Soo Hyang Joo, Sawaros Thanapornsangsuth, and Risa Goda
Will be presenting at SXSWedu Summit at Austin, Texas in March, 2016
Wiki Talki, a mobile application to facilitate language learning in a classroom especially for ESL learners by recording the users and share for peer feedbacks. Wiki Talki aims to alleviate the problem of Asian large class size that makes it almost impossible for teachers to assess students’ skill-based performance especially in pronunciation. We collaborated with our programmer friends in South Korea and developed an Android application that is now available on Google Play Store for free. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.wikitalki&hl=en
Our beta function of the app is very simple: a student’s recording would be automatically sent to 3 classmates for peer feedback. Thus, students are allowed a monitored personal speaking practice session. Also, continuous use of the app during speaking lessons would form a database of practice and peer feedback results.
The following is the process of how a teacher would use the web and app for a regular speaking lesson:
- Teacher uploads a customized speaking task to the web page.
- In class, students record, listen and upload their responses on the app.
- Students receive an automatically generated list of 3 classmates’ recordings, which they would listen to and comment on.
- The recordings and feedbacks are achieved in the app for the students as well as in the web for the teachers.
Through extended user research with schools in New Jersey and South Korea, we realized that the students also use our app with other purposes in mind. For example, a student used the app to send his audio of his guitar practice to his friend for feedback. My roommate who is a speech pathology student used our app to help her clients improve their pronunciation.
In the process of completing for The IE Program at Columbia Business School, we had Clifford Schorer, the Director of Entrepreneur in Residence, The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, as our advisor. One of our main challenges was that Wiki Talki runs on volunteer based (non-profit) and the app is given out freely. We tried to explore test-prep and K-12 market but we still didn’t have a solid business model like other teams. Even though we did not win the challenges, we were very grateful to participate in the challenge.