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The internet serves a paradoxical role in language learning. Providing a fertile ground for neologisms and redefinitions, the web incubates a growing translation gap between one's native tongue and his or her target foreign language. However, the internet can also be used to bridge languages even as they change, because it contains a vast and ever expanding set of human-translated web pages. In this paper, we propose that search engines that mine high-quality human translations can unlock the Web's pedagogical potential, and form the basis for next-generation language learning tools. We introduce Engkoo, an English learning search engine for Chinese speakers, to demonstrate the effectiveness of this concept in practice.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2011