learn to speak fluent conversational English in less than nine months. The materials, which can all be downloaded free from my website, include a 450-page Student Workbook (PDF) and 150-plus hours of MP3 lessons in British and American accents. (You can also download a 48-page booklet "Learning To Speak A Second Language" explaining what  "Proprioceptive Language Learning Method" is all about.)

Note: Lest I be misunderstood, I want to say that I'm eagerly waiting for LEAP's release so I can use it in my English proficiency seminars. As soon as I can get corporate sponsors, I will be conducting free English proficiency seminars in speaking, reading, and writing.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 10:13:15 PM by Gerry T. Galacio » Logged
Gerry T. Galacio
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2015, 07:51:16 AM »

You can use the freeware Hot Potatoes v.6.3.0.5 to create interactive grammar and vocabulary exercises. Here's the link: https://hotpot.uvic.ca/

Hot Potatoes can create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering, and gap-fill (cloze) exercises for the World Wide Web.

Hot Potatoes works on Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/Vista) and Linux users running Wine. Java Hot Potatoes runs on Mac OS X.

Some Sites built with Half-Baked Software tools
https://hotpot.uvic.ca/sites6.php

Tutorials and Other Resources on Hot Potatoes 6
https://hotpot.uvic.ca/tutorials6.php
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 05:47:41 AM by Gerry T. Galacio » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 09:40:09 PM »

"DOST rolls out innovations for trade, learning at Palawan fair" at http://www.mb.com.ph/dost-rolls-out-innovations-for-trade-learning-at-palawan-fair/

"A highlight of the event was when DOST Undersecretary Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara led the turn-over of the LEAP software to DOST 4-B officials ā€“ Maria Ethelwilda G. Coronacion of Occidental Mindoro; Jesse M. Pine of Oriental Mindoro; Bernardo T. Caringal of Marinduque; Marcelina V. ServaƱez of Romblon; and Engr. Pacifico T. Sariego of Palawan ā€“ at the Palawan Uno Hotel, here.

"A 200-hour English training software, LEAP is a computer-based English language training program that has two modules: the grammar and vocabulary module, and the speech module."
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