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Alelo Has a Busy SummerListen to this article in TTS, powered by Loquendo

The interactive language-learning programs manufacturer wins some prime contracts and launches new programs.
By Leonard Klie - Posted Aug 10, 2010
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Alelo has been recognized for its effective language training modules with a recent contract from the Joint Forces Command to develop a Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainer (VCAT) for Afghanistan, a program to help U.S. forces preparing to deploy to the Mideast nation. Other modules in the VCAT suite include language and cultural training for several parts of Africa.

At the same time, the company has completed its VCAT module for North Africa, focusing on Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. Alelo enhanced its north Africa product with language content, provided through the Defense Language Institute, in Arabic adapted for Egyptian, Moroccan, and Tunisian variations, and French. Included missions cover civil affairs, security cooperation, and humanitarian assistance. The curriculum, which will be available in the fall, teaches cultural knowledge through the use of appropriate behaviors and key phrases.

Alelo also won a contract to deliver a Virtual Role Player into the mixed reality/simulation environment in the Infantry Immersion Trainer. This new program will feature a visually projected, life-size character in a simulation training room that can hold natural conversations with service members for language and cultural training prior to deployment to Afghanistan.

The project “offers a 360-degree immersive language and culture training environment where trainees can practice their skills prior to deployment,” said Andre Valente, Alelo’s CEO and chief technology officer, in a statement.

The VRP is scheduled for release later this summer.

Adding to Alelo’s string of successes, the company announced recently that its goEnglish Web site, launched with Voice of America, has recently exceeded 40,000 registered users. The site, which first launched in the spring, is a free and interactive task-based U.S. English learning program. The program contains more than 80 English lessons tailored to the user’s level of ability. It integrates speech recognition, interactive virtual characters, and videos. Though currently available for Chinese and Farsi, coming soon is a goEnglish course for Russian, with other languages in development.

Alelo also completed several upgrades to existing programs, including its Operational Language and Cultural Training Systems (OLCTS), a multiplayer offering that can now be run via a desktop computer or mobile device. With the revision, exercises, dialogues, and scenarios have been enhanced to provide instruction for various nationalities and languages, including Pashto, French, and Iraqi.

Finally, the company completed a technical prototype of its ISLET-MP, another multiplayer language and cultural training game. It includes several functions, such as:

  • Eavesdropping, allowing players to hear each other practice the language in conversations with non-player characters,
  • Word mastery, a scoring system by which players gain points for using words and phrases in the target language;
  • Team conversations, whereby players can communicate with one another and non-player characters;
  • Cooperative quests, which provide missions that players can complete together;
  • Items and Inventory, allowing players to trade items with one another and non-player characters; and
  • Minimap, which shows the locations of obstacles, characters, and other players.

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