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The Pain

October 9, 2012

EdStartup 101 had some questions to help us understand the pain we are dealing with when starting a new product or service.  It has helped me to understand the problem better before I try and provide a solution.  I’m not sure focusing on the problem always provides the best results or solutions (like shown in Appreciative Inquiry), but trying to solve a problem without understanding the answer is even worse.

 

What is the problem?

People can’t comprehend other people in a language they are learning, especially people who speak fast.

 

What causes the problem?

They can’t keep up cognitively with the speaker.  They are not prepared cognitively in their class or other learning environment.

People aren’t motivated to continue studying a language.

 

What are people who have the problem willing to do?

They are willing to go to a class and learn while forced to be there.

People living around the other language are more willing to learn because there is more pain.

Missionaries, with religious motivation, are willing to learn.

People that come in contact with the language less, like construction workers working with Hispanic employees, are willing to learn a few important words for the environment.

 

Current solutions to the problem?

Learn in a class setting.

Speak and listen to native speakers.

Use a dictionary or translation tool to understand words.

Use programs like Rosetta Stone.

Use apps on a smart phone.

 

Why aren’t the current solutions good enough?

Many cost a lot.

There is a high drop out rate because of lack of motivation.

Cheaper programs are not efficient or effective in teaching a language.

 

How long has it been a problem?

The problem has been around since languages were invented.  Recent solutions have changed with the invention of different types of media.

 

How easily could something change to make the problem go away?

I’m not sure yet–I need to test possible solutions.  Even if the solutions improve the problem, the problem will not be wiped away, but only overcome quicker and/or more effectively.

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