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UH Mānoa second language studies students create online language learning startup

UH Venture competition GOALL
Paula Ota
UH News
GOALL (Great Online Activities for Language Learning), led by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa PhD students, won the UH Venture Competition. Team members are (from the left) Ann Choe, Susanne DeVore, Kristen Urada and Yang Liu who are all PhD students in UH Mānoa’s Department of Second Language Studies.

A group of Ph.D. students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa won a business competition with their language learning startup.

The startup is called Great Online Activities for Language Learning. They won the UH Venture Competition hosted by the Shidler College of Business.

Four students in the Department of Second Language Studies created the startup. It uses a method known as task-based language teaching.

Co-founder Ann Choe says the method teaches language learners how to do useful tasks in the target language, such as going to the doctor's office or planning a trip.

"So that is really different from what you see in regular language learning apps, which they ask you to translate sentences, or they ask you to match a picture with a vocabulary. But in the real world, you barely ever encounter a situation where you have to translate a sentence or you have to match a picture with a word," Choe said.

The GOALL team entered the competition with their startup idea. They are using the prize package of more than $34,000 to register the company and create a usable website and app.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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