How to Globalize Online Course Content

How to Globalize Online Course Content

Martin Schell (New York University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-116-2.ch008
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Considering that 347 languages have over 1 million speakers each and account for 94% of the world’s population, localization is unsustainable as a strategy for making online courses globally accessible. Writing Web content in Global English is the best way to ensure that people from all linguistic backgrounds have a reasonable chance of comprehending course materials. This chapter shows how to transform native English text into Global English (simpler syntax, less jargon, fewer idioms, no slang). It also discusses e-learning design issues such as cultural perspective and Internet logistics (speed and cost of connection). Finally, it addresses the future of English as a global language, particularly in reference to its supposed “rivalry” with Mandarin.
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The Case For Global English

Nowadays, most Web sites that aim for multinational markets will localize their content by translating it into languages spoken by major groups of Internet users: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and so on. In August 2003, the software developer, Jordi Mas i Hernàndez (2003) tallied the presence of various languages on the Web by inputting keywords specific to each language. He found that English was the dominant language of the text on 1,280 million pages, followed by German (182 million), French (100 million), and then a cluster of four languages in the 65-70 million range: Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.

Some people interpret his results as a call for increasing the localization of Web pages into languages other than English. Unfortunately, localization can never succeed in reaching a worldwide audience because, by definition, its purpose is to serve specific groups of users. Adding up a handful of local or regional groups does not equal a global audience.

There are presently 6,912 living languages, including 347 that have over 1 million speakers each (Gordon, 2005). Nobody will localize a Web site into all of them. How often do you see sites that offer the option of viewing pages in Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, or Wu, each of which has over 40 million speakers?

The usual explanation for excluding these languages is that they are spoken in countries which currently have low Internet penetration. This justification reveals that localization is a short-term strategy, one which will become increasingly difficult to implement as time goes on. The number of Internet users more than doubled worldwide from 361 million in 2000 to 958 million in 2005, with doubling or tripling on every continent and in nearly all countries that began the 21st century with low percentages of users (Internet World Stats, 2005).

