Gàidhlig on the Go—LearnBots (from ANA Fall 2012)

In the first of a new series of posts of selected articles from our quarterly Bi-lingual e-zine, An Naidheachd Againne, Rudy Ramsey reviews the Learnbots “Gàidhlig on the Go” app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

LearnBots is a fun, and rather clever, way to learn and practice verb forms with the aid of a mobile device. Before I tell you about it, though, you need to do something for me. You know that “suspend disbelief” switch in your head that helps you enjoy science fiction? (You may be using it just now for political campaigns.) Well, you may want to turn it on for a paragraph or two.

LearnBots is an app that lets you drill yourself on verb forms. It teaches you the imperative, past, future, conditional, infinitive, and verbal noun forms of 101 different verbs, with conjugation, spelling, and pronunciation by a native speaker. What, no disbelief problems yet? Ah, I almost forgot. It uses images of a rather fanciful family of robots — including a man, a woman, a dog, and a hive of bees — to make things interesting and to visually tie the verb root to its meaning. And in my opinion, it works, at least as a motivational aid, and perhaps as a retention aid. I am absolutely certain, however, that some folks will see this as purely a gimmick. So your mileage may vary…

To read more of Rudy’s review, click here to download the article (PDF Format, Adobe Reader required). The article also contains a link to a thread about the article in the ACGA Forum, to allow discussion or questions.