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Make a Plan for Oracy

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The University of Maryland National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) has launched Lectica, a free language learning app designed to engage users in language and culture simultaneously.

Lectica currently offers a total of 420 lessons across seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Spanish. All lessons and content were prepared by native speakers. The NFLC’s director of Second Language Acquisition Connie DiJohnson, recently told The Diamondback (UM’s paper) that many language learning apps on the market feel like a game, where they max out at a certain level and don’t delve into how native speakers use language. Lectica’s curriculum is designed, created, and written by native speakers using authentic content, passages and texts so people using the app can engage with the language they are learning the way native speakers do. For example, you can learn fashion tips in Persian, how to make Lanzhou beef noodle soup in Chinese, safety rules for riding scooters in French, how to read a job posting in Arabic, learn about National Tango Day in Spanish, K-pop group BTS in Korean and what it’s like buying an apartment in Russian. “This is the way the language is used in real life,” she said. Lectica is currently available on the Apple App Store and will be available on Google Play in summer 2022. NFLC plans to make 12 more languages available on the app soon.

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