In this project the computer searches for english cognates of french words. In theory this process would help people to better retain new vocabulary in making comparisons between their maternelle and target language, in this case being french. However, I will be expanding on the project to include other languages as well.
The problem is that many individuals in the United States are monolingual, a phenomenon largely unprecedented in many other non-english speaking countries. Maybe it is due to our geographic isolation, which leaves us less motivated in some ways. However, in making the task more accessible, maybe we could encourage people to undertake it.
We are making the language learning process more efficient by increasing people's rate of retention of new words. In helping them recognize patterns and interact with the target language from a place of familiarity with their own language, they theoretically could learn more and more quickly. I found this to be the case in my own journey of language learning, and would like to assist others as well.
One technical problem is teaching the computer to identify similarities. We used "edit distance" as a means of evaluation of lexical similarity. I do however intend to even further refine the criteria of similarity.