New Alphabet Courses in Transparent Language Online Posted by Transparent Language on Apr 29, 2013 in For Educators, For Learners, For Libraries, Learning Material Updates
If you need to memorize just a few words or phrases quickly, using transliteration may be the way to go. But in the long term, learning the native script is a huge advantage.
Learn the native alphabet in Russian, Japanese, or Arabic, for example, and you’ll see and feel the language more authentically. As a beginner, you’ll be able to dive right in, sounding out road and store signs. Later, the native script will serve as your membership card to the world of native literature, texting, and email.
To support this idea, we’ve added full-length alphabet courses to Transparent Language Online. These alphabet courses include a suite of activities designed to help users achieve basic familiarization with the alphabet, including letter shapes, sounds, and names. So far, we’ve created alphabet courses for Arabic, Armenian, Chechen, Dari, Farsi, Hebrew, Hindi, Iraqi, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Thai, Russian, Mongolian, Hungarian, Punjabi, Georgian, Urdu, and Greek. More are on the way.
When these courses were first being developed, we turned to members of our Facebook community to take our Russian course for a spin. Facebook fans not already learning Russian spent an average of just over an hour learning the Russian alphabet using the alphabet course. Their feedback was helpful in shaping the final product, and we really enjoyed reading their comments:
“At first it seemed really fast to just go from one activity to the other without stopping to repeat (which you can do, but I just didn’t), but it is actually amazing how you learn the alphabet without even noticing it… I never thought I’d get it all correct in the assessment!” (Note: the average score by our tester group on the final assessment was 95%)
“Very, very good! I now know the Russian alphabet and now have an interest in learning Russian, thank you! Something completely different from English, French, and German, which I speak all to fluency or near-fluency.”
“[The Alphabet Explorer activity] is a great idea because some letters in the Russian alphabet did not have the same sound as the letter in English. I appreciated seeing both upper- and lowercase letters. I found the pronunciations to be very helpful and played them multiple times to familiarize myself with the slightly different pronunciations of each letter.”
“I felt that [the Alphabet Learner activity] was the first that really challenged my retrieval skills. I liked how it drilled me more on the letters I got wrong.”
“[The Recognize and Say It activity] was the best exercise for me, as I can usually choose correctly when given a multiple choice, but when I have to come up with the answer from scratch is when I truly know I have learned something.”
Many thanks to our fans for participating in our Alphabet course testing!