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Courses | Arabic | Chinese | French | Spanish |

Arabic for Global Exchange (mini-course)

| Overview | Users | Contacts |

This is a mini-course for individuals with no proficiency or extremely limited knowledge of Arabic language and culture who are about to begin study or work in an Arabic-speaking context. The course will introduce learners to basic concepts and information to facilitate entry and engagement in an Arabic-speaking environment.

Cultural content: Lesson 1/Diversity in the Arabic-Speaking World; Lesson 2/Historical Aspects of Islam; Lesson 3/Political Governance; Lesson 4/Family and Society; Lesson 5/America and the Arab World; Lesson 6/The Suk, the Ahwa, and a Bowl of Fresh Hummus.

Linguistic content: Lesson 1/Greetings! Marhaba!;
Lesson 2/ Eating Out and Shopping; Lesson 3/ Visit to a Home in the Arabic-Speaking World; Lesson 4/ Traveling to an Arabic-Speaking Country; Lesson 5/Professional Meetings; Lesson 6/Common Expressions in Arabic.

Estimated Time to Complete Course: This is a six-week,
six-lesson, half-semester course (equivalent to six weeks of
university-level instruction) or roughly sixty hours of student effort.

Users : Currently offered at Carnegie Mellon each semester. Available for instructor-led use in other institutions through the Open Learning Initiative.

Contacts: Susan Polansky (Arabic Project Co-Director) sp3@andrew.cmu.edu, Christopher Jones (Language Online Project Director) cjones@andrew.cmu.edu, Nevine Abraham (Arabic Co-Author) nabrah@andrew.cmu.edu, Marc Siskin (Technical Lead) miskin@andrew.cmu.edu

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Chinese Online I and II

| Overview | Design | Users | Contacts |


Elementary Chinese Online aims to help beginners develop communicative competence in the four basic skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and culture of Chinese. The learning objectives of the online course are organized around the 5 Cs principles of the National Standards for Foreign Language Education for the 21st Century - Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Connections and Communities.  The course is divided into two semesters: Elementary Chinese I and Elementary Chinese II. Typically, in college-level classes, Elementary Chinese I covers 8 units (units 1-8) and Elementary Chinese II covers 10 units (units 9-18). We recommend that students go through the units in order to take advantage of the systematic scope and sequence of the learning materials. However, the curriculum is also flexible for institutions to adopt and modify to meet their different needs, schedule and emphasis.


Scope and Sequence for Elementary Chinese Online I and II

Unit 1: Foundation: Pinyin & basic expressions    拼音介绍 & 基本用语
Unit 2: Greetings    问候
Unit 3: Names    姓名
Unit 4: Nationality and languages    国家和语言
Unit 5: Talk about studies    谈学习
Unit 6: Talk about yourself and your family    自己和家庭
Unit 7: Making phone calls    打电话
Unit 8: Talk about daily schedule    日常时间表
Unit 9: Make and accept an invitation     邀请
Unit 10: Request something from somebody   请求
Unit 11: Order food at a restaurant    点菜
Unit 12: Go shopping    买东西
Unit 13: Show people around    介绍处所
Unit 14: Talk about hobbies and sports    爱好和运动
Unit 15: Travel plans    旅行计划
Unit 16: Illness    生病
Unit 17: Rent an apartment    租房
Unit 18: Future plans and expressing wishes    计划和祝福

Elementary Chinese I Online
(Units 1-8; first semester)
•    Pinyin foundation
•    Main Vocabulary (181 items)
•    Characters in Character Book (201)
•    Text Notes (28 items)
•    Grammar Points (32 points)
•    Culture Notes (8 items)

Elementary Chinese II Online
(Units 9-18; second semester)
•    Main Vocabulary (352 items)
•    Characters in Character Book (307)
•    Text Notes (37 items)
•    Grammar Points (30 items)
•    Culture Notes (10 items)

Learning materials: The units have a consistent structure. Each unit (units 2-18) contains the following main content and activities:

I. Main Content:
- Objectives    
- Main video (+questions)     
- Video preview exercises
- Text of the video 
- Text translation and pinyin with slower audio  (students are strongly encouraged
  to listen and repeat after the sound files)
- Text notes    
- Vocabulary tables    
- Video comprehension exercises

II. Listening:
- Pinyin recognition exercise    
- True and false exercise    
- Translation exercise
- Question answering exercise

III. Grammar :
- Grammar notes;     
- Sentence jumble exercise     
- Dialogue jumble exercise

IV. Reading Exercises:
- Reading comprehension

V. Consolidation Exercises :
- Picture description exercise

VI. Culture Link :
- Culture notes     
- Culture info.
VII Characters:
- Characters in the character book (both traditional and simplified versions)

Users: Chinese Online 1 and 2 are currently in use at Carnegie Mellon University and available for use by instructors at other institutions. See the Open Learning Initiative site for the latest updates.

Contacts: Sue-mei Wu (Principal Author) suemei@andrew.cmu.edu, Christopher Jones (Language Online Project Director) cjones@andrew.cmu.edu, Marc Siskin (Technical Lead) miskin@andrew.cmu.edu.

