Saying All the Right Things


The idea for Lingt Language came to MIT seniors Scot Frank and Chris Varenhorst while they were sitting in Chinese class.

The students, who were preparing for trips abroad as part of the MIT-China program, found that their professors had little problem teaching the written language but, with 30 to 40 students in a class, teaching proper pronunciation was difficult.

To address the problem, one of Frank’s teachers created digital audio recordings that featured prompts that could be rerecorded by students and returned to the professor via e-mail. But the process was tricky and time-consuming and involved downloading special software.

There had to be a better way, Frank and Varenhorst thought. So they partnered with Justin Cannon, a 2008 MIT graduate, to develop a tool for teaching foreign languages. Unlike other software on the market, which focuses on self-learning, theirs would be designed for use in the classroom.

The result is Lingt Editor, an application that lets teachers create custom assignments with images, text, and video. It also includes a tool that allows a student to record and submit audio of himself or herself directly through a Web browser.

Photo by Lingt Language.

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