IBM has named Brigham Young University as one of seven educational institutions to participate in an interactive computer-aided foreign language consortium.
IBM organized the consortium with the goal of standardizing interactive video systems for teaching languages. Accompanying the invitation is a $230,000 gift, which includes three development stations and 10 delivery stations to be used in German and Spanish language laboratories, and $12,000 in discretionary funds.Named to the consortium with BYU were the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Iowa, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Smith College and the University of Calgary in Canada. The invitation to BYU is the result of a proposal submitted by Randall L. Jones, professor of German, and Jerry W. Larson, professor of Spanish.
This is the first grant IBM has given to humanities programs. It illustrates a new focus of interest - the advancement of foreign-language skills among college-age students, according to John Morgan, director of Academic Information Systems for IBM in Atlanta, Ga.
Interactive systems enable students to view foreign-language video and computer text on the same computer screen. The system allows students to replay or select a slowed-down audio presentation until they grasp the sentences and phrases used.