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French Online I and II

| Overview | Evaluation | Design | Users | Reviews | Contacts |

Overview: French Online is a two-semester course developed at Carnegie Mellon University in the context of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI). The course is a stand-alone method and can be adapted for a blended delivery system (face-to-face and on-line) or a purely distance delivery. Hallmarks of the course include a carefully chunked and highly interactive presentation of French language and culture and a media-rich course environment including new video shot in France and Quebec with professional actors. Versions are available for free use by independent Internet learners, and for low-cost use by instructor-led classes of enrolled students.

Evaluation: An extensive assessment of the earlier versions of French Online courses used qualitative and quantitative methods to understand the experience from both the teachers' and learners' perspectives, with very encouraging results. The subsequent evolution of the French course?now in continuous development for more than 14 years--has resulted in a course which has few peers in terms of on-line delivery of language instruction, winning the CALICO/Esperantic Association ?Access to Language Education Award? for best publicly available web-delivered language instruction in the Spring of 2007.

Design: Each course is divided into fifteen thematic lessons. A lesson is designed to take approximately one week to complete so working through an entire course will take the average learner approximately fifteen weeks. Completing both courses will require two semesters or roughly thirty weeks. Instructors can select, reorder or eliminate lessons when establishing their own instance of the course.

Each lesson opens with a video dramatization that sets the context for the lesson. Parts of the video are then replayed in a variety of interactive activities and tutors. Each video in the course was written specifically to serve as the foundation for the lesson in which it is used. These high quality videos were produced with French actors on location in France (Nantes) and Quebec (Montreal) so the speech, movements and contexts are authentic.

The beginning of each lesson is always a set sequence, from simple recognition of language in a video dialogue, through explicit learning of grammar and pronunciation, to written and spoken production of variations on that language. After this ordered beginning, a number of activities are offered to the student in which the language learned is used in understanding new texts, sounds or videos or in creative production (conversation or writing). Lesson tests and final exams, generated from extensive question pools, portions of which are automatically graded, are available to students enrolled in instructor-led courses.  The Learning Dashboard allows for at-a-glance evaluation by instructors of student progress based on each lesson?s learning objectives.

Users: French Online is currently in use at more than fifteen universities and secondary schools. Flexible scheduling is a primary attraction, for Drake University?s Language Acquisition Program,  Columbia University Continuing Education, the University of Maryland University College, for example. Over 100,000 independent learners have also used the course.

Available Now: The full versions of French Online I and French Online II.

Contacts: Christopher Jones (Project Director and Co-Author) cjones@andrew.cmu.edu; Marc Siskin (Technical Lead) miskin@andrew.cmu.edu; Bonnie Youngs (Co-Author) byoungs@andrew.cmu.edu; Sophie Queuniet (Co-Author) sq2112@columbia.edu.

Richard House, Director,Language Resource Center, University of New Hampshire
[French Online] is really a great step forward.  The course itself would actually lend itself to the student from another discipline who wants to study French on his/her own.  We really don't have any good answer for that sort of individual at the moment, since most of our material is built around text curricula.

Elizabeth Seamans (Fred Rodgers collaborator, filmmaker): How we wished we had had such things when we were learning languages... the decoding, the body language, the subject matter, the humor.  Joe [Seamans, filmmaker] agreed that the camera work is really good, likewise light, likewise performance.  We both realized that it was the first time that we really began to understand this amazing project, to  appreciate its complexity, and artistic aspect, its potential, its actuality.

Michele Bouziane, U.S. Coast Guard, Foreign Language Program Manager
Thanks very much for the French course--it's excellent!

Lynne, (adult) enrolled student: The on-line materials (listening, reading, grammar, translating, writing, spelling, etc.) are integrated in a way that I often didn't realize taught me more about French than I was initially aware.  Fascinating, from a learner's perspective.  It was necessary for me to be exposed to new material, learn, review, go back, learn more, be frustrated, try more, distribute attention -- all of which is made possible at all hours of the day and any time I have time to study.  Each lesson's topics are relevant and often quite engaging.  I found that the culture sections motivated me to do more (e.g., download French recording artists, travel to Paris, become more familiar with French politics).  Associated class and teacher time is absolutely critical for me as well.  Questions are shared and answered, and lots of opportunity is provided to practice, practice, practice.

Paul, independent student. French II:  This course is amazing.  It is exactly what I needed to stay motivated as an independent learner.  The creators of this course are obviously professionals, and clearly have an excellent understanding of what it takes to deliver an effective language learning program. Well done and thank you very much!

Matthew (Independent learner) 2014 I am really enjoying the OLI course on elementary French I.  I work for a French company and after only 4 days of using the course I have learned a lot!  I have learned more French in these 4 days that I have in 3 months by trying the various apps such as DuoLingo.  I find that DuoLingo helps me recognize vocabulary when I read French but it does not help me speak French.  The OLI course is helping me speak French!

John (Independent learner) 2013 What an excellent French course.  I have tried many French courses on the net but this is by far the best-constructed and thought out course I have used.  Just wanted to say "well done" and thank you to all involved in putting it together.  I look forward to working right through it.

