New Horizon is part of a wave of iPhone apps that helps Japan -- a country already heavily invested in language tutorials -- learn foreign languages with ease and comfort.
Despite the accumulated billions that Japanese schools and students spend in order to improve their English proficiency, most can't speak the language even after years of lessons. New Horizon remains the most common English textbook series for students in Japan and the company is using the prevalence of smartphones to provide a new, innovative digital solution. Accompanying the language books is an iPhone and Android app that brings the fictitious character Ken to life. Readers follow the "typically Japanese" Ken through his 15-year stay in the United States, and by pointing their phones at the relevant pages, interactive videos and conversations begin!
As an avid linguist myself, I can vouch that the best way to learn a language is through immersion -- New Horizon uses emerging technologies to throw kids into the midst of English conversations and small talk; this has to be the best solution to language barriers I've ever seen.
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