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Alice Mitchell

Alice was the new head of the Anglia Polytechnic University Language Centre when I first met her. She was a close collaborator and friend working on language learning software for business.
Reflection: I learnt from Alice a deep understanding of learning languages which clarified for me the need for some rote learning in a motivational context to learn basic facts and correct pronunciation together with a more analytical and creative approach for the deeper structural knolwedge.

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Alice was a very articulate and high quality teacher, developer and pedagogue in language learning.

We worked together to advance her concept of TecLab - a re-invented language lab linked to and funded by the Training and Enterprise Council which focussed on vocational language learning. Her determination, clarity of vision and extensive knowledge of what worked in language learning made for a very productive partnership.

Reflection: The techniques of multiple text track interactive video materials were completely new, as was the HyperCard fuelled technique for their manufacture, allowing editing of detail and 'recompilation' to achieve accurate results - vital for language learning.

We created innovative interactive video materials on the computer using multiple text track movies in Apple's Quicktime software (my contribution) with engaging social and business plots in the style of a soap (Alice's contribution) with a substantial coverage of learning standards in French and German. The resulting comprehensive learning resource was titled Ultra-Language-Lab and was successfully sold to a commercial provider of the time.

Later we worked with Sam Deane for the Teleste company directed by Pekka Lehtiö to create an immersive environment for language learning, which pre-dated Second Life by many years.

Alice has sadly passed away and is much missed.

(Words: 304 )

Lewis Carroll describes a fictional map that had:

"the scale of a mile to the mile."

A character notes some practical difficulties with such a map and states that:

"we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well."
— Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Lewis Carroll, 1893