Breaking the Language Barrier in the Lecture Hall

Dec 10, 2016 | Case Studies, Education

According to a Wall Street Journal article from 2015, colleges all over the US are welcoming more international students than ever before. With over a million foreign students in the US, many from China and India, these educational institutions and teachers are faced with the mounting challenge of breaking through the language barrier in order to meet the needs of these students.

It’s daunting enough for these students to travel thousands of miles and move to an unfamiliar place by themselves. Add to that the challenge of learning in an unfamiliar language, and it is clear that these students would benefit from extra attention in order to ensure they succeed in their education. But how can the teachers, who already have limited time and resources as it is, make their lectures more effective for these students?

With spf.io, a teacher can load and auto-translate prepared materials ahead of time, like slides or handouts. In class, the teacher just speaks into a microphone connected to spf.io. The students receive captions or translation in real-time with the lecture. Before these international students might feel embarrassed to ask questions in class. But with spf.io they have a discreet and easy way to ask questions to the teacher and engage with the lecture.

While the lecture hall is just one educational use case, it’s a great place to start with providing translation and helping international students do what they came to do: learn.

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