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From the CanIL Blog
Read below for recent articles of linguistic tidbits and news from CanIL.
SynPhony - A Revolutionary Literacy Tool for Planet Earth
Imagine a literacy tool that would make the acquisition of literacy skills as easy as possible by finding and displaying the patterns used for written language. But instead of exposing learners to the full range of symbols used to represent their language, it would introduce one symbol at a time and find words that match the reading ability of learners – with just the click of a mouse.
That was Norbert Rennert’s vision. Norbert started out as a CanIL student in 1989, then began his current work in the IT department in 2003. His passion for literacy education was inspired by his daughter’s struggle to learn to read, brought about by developmental delays and mild hearing loss.
Norbert wanted to create a computer-based literacy tool to provide both print and computer-based resources for everyone involved in teaching others to read. For the past few years, he has worked on SynPhony – a platform for producing powerful applications to teach reading skills in any language on earth! SynPhony can be described as a search engine for literacy that can dynamically match the words and text of any language to the reading ability of any student.
Anyone who has been involved in utilizing or developing reading resources for literacy programs will immediately recognize the benefits of this program. All that SynPhony requires are digitized texts in any language to import into its database. This means that it’s actually possible to create literacy lessons in a language that one is neither literate nor proficient in!
They say “a picture is worth a thousand words;” Here are some of the powerful functions of SynPhony.
Trinity Western University ranked among the top universities in Canada
As the Linguistics department at Trinity Western University, we at CanIL are proud to present the results from The Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC), which administered an online survey to a random sample of first-year students at 35 participating universities across Canada.
Trinity Western University showed strong student satisfaction, ranking at or near the top in all categories, from satisfaction with the quality of teaching to involvement in campus activities. Trinity Western topped the ratings for questions relating to professors' care for students, demonstrated by indicators such as their treatment of students as individuals, encouragement, and availability to help.
Over half of the TWU students surveyed reported that the university exceeded their expectations.
See the results for yourself:
Eye on Survey
Excerpts from this article were first printed in the Friends of CanIL newsletter, June 2013.
Prior to beginning any language project, translators, linguists, and literacy workers must be informed about the community and the status of the intended language(s). For this reason language survey is critical.
Survey integrates many areas of linguistics. Sociolinguistic awareness is needed to understand how people use their languages. Phonetics is necessary for understanding the sounds of a language and transcribing them. Grammatical and phonological knowledge are required to do language analysis. Familiarity with literacy and scripture use is important for Bible translation in particular, because surveyors are asked to assess these situations. Surveyors make recommendations for language projects, so they need to have a vision of the big picture and the steps that will be necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Therefore, training in language program planning is foundational for setting short and long term goals.