Technology can simplify the complex process of language development. SIL LEAD supports innovations that make it easier for:
- Local authors to create and share their own books
- NGOs to adapt publications across multiple languages
- Educators to create graded reading materials
- Communities to create and organize their own dictionaries
As the cost and complexity of language localization creates barriers to information and participation, marginalized communities face a digital divide. SIL LEAD helps communities and their partners leverage technology to simplify the complex process of language development, making health education and early grade reading programs more effective.
Using free, open source programs such as Bloom, SynPhony, and WeSay, communities can build their own library of graded reading materials, dictionaries, or resource materials—in their own language.
WeSay helps communities build wordlists and organize them into a dictionary format. These wordlists can then be analyzed using SynPhony to optimize them according to grade level. Finally, Bloom makes it easy for authors to create grade-level appropriate reading stories with the optimized wordlists.
Helping Communities Grow their Own Library
Small language communities have been overlooked by the publishing industry, which needs big audiences to justify large print runs. Cost and complexity has traditionally prevented NGOs and community organizations from localizing information themselves. As a result, communities lack access to vital information along with enough reading materials to teach literacy in their own language. Bloom makes it easy to create simple materials and to translate these materials into multiple languages.
Optimizing Reading Curricula for Each Unique Language
Simple words in one language can become complicated words in another. SynPhony helps educators improve mother tongue literacy acquisition by optimizing the introduction of letters and words in reading curricula to create graded reading materials.
Helping Communities Create their Own Dictionaries
Creating a dictionary is an arduous task. WeSay helps communities gather words and organize them into a dictionary.
It's simple, easy-to-use, and prompts language speakers to think of words and associations for their dictionary.
From the Blog...
Last week at the Digital Book World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, SIL LEAD Executive Director Dr. Paul Frank spoke about what digital publishing has to offer languages without literature.
“Languages without literature… what are those?” you might ask, as you wonder what other glorious insights you might have missed by skipping another (admittedly hectic and overwhelming) conference.
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered…
Joyce Lopez works as the head of the Life Transformation Department at Resources for the Blind Inc. (RBI) in the Philippines. Although her siblings have moved to the United States, she remains in the country of her birth, living with her parents about forty-five minutes (by public transport) from the RBI offices in Manila and working to provide visually impaired students with the opportunity to discover their full potential. Joyce oversees the blind pastors that RBI sends to schools to work with blind children, she writes proposals, and from time to time she speaks as an advocate for the blind. When she’s not at work with RBI, she sometimes teaches computer tutorials for blind students. Joyce is a remarkable, bright young woman.
Joyce is also completely blind, and has been from birth…
They say an artist (or carpenter, or hockey player) is only as good as his or her tools, which is one reason why it’s an exciting time to be involved in education and literacy—the tools just keep getting better and better.
And although we admit we may be a little biased, there is no tool more exciting in this field than Bloom…
It seems like every few weeks now we hear about some exciting new innovation in computer technology—a brand-new application that (at least according to the advertising hype) will upend life as we know it. For the deaf and hearing-impaired of the world, the Live Transcribe app Google rolled out in limited beta on Monday, February the 4th, certainly seems to be just such an earth-shaking new tool.
But is it really…?
The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. is easily the largest library in the entire world. It has over 167 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves. If you walked for ten hours a day, it’d take you a month to walk past all those bookshelves. Pick even one category—say, comic books—and it would be impossible to read through the Library of Congress’s entire catalog in one lifetime (they have 120,000 comic books, and growing).
The Library of Congress is clearly a superlative institution, so when they choose to honor an organization at their yearly Literacy Awards, it’s a sign that that organization has made a significant impact in the quest to wipe out global illiteracy…