Colibro Conversations

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Mobile, Synchronized Multimedia for Language Learning

Synchronization of read-aloud audio and text in language learning is a powerful reinforcement for language learners at all levels and stages of second language acquisition.  Language learning is entering a new phase of its evolution.  Never before have tools that provide such rich language instruction and experiential learning been so widely available, especially in the developing world.

Many people continue to study foreign languages in traditional classrooms.  But more and more, electronic, digital and browser-based tools are becoming widely available. Further, traditional classroom learning options are often limited by the inability to find a teacher for the language of interest, or by restrictions on taking a class due to work or family commitments. In these cases, e-learning is sometimes the best option. Of course, e-learning can also augment classroom instruction as well.

Digital, bilingual texts open up a very exciting opportunity to add multimedia to the reading and language learning experience. In the case of Colibro Publishing, content and technology are married to create apps that allow students to read and listen to fun, engaging narratives presented in bite-size stories read aloud by a native speaker.

instructional overlayColibro employs leveled text that is structured to fit best with a second language learner at his or her current stage of second language acquisition. Instead of focusing on grammar and vocabulary like more traditional language learning solutions, students using Colibro engage in ‘open learning,’ so that mastering a new language can happen any time, anywhere.  Colibro meets language learners where they are – at their level and when they want it–in a fast-paced, global, mobile world.

In a Colibro story, a user can not only see and compare the text in both languages, but he or she can also hear it, spoken by a native speaker without an accent.  It is particularly helpful that in a Colibro story, the native-speaker audio is synchronized with corresponding, highlighted sentence text.  In this way the text and human speech continually reinforce each other as the learner moves through a story.

“As an experienced computational linguist and speech recognition technologist, I am impressed and excited about the way Colibro has joined so many technologies and standards to create meaningful ELL and second language acquisition experiences. Colibro’s visionary and pioneering approach has the potential to  transform language learning. “

Deborah Dahl, Ph.D.

Conversational Technologies

Colibro Publishing & Media

Colibro publishes specialized, digital content and develops multimedia reading technology for the global language learning market.  With an emphasis on English Language Learning or ELL, Colibro’s “recreational language learning” approach enables students to thrive in a global, connected world with social intelligence and sensitivity to different cultures.


Brian Dooner

CEO, Colibro Publishing & Media

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