Mauril: The result of a great collaboration

By

Mauril chose a collaborative approach from day one. We enlisted a group of external experts to advise us on best practices in pedagogy and linguistics, and we reviewed the latest research to guide the design of the application.  All of this expertise from across Canada helped make Mauril a one-of-a-kind resource that truly stands out—both for its Canadian content and for the structure of its platform.

Learn more about the backgrounds and areas of expertise of the experts in education, digital technology and linguistics who have guided and supported our team in this venture from the very start in the Consultative Committee section of our website.

We also spoke with them to discuss their involvement in the development of the app, as well as their vision for Mauril.

 

Tell us how you got involved with the committee:

- Marie-Josée Hamel, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), University of Ottawa: The Mauril team approached me at the very beginning of the project as a specialist in digital technologies for second language teaching and learning. I participated in several meetings and discussions on app design, both in terms of the interface and educational content.

- Patrick Plante, Professor of Distance Education and Educational Technology, TÉLUQ University: Several of our professors were contacted by email to schedule a meeting to discuss the project and opportunities for collaboration. I was very interested because of the educational and playful nature of the app.

- Martine Pellerin, Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, University of Alberta: When I was first invited to join the committee, I was drawn to the many other interesting people who were also collaborating. I accepted because I could see the huge potential of this project.



You have played an important role in the development of Mauril. What are your key takeaways from this collaboration?

- Alan Wright, Associate Professor Emeritus, Teaching and Learning, University of Windsor: The most stimulating part of contributing to the development of Mauril involved the animated exchanges in meetings with colleagues from coast to coast and with Radio-Canada staff at the headquarters in Montreal.

- Karla Culligan, Associate Professor at the Second Language Research Institute of Canada, University of New Brunswick: It was so great to connect with colleagues from other institutions and meet experts in other fields, such as the team at Radio-Canada and those working in the areas of app/tech design. We all brought unique perspectives to the table, and it was really interesting to see everything that goes into creating a language learning app like Mauril. Another important moment was seeing the app come to fruition and downloading and using it for the first time. It was rewarding to see the concrete realization of the team’s efforts.

- Benoit Savard, Founder of the Skillable app: I really enjoyed seeing the app’s step-by-step development, celebrating the small victories and thinking about how the various improvements would influence the user experience.

- Martine Pellerin: Collaborative projects are my favourite. From the discussions with the various specialists with unique perspectives, to everyone’s active involvement, to the rounds of consultations that allow for project development, to reviewing and redeveloping things, to moving forward, bit by bit: I love it all. The beauty of working collaboratively is that we can build on each other's ideas and offer something useful and unique to Canadians.

 

What are three words that come to mind when you think of Mauril?

- Alan Wright: Innovative, creative, user-friendly

- Marie-Josée Hamel: App, discovery, culture

- Patrick Plante: Language, fun, culture

- Benoit Savard: Inclusion, Canadian identity, pride

- Martine Pellerin: Authentic, inclusive, fun


In your opinion, how does Mauril differ from other language learning apps?

- Alan Wright: The unique and judicious use of short video clips from SRC and CBC on-air programs makes the Mauril structure inviting and engages the language learner in a positive path to learning.

- Patrick Plante: What sets Mauril apart is its lack of commercialism. There is no advertising or fake interface that pushes the user to pay to go further. It is a publicly funded app, made by and for Canadians, that adheres to our high ethical standards.

- Karla Culligan: I think two of the main things that are most unique about Mauril are its use of videos and the fact that those videos are Canadian content (for example, popular CBC/Radio-Canada shows, news and documentaries). Users get to experience language learning through a variety of topics, people, places and regions. The app combines what I think many of us love doing and actually spend time doing—which is streaming video content—with what we also love about some of the other language learning apps out there, which is the ability to track our progress and earn game rewards, such as unlocking new levels, earning badges and feeling a sense of success. So, you can turn time you might have already spent watching a video into an opportunity to focus on language learning.

- Martine Pellerin: The app stands out because of the diversity of Canadian accents showcased in its content, as well as how this linguistic and geographical diversity is promoted. The content is authentic; the videos reflect real life in Canada. It's a great way to see the country!
 

What would you say to people who already use Mauril or those who are unfamiliar with the app?

- Alan Wright: I would encourage all Canadians, whether unilingual or multilingual, to explore the world of Mauril at a level appropriate to their language proficiency and needs. Mauril is a valuable resource to enhance and reinforce communications in our country’s official languages. Mauril makes language learning fun for people of all age groups.

- Marie-Josée Hamel: Mauril is a wonderful complement to other types of formal and self-directed English and French language learning, in addition to being a window on second-language Canadian culture.

- Patrick Plante: Beyond language learning, Mauril provides an insight into the different cultures that make up Canada. Mauril is not only for language learning, but also for travelling!

 

Mauril’s Strategist and Project Manager, Anne Hébert, is keen to keep the conversations and exchanges going between the various experts at the heart of the project. “I never expected to get as much as we have from our Consultative Committee. It's been such a great experience! This collaboration remains an essential part of helping our team enhance the experience we offer learners while building on best practices in education and linguistics.”

General
General
8 septembre 2022
The Benefits of Learning a Second Language
General
General
15 novembre 2021
Welcome to Mauril’s new blog section!
Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
26 janvier 2023
New Year, New Language: Find the tools and the time
News
News
11 hours ago
Celebrating the first anniversary of Mauril!