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Pier Cesare Rivoltella
Informational society, mainly after the development of online and mobile devices, is changing the forms with which we build our image of the... Sample PDF
Knowledge, Culture, and Society in the Information Age
Chapter 2
Liudmila Burtseva, Svetlana Cojocaru, Constantin Gaindric, Galina Magariu, Tatiana Verlan
In this chapter the authors introduce the digitaldivide concept to the reader, bring its different definitions, and describe the short history of... Sample PDF
Digital Divide: Introduction to the Problem
Chapter 3
Soraj Hongladarom
The problem of global digital divide, namely disparity in Internet access and use among the various regions of the world, is a growing concern. Even... Sample PDF
Global Digital Divide, Global Justice, Cultures, and Epistemology
Chapter 4
Monica Fantin, Gilka Girardello
This chapter discusses the digital divide from the perspective of education and culture and highlights the forms in which the problem is presented... Sample PDF
Digital Literacy and Cultural Mediations to the Digital Divide
Chapter 5
Timothy Shea, David Lewis
This chapter introduces how culture impacts global knowledge sharing. Effective knowledge sharing (KS), one of the four interdependent dimensions of... Sample PDF
Cultural Impact on Global Knowledge Sharing
Chapter 6
Jeffrey P. Roy
The objectives of this chapter are threefold: first, to provide a conceptual framework for understanding e-government as a set of four interrelated... Sample PDF
E-Government, Democratic Governance and Integrative Prospects for Developing Countries: The Case for a Globally Federated Architecture
Chapter 7
M. Aminul Islam, Elena Murelli, Frederick Noronha, Hakikur Rahman
Capacity development initiatives for marginal communities with information and knowledge under the contemporary global scenario perhaps could be one... Sample PDF
Capacity Development Initiatives for Marginal Communities: A Few Case Studies
Chapter 8
Martin Schell
Considering that 347 languages have over 1 million speakers each and account for 94% of the world’s population, localization is unsustainable as a... Sample PDF
How to Globalize Online Course Content
Chapter 9
Anne Daly
This chapter presents data from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing to highlight the low levels of computer and Internet usage by indigenous... Sample PDF
The Diffusion of New Technologies: Community Online Access Centres in Indigenous Communities in Australia
Chapter 10
William Schulte, Kevin J. O'Sullivan
Information and knowledge management technologies and globalization have changed how firms in service industries formulate, implement, and sustain... Sample PDF
Global Knowledge Management Technology Strategies and Competitive Functionality from Global IT in the International Construction Industry
Chapter 11
Emmanuel G Blanchard, Claude Frasson
This chapter introduces the concepts of culturally aware systems (CAWAS), a new family of adaptive systems that try to adapt learning contents and... Sample PDF
Cross Cultural Adaptation in E-Learning
Chapter 12
André H. Caron
Whether globalisation results in a “métissage” of cultures or the hegemony of one culture will depend on the analytical and social skills of those... Sample PDF
Globalisation and New Technology: The Challenge for Teachers to Become “Translators” and Children, Knowledge Seekers
Chapter 13
Ahmed Ali
This case study examined the effectiveness and significance of the Internet and interactive video broadcasting as instructional and communication... Sample PDF
Modern Technology and Mass Education: A Case Study of a Global Virtual Learning System
Chapter 14
Hyemin Chung, Henry Lieberman
The need for more effective communication between people of different countries has increased as travel and communications bring more of the world’s... Sample PDF
GlobalMind: Automated Analysis of Cultural Contexts with Multicultural Common-Sense Computing
Chapter 15
Tom S. Chan
This chapter discusses the challenges in constructing a culture-centric Web site. The Internet has expanded business opportunities into global... Sample PDF
Challenges in Building a Culture-Centric Web Site
Chapter 16
Susan K. Lippert, John A. Volkmar
Research to date on information technology (IT) adoption has focused primarily on homogeneous single country samples. This study integrates the... Sample PDF
Cultural Effects on Technology Performance and Utilization: A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Users
Chapter 17
Somya Joshi, Michael Barrett, Geoff Walsham, Sam Cappleman
This article investigates how, and with what success, global organisations design computer-based systems for knowledge sharing which aim to balance... Sample PDF
Balancing Local Knowledge within Global Organisations through Computer-Based Systems: An Activity Theory Approach
Chapter 18
Luciano Floridi
The article argues that Information Ethics (IE) can provide a successful approach for coping with the challenges posed by our increasingly... Sample PDF
Global Information Ethics: The Importance of Being Environmentally Earnest
Chapter 19
Fikreyohannes Lemma, Mieso K. Denko, Joseph K. Tan, Samuel Kinde Kassegne
Poor infrastructures in developing countries such as Ethiopia and much of Sub-Saharan Africa have caused these nations to suffer from lack of... Sample PDF
Envisioning a National E-Medicine Network Architecture in a Developing Country: A Case Study
Chapter 20
Y. N. Chen, H. M. Chen, W. Huang, R. K.H. Ching
Given the fact that more and more governments invest heavily in e-government design and implementation, e-government has become an evolving and... Sample PDF
E-Government Strategies in Developed and Developing Countries: An Implementation Framework and Case Study
Chapter 21
Hongxin Zhao, Seung Kim, Taewon Suh, Jianjun Du
This study attempts to examine empirically how social institutional factors relate to Internet diffusion in 39 countries. Based on nine-year... Sample PDF
Social Institutional Explanations of Global Internet Diffusion: A Cross-Country Analysis
Chapter 22
Juan Juan Zhang, Sang-Yong Tom Lee
This article studies the role of international spillover of information and communication technology (ICT) in economic growth. We examine the... Sample PDF
A Time Series Analysis of International ICT Spillover
Chapter 23
Hakikur Rahman
ICT mediated learning provides utilities for achieving the goal of education for all, and in turn acts as an enabler in reducing the digital divide... Sample PDF
ICT Based Learning: A Basic Ingredient for Socio-Economic Empowerment
Chapter 24
Clive Sanford, Anol Bhattacherjee
This article presents an interpretive analysis of the key problems and challenges to technology implementation in developing countries, based on a... Sample PDF
IT Implementation in a Developing Country Municipality: A Socio-Cognitive Analysis
Chapter 25
Haiyan Huang, Eileen M. Trauth
This chapter discusses cultural diversity challenges in globally distributed software development and the implications for educating and managing... Sample PDF
Cultural Diversity Challenges: Issues for Managing Globally Distributed Knowledge Workers in Software Development
Chapter 26
Shirish C. Srivastava, Thompson S.H. Teo
Using secondary data from 99 countries and IT impact literature as the guiding theoretical perspective; we examine the payoffs from e-government in... Sample PDF
E-Government Payoffs: Evidence from Cross-Country Data
Chapter 27
Mahesh S. Raisinghani, Denise Taylor
The World Wide Web opened the door for many organizations with international ambitions to go global. Organizations that did not have a global... Sample PDF
Going Global: A Technology Review
Chapter 28
Judy Iseke-Barnes, Deborah Danard
This chapter explores how representations of indigenous peoples on the Internet and other media are contextualized according to an outsider... Sample PDF
Indigenous Knowledges and Worldview: Representations and the Internet
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