Computer-Enhanced Beginning Russian

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: The initial encounter with a foreign language requires a successful integration of oral, aural, and visual stimuli. A student of beginning Russian must learn to recognize the Cyrillic letters in print and cursive forms and to associate these symbols with underlying units of sound. CALL (computer-aided language learning) provides an effective platform for this complex orchestration. A working prototype for introducing the Russian writing and sound system, the “Russian Dynamic Hand” (RDH) has been available for student use at the LSU Foreign Language Laboratory since September 1988. The project's evolution is discussed from an initial graphics-centered IBM prototype to a Macintosh version enhanced by an audio component. Central to the development of the second adaptation is the utilization of commercially available innovative computer authoring systems and templates. Future modifications incorporating expanded pronunciation drills and applying alternate technologies are considered.

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