Episode 222

The Hidden Cost of Cheap & Easy Language Learning


October 11th, 2021

1 hr 21 mins 4 secs

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About this Episode

We've never had it so good, have we? Language instruction is easily available these days through apps, social media, and teaching platforms. And it's so affordable ...if not entirely free!
Sounds great, right?
Well, just like every other big global industry "disruption", things aren't so simple with this one either.

In today's podcast episode, we bring you a deep dive into that Boston Review article called "Who Pays for Cheap Language Instruction?"

We discuss:

  • working conditions of language teachers and course creators
  • how the apps profit from language learners
  • what the tutoring market is like for teachers from different parts of the world
  • why this is weakening the language learning industry
  • what you can do about this right now

"We have put up with “products” inspired less by linguistic justice than by game design.
We have acquiesced to corporate cognitive-science experiments that harvest and mold our habits as data
When it comes to acquiring languages, we have learned to ignore our agency, our sense of ethics and social justice, even as we have flexed these same faculties to support a bookstore or a clothing company.
Simply put, we have consented to being the consumers that the language industry wants us to be.

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