Visually Speaking: the Science of Language Acquisition
Visually Speaking: the Science of Language Acquisition
Using Neuro-Science to finally make people conversational in a second language with a REVOLUTIONARY APP.
Using Neuro-Science to finally make people conversational in a second language with a REVOLUTIONARY APP. Read more
About this project
Pledge today to make my new Visually Speaking app a reality. With this app you will be able to speak a foreign language immediately in full sentences without repeating, reading any text or studying grammar.
Thank you for considering my Kickstarter project. My strings of images make you recall out loud every word perfectly. These clear icons are specifically designed to create spontaneous speech in a phenomenon known as neuro-feedback. My images are consistently placed in strings of 3 to 12, therefore always introducing the vocabulary in a meaningful context. This is called intellectual networking and makes you completely communicative in Chinese, French or any other language. As you can tell, I have spent many years developing this simple and yet revolutionary method, until now requiring a classroom setting, but with my REVOLUTIONARY new app, you will enjoy the benefits anywhere in the world, removing the limitations to language learning. Thank you for helping to make my dream a reality!
My background is in cognitive psychology. Everyone claims to include visuals in their systems but for many years I have been demonstrating that the real potential of images is deeply misunderstood. Flashing an icon or a scene at a child or an adult while saying a word and then making them repeat serves no purpose. My trick, if you want to call it that, has been to create images that are easy to understand and recall and then to stage a learning context for students to "read" the images out loud. Every time the students marvel at their own ability to recall entire sentences, they cannot wait for each new word to be introduced. The vocabulary is introduced at a natural pace one word at a time. My REVOLUTIONARY new app will finally, after more than twenty-five years of working on this method, make it possible for me to deliver my program for a new purpose outside of the classroom. The technology platform in the past simply could not support my vision - but with your help, not we can make it happen. I want to tell you this is not just a project but a lifelong passion of mine -to take this unique, proven, and now widely used classroom instruction method which I have labored on for my whole career - now to actually transform this to a platform that will be easy for everyone to access and use - it will unleash a whole new era in language learning. And you will have been a part of it, with my gratitude beyond what you can ever imagine.
Rewards include my language lessons in flipbook format - just a small insight into what my Visually Speaking new app will deliver!
My Action Plan for Visually Speaking app
I have assembled a team and we have been collaborating on the app development with experienced programmers who have an excellent track record in delivering IOS architecture timely. I am creating all the visual content, and the native speaker team members are assisting with the audio and syntax. I am so glad to tell you that a prototype is actually working, with limited features but sufficient for me to come to you requesting your support to help me make this a reality - to complete this app which will change language learning around the world.
If the minimum Kickstarter goal is achieved, then I am confident of completing the main frame of this project within six to eight weeks. The next task will then be to populate each template myself with sounds, images and logical navigation, again with the help of my native speaker colleagues to get it right. In year 1 we will offer the level 1 course, comprised of 5 offerings, with the following expected price levels. Please note that the pricing may be affected by changes in our cost structure, but following a successful pilot, the goal will be to deliver to market for each language:
I will first begin with English, the most in demand language in the world. As phase a & b are completed and beta tested I will then begin Chinese and Spanish. Based on my six years leading our team in creating and selling online language games successfully I am confident that we can complete phase a to e in English within 4 months and 2 months later being able to launch Chinese and Spanish. French will be launch 1 month later. In the first quarter of year 2 we anticipate to launch Arabic and Japanese. I am so very fortunate to have a pilot group of students for the launch of my REVOLUTIONARY app; the testing and deployment will begin with the 400 students and their families attending classes at my language center in Lower Manhattan, as well as the 1200 K12 teachers and tutors now using QTalk classroom materials (my manipulatives and online games subscriptions as well as Smartboard lessons) and printed texts in the US. I am also planning to go to China In the coming year, on the invitation of ESL schools in Beijing, Shanghai and Yinchuan to demonstrate my method and the tools to implement it.
My progamming partner will create the architecture. This reputable expert programmer has a stellar track record of delivering smooth IOS architecture and a history of excellent tech support.
My own team of expert teachers & consultants will populate the infrastructure with the visuals and sounds under my supervision. Every teacher takes part in the development of our hard copy or digital tools.
QTalk is the second generation of a method I created in the early 1990's in response to the growing need of teachers to offer meaningful language instruction in the classroom. It rapidly developed as a program suited for high school, college and adult learners. The current QTalk program consists of Books (printed books and digital flipbooks), Flash Cards, Games, Online Games, all of which are also available on a Smartboard format. These are currently offered to public and private schools. Each language is available in different levels and follows a logical progression year after year. When I began proposing this teaching approach, teachers immediately recognized the need for an alternative to the ineffectual text book publishers. When Smartboards came in the classrooms we were the first ones to have a system well adapted for this new platform. The school world is now changing and soon the majority of students will be going to school with an iPad, allowing them them to carry all their books and taking all their notes. For more information on QTalk, please visit www.qtalkpublishing.com
I have authored and published more than 90 language books and 200 games in French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, Italian, German and English. Each language has multiple levels. I do not translate any book. Every language has a specific syntax and therefore must be approached differently, and I work with a native speaker colleague for each language I do not speak fluently myself. My books, games, flash cards and online games all include similar themes directly related to everyday life. Through authoring these materials I myself have become proficient in sixteen languages and look forward to expanding that number as my REVOLUTIONARY new app expands to bring my QTalk Method to language learners in every part of the world.
