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Saturday, February 29 • 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Digital Tools for Language Learning

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Emmet De Barra, Wes Hamrick, Brendan Kane, Tom Scheinfeldt, "Digital Tools for Language Learning"
We write to propose a discussion of digital pedagogy through a demonstration of Léamh.org, a web-based tutorial for learning to read and translate texts in Early Modern Irish that launched in 2017. We also propose to discuss Greenhouse Studios’ current, ongoing development of a digital language game for Early Modern Irish.

Léamh (pronounced LAY-uv) is the Irish word for “reading” or “to read.” The purpose of Léamh.org was to mitigate a lack of available resources for learning Early Modern Irish and to make historically important texts written in the language accessible to a much broader readership. The website includes a grammar, a 7,000-word glossary, and a selection of early modern texts accompanied by interactive annotations and translations.

While Léamh.org continues to be updated with additional material, in 2018 we assembled a project team whose charge was not merely to augment or improve the existing website, but to fundamentally rethink and reconceive the relationship between Early Modern Irish and pedagogy. To that end, the project team is currently working on a stand-alone, digital grammar game for teaching and learning Early Modern Irish. Though a game can’t fully replace a conventional descriptive grammar, learning Early Modern Irish by means of a digital game has at least two distinct advantages. For one, gamification provides built-in psychological rewards that encourage the user to maintain a regular program of learning. Secondly, a digital game allows for the collection of aggregated data on learners’ progress through the game, thereby helping to identify aspects of the language that learners find particularly difficult or for which they simply need additional time to master. In turn, this data can provide valuable information about language pedagogy and language acquisition more generally.


Wes Hamrick

University of Connecticut

Brendan Kane

University of Connecticut

Tom Scheinfeldt

University of Connecticut

Emmet De Barra

University of Connecticut

Saturday February 29, 2020 2:30pm - 3:45pm EST
LITC 182

Attendees (3)