Development of Learn Aiding Software for Foreign Languages Using Linguistic Tools

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Supervisor:
Ercsényi András
Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology

Communicating in a foreign language is approximately as old as humanity but the de-mand for it increased only with the rapid development of means of transport and com-munication tools in the second part of the 20th century. Before that, travelling abroad was not available for the majority of people and the use of one’s native language was sufficient in local communities. Hence learning foreign languages concerned only a small fraction of the population, mostly those who needed these skills because of their respec-tive jobs.

However, in the last 25 years this has changed greatly. Nowadays the use of foreign languages (especially that of English) plays an increasingly more important part in peo-ple’s lives. There is an almost infinite amount of content available on the Internet and it is mainly produced in foreign languages (from a non-English speaking perspective). In Hungary, in order to graduate from a higher education institution all students are re-quired to pass a language proficiency test in one of the major languages. Also most jobs demand proficiency in at least one foreign language. Often in technical language the latest technologies and up-to-date articles are only available in English.

The widespread use of computers offers opportunities never seen before. Despite this, computer-aided language learning has not been well-developed, there are only a handful of useful software available for those who want to learn a language efficiently.

My application expands the functions well known for linguists with language learning options. I will examine the most important methods in corpus linguistics and their chal-lenges. I will shed light on how learning and forgetting work and how to learn effective-ly as well.

An efficient learning tool, the spaced repetition software will also be introduced. My application was designed to demonstrate how the aforementioned linguistic methods and language learning techniques can be combined for a more effective language learn-ing experience.

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