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Spanish Online I and II

| Overview | Evaluation | Design | Users | Contacts |

Spanish Online is an interactive course intended for use by university students and independent learners on the Internet. (See Conditions of Use.) The first-semester course is divided into twelve lessons. These lessons can be lengthened by classroom teachers or independent learners, but not easily shortened, given the amount of material covered. Each lesson is always a set sequence, from simple recognition of language in a dialogue to written and spoken production of variations on that language. A number of activities are offered to the student in which the language learned is used in understanding new texts, videos or sound files in creative production (conversation or writing).

Each lesson is organized around a theme and divided into six sections. The sections are:

1. Funciones comunicativas: In this first section, you will be introduced to the practical function that the lesson serves in the real world - what it will enable you to do and why it is important. You will gain insight into how speakers of Spanish use certain types of language, for example how to express politeness or formality. In addition, through the presentation of short dialogues, this section contains much of the active vocabulary you will need for the lesson as a whole.

2. Vocabulario: In this section you will find a very straightforward presentation of words and expressions that you will need to talk about the lesson's theme. These lists most often are words that were not presented already in the "Funciones" section. You can click on each word to hear pronunciation and also see rollover translations.

3. Estructuras gramaticales: Here you will find the 'nuts and bolts' of the lesson, in other words, more detailed explanations of grammar rules and how the language works. So, you will learn such things as verb conjugations, or what word order to use when asking questions, for example. This section will give you more insight into patterns of the language so that you can move from simple words to longer, more complex expression, both in writing and in conversation. Since you will be working independently in most cases, we have provided rather detailed explanations of how the language works.

4. Esbozos culturales: In Esbozos culturales, you will be reading short selections on a wide variety of cultural topics ? common architectural styles in Latin America, popular sports in the Spanish speaking world, famous figures from the world of art, music, film, and literature. You will also read about some aspects of culture such as typical university life and dating in both Latin America and Spain. In Esbozos culturales, you also will find readings about different Spanish speaking countries; these will provide you with a brief background of the countries, and give you some insight into just how diverse the Spanish speaking world is. Initially, your readings will be in English, but you will, little by little, begin to do the readings in Spanish, and by the end of the class, they will be almost entirely in Spanish. In this section, you will also be exposed to grammar and vocabulary that you will work to understand from context as there will be words, phrases and structures that you will not yet have mastered. In some cases, translations are provided, in others, you will be working from the context to understand the passage.

5. Actividades : This section has important assignments that give you the opportunity to synthesize the entire lesson and to practice all that you have learned. Here, you will find three different types of assignments: writing practice, oral practice and chat room practice. The writing practice are short paragraphs based on the lesson's theme or messages that you share with classmates in a discussion board forum, so that you can build your writing skills; in oral practice, you are given prompts to do one-on-one conversations with your professor or a native-speaker assistant - to use the grammar and vocabulary you have learned in real contexts, as well as to make voice recordings; chat room assignments ask you to practice a little more with your classmates, to use the language creatively!

6. Evaluación : If you are using the licensed (instructor-led) version of the course, in this section you will find a lesson test, based on the vocabulary, grammar and cultural topics. These tests are quite similar in structure and content to the exercises and assignments that are in each lesson.

7. Material complementario : This section is optional. While some of the extra vocabulary words may appear on occasion in exercises, the materials here will not be included in tests (unless your own instructor specifies otherwise). There are extra vocabulary lists to add on to what you have already learned, web resources that provide links to videos and texts that supplement the lesson. This section is meant to give you just a little extra but is not mandatory.

While each of the above sections has a particular focus, they share a few things in common. In each one, you are provided with multiple opportunities to listen to native speakers and to repeat the sounds you hear. As well, all sections have exercises built in to give you the chance to practice. Exercises provide you with immediate feedback and helpful hints; they range from simple comprehension checks to more complex exercises where you produce sentences. In each lesson you will find approximately twenty to thirty exercises; these are a crucial key to your success. Many of the activities you will see on your tests are similar to the practice exercises.

This Online course provides you with numerous chances to hear native speakers pronounce the vocabulary and phrases that you will be expected to produce; thus, we feel that it is extremely important that you avail yourself of this opportunity. In other words, whenever you can, CLICK! Obviously, you can listen to each word, sentence or dialogue as many times as you would like, and can practice repeating; thus, this course provides you with a wonderful way to improve both your listening and speaking skills. Material is also recycled frequently for continued practice, so once you finish a lesson, you will continue to use the what you have learned throughout the entire course.

Users: Spanish Online 1 is currently in use at Carnegie Mellon University and available for use by instructors at other institutions. Spanish Online 2 is scheduled to be available in September of 2015. See the Open Learning Initiative site for the latest updates.

Contacts: Therese Tardio (Principal Author) tardio@andrew.cmu.edu, Rocio Dominguez (Co-Author) Rocio Dominguez rdominguez69@gmail.com, Christopher Jones (Language Online Project Director) cjones@andrew.cmu.edu, Marc Siskin (Technical Lead) miskin@andrew.cmu.edu


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