Hermes Online Language Learning System

During 2012-2015, CASLS piloted the Hermes online language learning program in Chinese and Swahili. Hermes was an entirely web-based learning management system. Using peer-to-peer scaffolding and project-based learning, Hermes allowed novice students to become “active agents” in their language learning journey.

A licensed teacher guided students’ learning, provided instruction, and offered individual support. Trained native speakers, known as language coaches, helped students with language production, reviewed student work, and provided feedback.

Hermes offered:

  • Affordable cost: Hermes provided an affordable way for school districts and other educational institutions to provide world language instruction in the midst of federal and state budget cuts.
  • Increased access: CASLS worked with school districts to assign a local lab instructor and set aside specific time in students’ school schedule for Hermes. Because of its web-based nature, students continued their learning outside of the classroom by simply accessing the course from any location with an Internet connection.
  • Individual attention: Hermes accommodated multiple learning styles and provided students with immediate feedback.
  • Independent learning: Students worked at their own pace and studied aspects of the language and culture of particular interest to them.
  • Support: Hermes used a multi-tier support structure that included a licensed instructor, language coaches, CASLS technology staff, and local lab instructors (provided by institution).