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Two observations about the Exchange.

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@mikebond - Correction: The "follow" is actually for following a specific user, not for following a conversation. There is currently no way to unfollow a conversations/post, and this is something that we will address in a future update to the notifications.

No problem, Alex. Thanks for the explanation. I hope you can implement the "unfollow" button for conversations soon.

Alex,

If you get a chance. I am a little ignorant on how to correct writings for others on exchange request. I just spend well over 45 minutes correcting a writing..However i did so via "Word" and i could not copy and paste via the Exchange response window..it would not let me ,,is there any way to simply correct writings using "Word" and cut and paste the text to the right window/space for corrected writing in Exchange response window?? You can bet from now on I'll begin to use the Exchange response window to correct rather than 'Word". BTW it was very difficult to find how to even get to the exchange response screen ....as the video tutorial does not even go into this...it only shows the exchange request screen ..at least the tutorial i searched for and found.Trial by error..

Thanks

@opewale - Sorry to hear you've been having some trouble with this! To correct a writing, just click the "Fulfil Request" button that appears underneath the request. On the next page, you'll see the original text on the left and the corrected text on the right. To make a correction, just highlight some text from the left then click "New Correction". The writing correction functionality is built right into the site, so you don't need to correct it using Word. Once you've added all the necessary corrections just click the button at the bottom to submit the response then wait for the member to award any points.

Should you have any additional questions about this be sure to let us know!

Alex,

Thanks. I used the function correctly today on a request response.Thanks also for the hint re: that the "tabs" are working on the "Learn" page..they certainly are/ I was able to find the specific type of spanish accent lessons I wanted...Opewale

We had a great discussion here about the pro and cons of the Exchange. A lot of interesting points were raised.

I've made my descision: I stick with personal requests because I offer quality work.

@Alex: Alex, I'm really interested in the point of view of the LingQ staff. What are the experiences on your side?

@Vera

Since the last time I posted in this thread, I've done a couple corrections on the exchange. I've come to the same conclusion as you. The exchange does nothing but encourage correctors to rush their corrections in order to get it submitted before anyone else.

@David + Vera

I agree. (The exchange is a great function - but I always use it to make private requests to individual tutors.)

@Jay

Well, in that case you're not actually using the exchange as any type of free exchange. For you it's a service.

The only way that the exchange could work as a true exchange is if points that equal money were not involved. The results that I currently see coming out of the Lingq exchange are no better than those I see on Lang-8, which is a free exchange.



@David: I tried Lang-8 a while ago. Unfortunately I did more work than I got out. For me it was a waste of time. I prefer the LingQ system: I get paid with points for corrections, and I use them for my requests. But as I wrote above, I prefer the private requests.

Here is the fundamental flaw of the correction system on Lingq:

The learner evaluates the correction, and awards points based on his or her evaluation.

How can a learner of a language evaluate the accuracy of corrections for a language with which they may or may not be familiar?

@Vera

Anyone who wants to use the Lingq Exchange as an exchange will have to put in much more work than they ever will get out of it. Due to the problem of point splitting, one will have to do 3-4 corrections for every correction received.

This will take a lot of time, since the Exchange here is nowhere near as active as the one on Lang-8.

That is great that you want to earn points by giving corrections as a service. I do too.

@David: That is why I only do answer to personal requests. I too expect to get at least the points that the LingQ system suggests. Otherwise I refuse to fulfill the request.

Some students offers only a percentage of the recommended points.

I was shocked when I saw that Steve offered only about 600 points where the recommondation was 2598 points for a translation and a recording. I think he has to be a role model.

The rates on LingQ are quite low compared to the time you have to put in. If people undermine the system it will not work.

I'll put in a suggestion -- take it or leave it; I haven't yet any experience with the exchange (I hope to start writing and requesting corrections in a couple of weeks) -- A few years ago I registered for a site called, if I remember correctly, TextBroker, in which requests are put up for writers to write articles on certain topics (I think it mostly gets used to create fake content for spam blogs, but I digress...). The way it worked is that a request was put on the "exchange," and then a person who met the qualifications asked for "checked out" the request. Once it was "checked out" it was no longer available on the open exchange, but the person who checked it out was expected to fulfill the request in a certain amount of time. If the request wasn't fulfilled within the number of allotted hours, it was removed from the individual's account and put back on the open exchange to wait for someone else to check it out and fulfill it. Perhaps such a system would remove much of the problems with the exchange here while still fulfilling its goals...

@jstoddard - definitely a great idea that would remove pressure to rush a correction. Other would-be correctors would have a way of knowing that someone else has (in theory) started work on it. It doesn't necessarily guarantee a great correction, but at least in theory it removes rushed work.

I could be opening a can of worms (ouch!), but I tend to be annoyed with some non-native speakers offering sub-standard corrections on the Exchange, especially for English. Personally, I cannot understand how certain "tutors" think their written English is good enough to offer corrections. Even worse, are those with thick, heavy foreign accents offering to fulfil English audio requests. Of course, I really don't mean to offend people, but it's a bee in my bonnet. I don't care how long someone says on their profiles they've lived in an English-speaking country or whatever - it doesn't automatically mean they're up to scratch in English.

