asked to explain the best way to learn a
foreign language, most people would quickly
answer, "Live in an environment where that
language is spoken."
In such an environment, learners
often acquire language skills quickly and
This occurs both because of the
increased use of the language and because it
is used in "real" ways.
The conversations in an immersion
experience tend to be informal, social
conversations which are strongly connected
to popular culture and issues that are
The artificiality of many classroom
dialogs is removed in this type of
IRC Français is a project designed to provide language learners with
this type of an environment.
Throughout the design process, we
have focused on creating an environment in
which conversation is informal and playful
-- a "third place," encouraging
discussion that is both personally
interesting and educational.
While IRC Français specifically
focuses on the French language, we could
easily extend this idea to other languages.
This project is being conducted
by James M. Hudson,
a Ph.D. student in the College of Computing
at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
He is performing this research under the
guidance of Amy S. Bruckman
with extensive input from the Electronic Learning Communities