Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thing 41: Live Mocha



Learn a new language and make friends along the way!

Live Mocha is a language site+social networking site rolled into one. On Live Mocha you can pick a language you'd like to learn (they have tons of languages from Spanish, Thai, Hindi, ect) and select the level you'd like to begin with. But, what sets Live Mocha apart from other language learning sites is you can have your speaking and writing submissions reviewed by native speakers who will give you tips on how to improve. You can also connect with users on the same level as you and buddy up in the chatrooms or through video. This site is great for people who don't have time to take a language course but still want that "group" atmosphere and also for those who are brushing up their language skills. I'm currently taking a Spanish course on Live Mocha now and it will definitely come in handy when conversing with Spanish speaking library patrons.

Live Mocha just went live September 24th of this year and their still in beta mode. Right now all the language courses are free.

¡El mocha vivo es impresionante!


Discovery Exercise


  1. Create an account on Live Mocha.
  2. Select a language you're interested in and take a course.
  3. Was there anything you liked or didn't like on Live Mocha? Blog about your experience.


4 comments:

Hunkston said...

Recently I began attempting to learn a new language online, just to have something else to put on my CV, and I was amazed how many different types of language software there are available. In the end I decided to purchase some gear that would help me learn French and it has been amazing, I can’t believe how quickly I am picking it all up! Going to give Russian a go next!

Susan said...

In Huangshan (黄山) southern Anhui province in Eastern China, Fu Shou-Bing logs on to the computer in the public library near his village. Since discovering ECpod.com (http://www.ECpod.com), the retired High School Chemistry teacher has been logging on almost every day to the English-Chinese teaching website. Sometimes he cycles the 25 miles home, cooks himself a simple lunch of rice and stir-fried vegetables with salted fish, often returning once again to the library and his new hobby in the evening.

ECpod.com boasts an educational website that teaches members conversational English or Chinese (no “this is an apple” stuff here) via video clips contributed by other members. After a vetting and often transcribing process by language tutors commissioned by the site, the clips are available free of charge in YouTube fashion. The twist? Members film each other in everyday activities, hoping other members will learn not just their native tongue, but also cultural innuendos lost in textbooks and more conventional means of language learning.

“One member filmed himself cooking in his kitchen. We got a few emails asking what condiments he used,” says a bemused Warwick Hau, one of the site’s more public faces. One emailer even wanted to know if she could achieve the same Chinese stir-fry using ingredients from her regular CR Vanguard (华润超级) supermarket. “We often forget our every day activities may not be as mundane to people on the other side of the world,” Hau adds. Another such clip is “loaches” - a Chinese mother of 3 filmed her children and their friends playing with a bucket of loaches - slippery eel-like fish the children were picking up and gently squeezing between their fingers.

Lately the members have also begun to make cross-border friends and contacts. The ECpal function works much the same way sites like Facebook.com and MySpace.com work - members can invite each other to view their clips and make friends. And it has its fair share of juvenile humor as well. “Farting Competition” features two teenagers and graphic sound effects. Within several days, the clip was one of the most popular videos that week, likely due to mass-forwarding by the participants’ schoolmates.

For other members keen to learn more than the fact juvenile humor is similar everywhere, there are many home videos featuring unlikely little nuggets of wisdom. “The last thing I learned from the site is why you never find green caps for sale in China”, says Adam Schiedler one of the English language contributors to the site. Green caps signify cuckolded husbands, particularly shameful in China as they are a huge loss of face. Adam vows not to buy any green headgear for his newfound friends.

The subject matter of the videos often speaks volumes about its contributors. Members choose their own content and film the clip wherever they please, some of their efforts drawing attention to rural surroundings and the quaint insides of little homes otherwise not seen unless you backpack your way thru the tiny dirt roads and villages along the Chinese countryside.

Idyllic countrysides and cooking lessons aside however, ECpod marries the latest video sharing technology with the old school way of teaching a language - from the native speakers on the street. It’s a modern, more convenient alternative to spending 6 months in China. And why not let the Chinese teach you?

pbsl said...

you have a nice site. thanks for sharing this resources. anyway, various kinds of ebooks are available here

http://feboook.blogspot.com

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