Nick Ostrau receives Leslie Center Grant for Language Application

Nick Ostrau received a Leslie Center Project Grant for the further development of his online language learning application for beginning learners of German German Chatterbox is a program based on an artifical intelligence chatbot engine. It allows language learners to communicate with 9 life-like virtual chat personalities with microphone input and voice output. Chat topics are focused on a range of personal and professional interests including family and friends, traffic and transportation, health, university study and job training. Online chat conversations about these topics engage learners in practicing the four modal skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) whenever live native speakers are not available. Another focus of the program is an interactive review and creative use of vocabulary, grammatical form and syntax. Handwritten worksheets invite learners to complete a variety of meaningful tasks such as writing a family tree, renting an apartment and describing illnesses and injuries. Part of the program is moreover dedicated to intercultural learning according to recent developments in that area of language learning. 

The Leslie Center grant will cover the further development of the chat interface and the utilization of native speaker interactive video and audio material for a richer content experience. One of the major additions will be interactive video bots. 

Nick will travel to Germany this summer to record additional audio, video and image output.

Nick Ostrau and Angineh Djavadghazaryans. German Chatterbox 1.0: Virtual Chat Application for Beginning Learners of German. Current Academic Year: 2018-19