Hedera: A personalized vocabulary database and readability gauge

Awardees: Ivy Livingston (FAS), Mark Schiefsky (FAS), Rebecca Miller (HUIT), Jeff Emanuel (HUIT), Bill Barthelmy (HUIT)

Summary:  Awardees will incorporate more languages and enhanced features into Hedera, a web application that supports research-based language pedagogy.

Hedera facilitates the application of second language acquisition research to teaching and learning by enabling users to maintain custom lists of known vocabulary and analyzing texts to see what percentage of words the user knows. A prototype of Hedera was built for Latin in order to create readable texts for beginning Latin students.

The project team aims to begin incorporating more languages into Hedera, starting with Ancient Greek and Russian. New features include a reading environment, where the user can access their custom glossary, and making the platform adaptive by offering recommended readings as the learner’s vocabulary grows. The team hopes that Hedera will be adopted by instructors, students, and independent learners.