Skype Language Learning System is something I hope is being developed (but maybe it’s my idea). It wouldn’t be difficult to develop and would result in the decline of global warming and world peace.
OK, it wouldn’t be that significant. What it would do is help people help each other learning foreign languages. Essentially the Skype Language Learning System would pair up people from all over the world who would then video conference or simply use text chatting to improve their language skills.
What you’d do is register a username and password, then choose the languages you know and the language(s) you want to learn. Skype’s database would show a list of people online who are available to chat and can would then connect you together. If there was no one available who could help you learn Swahili when you logged on you could simply register you Skype phone number with the system to call you when a Swahili-speaking user was available. You might also be able to schedule timeslots with instructors somehow, too.
So, how do you get people to help, to actually instruct? By making it an exchange system. If you spend time as a student, you must also spend time as an instructor, helping people with your own language. Instructors might also earn phone credits they can use making other Skype calls. Skype, of course, earns money from the system because the learner is paying for the call. If you have two learners hooking up to help each other with their respective languages, both could pay for their calls and no credits are earned.
Tying-in the various automated translation sercices shouldn’t be difficult, either, but the greatest feature of Skype Language Learning System is it’s one-on-on video conferencing. See, hear and learn the subtleties which people use when they talk.
The flow-on for this could be huge for Skype. This could be the ‘killer app’ for many people to try – or use – Skype for the first time.