It’s been a very busy month so far with updates coming from all areas.
Turkish iPhone App
About two weeks ago, Jeroen and I uploaded the iPhone app to the Apple Appstore which has since been reviewed and approved. In the first week it has already started picking up some downloads
We decided to name the app “HandsOnTurkish Compact” to indicate that the smartphone app is content-wise more compact than the core online course. Naturally, the device and screen size is compact too and ideal for learning on-the-go.
So far, the app description has been published in English, German and Dutch.
Turkish iPad App
We had a few difficulties related to the iPad app certificates and recording push notifications which may have been caused whilst we tried to package the iPhone app and/or related to iOS8 permissions. After “a week of hell” for Locusta, he finally managed to resolve the situation with Jeroen’s help.
The iPad app has now been updated with more Turkish language content and a new, refined interface (see below). This app has also been reviewed by Apple and since published on the appstore.
This app is available in all five languages, however the appstore description is currently only in English. It appears the App Store description can only be translated during a new version update process – something we only found out after we had updated – so further language descriptions will have to wait till the next release.
Further Turkish language content
The Turkish language content has been progressing very well and continues to be uploaded to the online beta test version. Here we test and edit the content before it is then released to public beta – or onto the apps.
Units 9 and 10 are almost complete in the XML, awaiting the final audio. Unit 9 deals with ‘checking into a hotel in Turkey’ and unit 10 deals with ‘discussing business plans’.
The language level is considerably more demanding in these units. Learners will also notice that the activities begin to deal with more language analysis including grammar activities and new writing exercises. This is to conform to the demands of Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Modern Langauges which requires writing skills and an understanding of grammar.
The Turkish language notes
Due to the intensity of the work required for the Turkish languages notes, we are still catching up and currently completing unit 6. The collaboration between Udo Hennig and John Angliss remains very fruitful. The language notes are a key component for understanding the language and helps learners to become more creative with their Turkish.
Latest Turkish audio
As we mentioned in the previous post, the final studio recordings have been completed which marks a considerable milestone. The first unit has now been edited and uploaded to the private beta. We will need to modify some code – previously we added pause between the speakers in the audio but will code the pause now.
It is worth mentioning that HandsOnTurkish is keeping in line with current technology trends:
Statistics in the Independent newspaper (April 21, 2015) state that the use of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) to access the internet has risen from 0.4 bn in 2007 to 1.9 bn in 2014. In 2007 24% of users accessed the internet via a mobile device. By 2014 this had risen to 58%.
We are also aware of this in our stats. It is, however, also worth mentioning that the majority of mobile learners looking for Turkish content will search via the appstores for free apps. Nevertheless, it is important that any content we have on our website (articles, useful Turkish phrases etc) is mobile friendly and accessible so that we can direct the mobile users to our iPhone and Android apps.
HandsOnTurkish on the social media
We’re continuing to make some inroads on the social media front. It’s not easy (and very time consuming) to generate a genuine and large base of followers. We now have well over a hundred facebook friends and about 75 followers on Twitter. Our recent interview with Leigh Turner caused a good deal of interest on twitter and facbeook with well over 200 engagements, retweets or likes.
We have also recently created an official HandsOnTurkish page on LinkedIn. This will aim to target and engage the business community more effectively.
Events and confrences
Carl Taylor, project co-ordinator, is currently attending the ÇİFTDİLLİ ÖĞRETMEN YETERLİĞİ, in Ghent, Belgium, which is being hosted by the Yunus Emre Enstitüsü and the Sakarya University. More details about the event can be found here.
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