Whoever said that hard work always pays off, was telling nothing but the truth! It does pay off and it feels great when it happens!
This is how we felt (and still do) here at CulturePlex a few days ago when we found out that SSHRC had approved one of our latest projects, the VL3, which had been proposed for the Insight Development Initiatives Competition. In fact, SSHRC has approved the entire suggested budget for the two year duration of the project. Great news indeed for everyone at CulturePlex!
So what is the VL3? The Virtual Language Learning Lab or the VL3, is yet another innovative idea of Dr. Juan Luis Suarez, Director of the CulturePlex Laboratory, that will be carried out by a team of people from at least three different fields: Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Teaching and Computer Science.
The aim of the project is to develop the prototype of a virtual laboratory for language learning. This virtual laboratory is linguistically based on input theory, and computationally based on a specialized adaptation of the spoken dialogue system technology developed by a specialist in this field and partner in this project. The end result will be an innovative online tool that second language learners will use to improve their communicative skills through a predefined set of real communicative scenarios in a virtual environment that will target different aspects of the students’ lexicon, grammar, and overall ability to communicate in the target language.
In addition to the creation of a cutting edge technology with tremendous commercial potential, the VL3 will become a powerful research tool for linguists and graduate students who will be able to test various hypotheses with real time data. Given our long experience in teaching Spanish as a second language and the great demand world wide to learn this language, we have made Spanish our first target language. In future iterations of the VL3 we will focus on English and French, respectively, as much of the work developed for the first language is reusable for other languages. This VL3 will for now, focus on a prototype for written communication.
We are looking forward to start working on this exciting project and will definitely keep you posted on the progress we are making with the VL3.
Step 1: celebrating the good news! Cheers!