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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

How to add US International keyboard layout in Windows 8

2014/08/22 2 comments

How things have changed in Windows 8:

 image_thumb[5]image_thumb[6]

However, if you remember Windows 3.1, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Practice Chinese Stroke Order at varying speeds

Here we are providing over 80,000 animated GIF files for you to practice Chinese Stroke Order at varying (hopefully increasing) speeds of your choice (millisecs denotes the time you have for each stroke): strip, 1010millisecs, 1000millisecs, 990millisecs, 980millisecs, 970millisecs, 960millisecs, 950millisecs, 940millisecs, 930millisecs, 920millisecs, 910millisecs, 900millisecs, 890millisecs, 880millisecs, 870millisecs, 860millisecs, 850millisecs, 840millisecs, 830millisecs, 820millisecs, 810millisecs, 800millisecs, 790millisecs, 780millisecs, 770millisecs, 760millisecs, 750millisecs, 740millisecs, 730millisecs, 720millisecs, 710millisecs, 700millisecs, 690millisecs, 680millisecs, 670millisecs, 660millisecs, 650millisecs, 640millisecs, 630millisecs, 620millisecs, 610millisecs, 600millisecs, 590millisecs, 580millisecs, 570millisecs, 560millisecs, 550millisecs, 540millisecs, 530millisecs, 520millisecs, 510millisecs, 500millisecs, 490millisecs, 480millisecs, 470millisecs, 460millisecs, 450millisecs, 440millisecs, 430millisecs, 420millisecs, 410millisecs, 400millisecs, 390millisecs, 380millisecs, 370millisecs, 360millisecs, 350millisecs, 340millisecs, 330millisecs, 320millisecs, 310millisecs, 300millisecs, 290millisecs, 280millisecs, 270millisecs, 260millisecs, 250millisecs, 240millisecs, 230millisecs, 220millisecs, 210millisecs, 200millisecs, 190millisecs, 180millisecs, 170millisecs, 160millisecs, 150millisecs, 140millisecs, 130millisecs, 120millisecs, 110millisecs, 100millisecs, 090millisecs, 080millisecs, 070millisecs, 060millisecs, 050millisecs, 040millisecs, 030millisecs, 020millisecs, 010millisecs.   chinese-stroke-order-timestretched-blog-example

Downloading the originals from the most helpful site (also available by direct download) created by Tim Xie for the California State University, Long Beach, and applying my  bash shell script from here, then generating your own speed-differentiated versions, seems to difficult for most users. Even better, instead of perusing the above links, you could just hit my server once and download the whole lot of post-processed animated Gif files with different speeds from here.

Learn and teach writing in your second language on Lang-8.com

image

Improving language learning with technology for me seems to have 2 avenues: AI and human intelligence. Automated feedback on writing provided by proofing tools – even if they have become smarter and more contextual to spot (in MS-Word 2007 and up) common errors like your/you’re or their/there – makes one wonder about the feasibility of the former. But that automated essay-scoring tools which have been developed and deployed (at least for ESL) claim to score similarly as teachers makes one wonder about much more… Correcting writing remains expensive!

So may be we should look into crowd-sourced writing correction which needs no cutting edge NLP, only well-understood WWW-infrastructural technology to connect interested parties, but requires social engineering to attract and keep good contributors (and a viable business model  to stay afloat: This site seems freemium).

Reading online comments and postings in your native language makes one wonder: can language teachers be replaced by crowdsourcing? I became aware of this the language learning website that offers peer correction of writing input by native-speaker through a language learner corpus. I have not thoroughly evaluated the site, but the fact that its data is being used by SLA researchers here (http://cl.naist.jp/nldata/lang-8/) seems a strong indicator that the work done on the website is of value.

To judge by the numbers accompanying the corpus (it is a snapshot from 2010, a newer version is available however on request), these are the most-represented L2 on lang-8.com:  image

Input languages missing on PC21 to PC31

  1. I only had a chance to check the PC’s in the title.
  2. This is the size of a good language bar: CAM05715
  3. These PCs are missing input languages when I am logged in:
  4. CAM05714CAM05709CAM05716CAM05717CAM05720
  5. my phone has a poor camera, so this needs double checking:
    1. looks like pc29: CAM05719
    2. unclear which, but appears to be in 2nd row: CAM05708

Keyboards not loading on pc35


Did this PC get out of synch? It was out of sync with the JAVA also.

Example 5: Watch how you can dictate to Windows speech-recognition (e.g. in English) and correct results in MS-Word

  1. Important: Listen carefully: I am not a native speaker, but have a reasonably low amount of errors, because it enunciate, speak clearly and slowly, and separate the words.
  2. Consider it part of the exercise that you will have to re-read and re-type some your output – use track changes in MS-Word:
    1. Make it a game: How good can you get?
    2. If you get really good at it, make a screencast like this one and include it in your Mahara ePortfolio  as authentic evidence of your foreign language proficiency.
  3. Overall, it’s like how I refer to cycling: Beats walking. Anytime. Smiley

Download for free Arabic diacritizer, romanized to Arabic script converter for Office 2013

2013/12/20 3 comments
  1. The Arabic Authoring services help users read and write Arabic faster.
    1. Maren Reader helps users read Romanized Arabic by converting the Romanized script into Arabic script.
    2. Diacritizer restores the missing diacritics in the Arabic text, which allows users to write text without diacritics and have the service restore them.”
  2. image
  3. These tools should be useful for fledgling learners of Arabic – but don’t solely rely on them, since computers processing human language still make errors.
  4. These tools were developed by Microsoft Research Labs Cairo, learn more about them.