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Mobile Apps Project at Daffodil International University
English faculty members at Daffodil International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, have developed brimmEng, a smartphone app that is designed to provide English language practice outside the classroom. The project began when English Language Specialist Claire Bradin Siskin, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State through the American Center in Dhaka, worked at Daffodil during 2015. She conducted several classes on how to use LiveCode, a software tool that permits language educators to create their own language learning activities. Since her departure from Dhaka, the LiveCode Team has continued to stay in touch via the Internet. LiveCode Team members are Ms. Shamsi Ara Huda, Dr. Bipasha Binte Haque,Ms. Sadia Zafrin Lia, and Ms. Mir Sadia Siddequa.
LiveCode is a scripting language rather than a programming language, so English teachers with no technical background can master the English-like commands. Since it is open-source, the Community Edition is a free download. The team members enjoy the process, and they like the idea of creating their own apps so that the materials will dovetail exactly with the curriculum. The current app is designed for high intermediate or advanced students; it includes practice in vocabulary, reading, writing, and listening. The aim is to reinforce and/or complement what takes place in class. The team is willing to share all our materials and have others adapt them to suit their own purposes. The administration at the highest levels of Daffodil endorses the philosophy of open-source and sharing. This free app is now available for Android phones in the Google Play Store. The source code is available at http://www.edvista.com/claire/apps/brimmeng.html. So far, with very little advertising students from 10 countries have downloaded brimmEng.
Beyond brimmEng, this project is significant because it represents the potential for teachers to create their own apps. Team members plan to develop additional apps at various levels of difficulty for vocabulary, reading, writing, grammar, and listening. More importantly, they would like to conduct workshops to train other teachers and teacher trainers how to develop their own apps. Today, Bangladesh; tomorrow, the world!