Home > Uncategorized > ABCLoop (Beta) – Social English Learning Network in Japan

ABCLoop (Beta) – Social English Learning Network in Japan

I recently discovered a site, ABCLoop. It is a prime example of a social learning site. Although the site is in beta mode, it is definitely really working already.  It may need some brushing up, but I am quite impressed!

The Main Page of ABCLoop looks immediately like a social application, which is exactly what it is. But the first graphic, which is static, shows immediately the “feel” and intent of the site.

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On the Right side of the same Main Page, you get a short description.

 

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People who register to the site (Loopers)can not only post messeges in English or Japanese, but they are encouraged to either Check and correct the language used in posts, or to post a Translation.  Both Checks and Translations can be given Likes or Thanks.

Posts are submitted in various categories, called Loops.

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Loopers can also post Lessons, or brief language lessons on a variety of subjects.  Nearly all of the Lessons are for students of English.  I do not find this aspect of the site very interesting, though.

What you find inside a Loop, though, is quite interesting.  Inside the Good Eats loop – about restaurant recommendations and reviews, as you might imagine – the latest post is about a shabu shabu restaurant in GInza, Nabezou.

 

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This post is followed by several other restaurant recommendations.  You can see the tags for the Looper that posted the message, as well as Loopers who commented, Checked, or Translated the posted message. I’ve omitted showing this, however, since this would reveal the usernames of the Loopers.  But I think you can get the idea.

Posts can obviously be written in Japanese, too, and, I assume, in other languages.

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The posts are tagged to a Loop, but posts can be linked to other categories as well.

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Translations can be added to any post, but most are to the original content.  I found a good example in the Loop on the 3/11 Japan Earthquake.

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The most interesting aspect of ABCLoop, though, is the point system.  Loopers can acquire points for various activities, including, of course, translating and checking other people’s posts.  I assume that Likes and Thanks may give points, too.  There may also be points given for posting original material.

The material, too, includes a wide variety of content, which include embedded YouTube video.  From the design of the content pages, the site probably works pretty well via Japanese mobile phones and, especially, smartphones.  In addition, judging from the content itself, the primary target at the start is quite young.

But looking at language learning by encouraging discussion on topics that people like, as well as connecting people to like-minded friends is an important way to start.  Although being able to see translations and even encouraging people to use translations as a medium for learning the target language is a problem, for the people who do the translating and editing, thinking about the language pairs becomes a natural and inevitable process.

Although I didn’t register to the site to investigate for the purpose of this post, I am pretty impressed and intrigued.  I don’t know when they got started, but the project is growing.  During the 20 minutes I’ve been writing this, the number of Translations increased from 1690 to 1694 and Checks from 269 to 271.  I’m guessing that the development team is doing a lot of the work, for now, but this is still quite cool!

I’m keen to see where this project goes and whether Looping takes off.  Wanna Loop with me?

 

 

 

 

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