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I came across a new language learning tool in this post on a blog called The Everyday Language Learner and I got so excited, it was hard to wait for Monday to roll around to share it!

I’ve always half-joked that I wanted to save the world with languages, and it seems that the people at Glovico have figured out a way to do just that.  Following in the fine tradition of micro-finance organizations like Kiva, Glovico follows an “a hand up, not a handout” philosophy – teachers in developing countries are given training, equipment, and a decent wage for their hard work and dedication.  Language learners pay very reasonable rates for an hour of focused, personalized language lessons from native speakers.  It’s like having a conversation partner via Skype, except that your partner is a trained professional; it’s like getting one-on-one tutoring from a language teacher, but at a quarter of the price; and your language-learning dollars are not only helping you as a learner, they’re also helping sustainable, responsible economic development.  It’s a win-win-win!

One of the other things that’s very exciting about this program is that because the company proactively targets teachers in underserved parts of the world, language learners have access not only to big global languages like Spanish and Arabic, but also some real rarities among language learning resources, like Hausa, Pashto, Mongolian, and Kurdish.

I have to be honest – Skype makes me nervous.  But I’m going to have to get over that eventually, and I think maybe signing up for my free trial language lesson might be good motivation!