Our human minds only respond to active cognition. Asking someone to recall one word at a time is unnatural. From the age of 18 months we are neurologically primed to only voice information necessary to express our needs and reactions in complex strings of words assembled in syntax specific to our own language. My method does not rely on delayed gratification, wherein the learner is only expected to communicate meaningfully after a few weeks. Such outdated approaches are based on the artificial sequence of study > learn > speak which has resulted in a total failure to make people bilingual. Our students are spending at least 320 hours in language classes during their school years, and yet most of them cannot string a simple sentence together in a second language. The worst is that students are made to feel it’s their fault. And yet we all have met new immigrants who are systematically bilingual, sometimes with limited formal lessons or education in how to speak their new language. For a full neurological explanation on QTalk, click here to read my complete Scientific Perspective.
For your $9,997 pledge I personally will create for you your own customized printed copy (collector's item) of my language lessons in the form of a level 1 printed book as well as the content in online flipbook format, featuring as characters you yourself and several friends, family members, or pets.
Of course every pledge is a step closer to the goal, and I want you to know that EVERY pledge, no matter the size, is very, very much appreciated. Review the reward details for each pledge level, and I think you'll be amazed at the cool materials you will have at your fingertips in a few short weeks (as soon as I can deliver, or no later than October 2014). All it takes is right now you just need to take a few seconds while you're thinking about it, and submit your pledge right now.
Then - tell your friends about me. Seriously, please mention me and my REVOLUTIONARY new Visually Speaking app everywhere you go for the duration of this campaign. I am grateful for your help spreading the word to your friends, colleagues, family, social network, and the people you meet casually on the street - seriously - please help me get this news out to the world. I cannot do it without YOU. So after twenty-five years of fine-tuning the method, now with your help I can make it happen in a REVOLUTIONARY app that has been my dream for many years.
My experience with voice recognition technology dates from 1996 when, with a team of programmers in the Midwest I successfully programmed a remarkable artificial intelligence device allowing users to interact live with a person in French and English.
What if I exceed the minimum target? Here's the plan
$100K will allow me to not only program the IOS architecture but also populate it with 3 levels in Chinese, French, English and Spanish in the first year. In the second year I will launch Arabic, Japanese and Portuguese. A total of 28,000 students are currently using either Symtalk or QTalk in the US and abroad and I am estimating that 30% of those will be moving into a digital tablet format. I am already delivering cloud-based language lessons and interactive games to these customers through my QTalk Publishing sole source direct business relationships with schools and tutors as well as homeschool parents. It has been a wonderful experience bringing these lessons to market, but the operations and support costs dedicated to maintaining the existing scholastic business, have not allowed me to take this method to the next technology level - that is why I am asking for your help and support for my Kickstarter!
I usually attend five language conferences each Fall and another five each Spring, and I am so excited to be able to bring my REVOLUTIONARY new Visually Speaking app to this audience who are already big fans of my online teaching tools such as the amazing QTalk Blocks, which I am also completing this year (bootstrapping), making it even more important to get ahead of the curve and set up our team to complete the Visually Speaking app as quickly as possible.
Over the last 20 years I have acquired extensive experience in the creation, distribution, and support of language learning materials and tools for language instructors. Currently my online games are used by hundreds of schools (go to www.qtalkgames.com) therefore language technologies are not new to me and my team, however, the time has come to break through the limitations and launch my REVOLUTIONARY new application for individual users who do not always have the benefit of a teacher assisting them.
For campaign details you can bookmark my website, www.MauriceHazan.com. And now that you have read this far - don't delay - please make your pledge while you are thinking about it. And thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing my Kickstarter campaign as widely and as often as possible. Please pledge right now. And share. And thank you!!
Risks and challenges
As in all technology projects, the challenge will be to complete the project within the timeline I have set for myself. Additionally, there is risk due to possibly unforeseen factors that may impact the third party voice recognition technology I will be licensing to include in my product. However, with a 6 years experience creating online games with my team, we are confident about our ability to offer clients a reliable, high performing application for level 1 language learning, and if the minimum goal is exceeded significantly, it will help me realize my intention to complete level 2 and 3 in all languages before the initial users complete their introductory lessons. Every extra dollar will be spent expanding and improving our app while establishing the scalable technology infrastructure, customer service/support knowledgebase, and expansion to additional languages and levels with the goal of being able to support for rapid, massive implementation worldwide without limits. Let the language learning begin!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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