A premise of this paper is that there are distinctive qualities of the domain of language which render learning a language uniquely suitable for a radical contextualization within digital environments. The paper thus describes and illustrates an approach to supporting foreign language learning ubiquitously in unrestricted networked environments. The two tools presented focus on vocabulary learning. The collocator tool detects and highlights collocations (such as 'prescribe medicine' or 'stiff competition') in real time on any Web page the user is viewing. The user can select any of the highlighted collocations for focused attention, activating a 'push' mechanism that provides repeated examples of the collocation over the ensuing days. Word Spider allows users to select unknown words in any Web text and it responds by finding semantically related words in its context, automatically annotating these, exploiting them as contextual clues to the meaning of the targeted unknown word.
Advanced Learning Technologies, 2004. Proceedings. IEEE International Conference on, pp.231-235