My Dutch-born husband has lived in Australia for 45 years - he's certainly a native English speaker - but I'd shoot him if he offered to do written English corrections (sorry honey!) ^^ Similarly, not every "corrector" dwelling in Holland has a great command of the English language either...^^ (*not* referring to Silviad, of course!)

On the other hand, there probably aren't enough native English tutors for the Exchange, and I myself am too busy to offer corrections. Ironically I sponsor a certain member for English conversations, only to realise the other day that one of their tutors is one of those in question! The only reason I tolerate it is because there is a lack of available tutors, and their English is better than the member (!) Plus, the member is still nevertheless getting oral practice. But still... ^^

I don't know how people feel about this. One tutor responded to a prior complaint with, "We can all learn from each other". There's nothing wrong with us all trying to help others on the language forums. However, I don't think it's our place to offer corrections where points are involved, if we're not at an extremely high, native-like level.

Personally I refuse to award points to anyone who is not a native speaker of my L2's. But it is not always apparent when a request is fulfilled if it's a rushed job, a machine translation, or a non-native correction. Lucky for me, that's not a problem so far for Chinese or Japanese corrections.

Apologies to anyone I've offended... I'd be interested hearing others' views.

@jstoddard: In earlier versions of LingQ is was exactly like you have described: if someone had "taken" a correction, it was no longer available for others.

@Julz: I've seen the same for German. And same for some native speakers. I've seen some worse corrections. But there are enough good German correctors as well, but most of them like me refuse to correct the "open" exchanges because you never know what you will get out.

What I miss is a kind of quality control. But this is something what lots of people has claimed for many years now regarding to lesson quality and correction quality. The statement is always that it is up to the student to judge, but often the level of the student doesn't allow him to judge. He has to trust the tutor. Quantity above quality.

@Julz
I couldn't agree more. I myself was an teacher of English as a foreign language for more than 35 years but I know my limitations. I may answer to some questions in forums, but I think exchange requests should be answered by native speakers only, unless the learner wants to listen to different accents or pronunciations.

@Julz
"On the other hand, there probably aren't enough native English tutors for the Exchange"

There are loads of native English speakers on Lingq. i don't know if you have spent much time on the English exchange page, but it never takes more than an hour or two for a request to be seen and completed by a native speaker.

There is no reason someone from outside of the Anglosphere should have to fulfill any requests - but they usually seem to do so, often after a native speaker has already submitted.

I use free services for my language studies but also a lot of services where I pay trained professionals for their help. I enjoy language exchanges with native speakers or people who have reached a native-like level (both in writing and speaking). Otherwise, I prefer to pay an experienced tutor for his help.

People ought to understand that while there is a lot of free and useful study material available, personalized service has both its benefits and its price. At the end of the day you get what you pay for and if you feel you overpay for any service you get, you need to find a provider who manages to meet your requirements in a better way.

I prefer one good source I pay for to ten free sources which are full of mistakes or mediocre at best. I know there is free material available which is of very high quality but it tends to be scarce.

I have seen quite a few corrections both on lingq and on similar sites whose quality was far below anything I'd be willing to accept if I were asked to pay for it (whether in cash or by points or any other similar system).

I think the general problem is that mediocrity has become somewhat of an accepted standard. While it is important to encourage people and certainly praiseworthy if someone makes an effort to learn another language, people need to be realistic about their own skills.

I very much enjoy my studies of Russian, Chinese and Japanese, but it would be ridiculous if I offered tutoring services in any of these languages. While it is perfectly alright for me as a learner to make the kind of mistakes I make, I would not want to see a tutor fall into the same linguistic traps. If he does, he should not be tutoring.

You can still form study groups with peers, but tutoring to me is something else and it should be recognized and valued as the quality service it normally is if offered by an expert.

What we do on the Exchange is offer people both the option of choosing a specific tutor to correct their text and the option of posting their text openly to potentially receive multiple responses. The fact is that there are people happy to do both of these things. Many people are happy to receive whatever points they get for corrections, as they just enjoy doing them. Others want to be compensated for their time spent. All people are different. All we have tried to do is to create an open market so that people are free to do what they like. People posting requests are free to assign whatever value they like to the request. People responding are free to respond to Open requests or not. Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything.

If you are trying to recruit people to submit texts to you directly, you may decide it makes sense to correct a few open requests to "get your name out there". I personally have submitted a few texts in Italian lately and had great response on the Open exchange. Multiple responses with great feedback received very quickly. You are right that I can't judge the accuracy of the corrections but any corrections I can get from native speakers are good enough for me. They all speak much, much better than me, obviously..! Having said that, there are those people who want their posts reviewed by an "expert" so if they can identify such a person, will gladly submit privately to that person. That is great and works for them. The Exchange is a flexible, open system that seems to be working well. The learner has more choice now. Surely, that is a good thing.

Mark, the exchange is not providing quality results. Here is a "correction" that was rewarded with 300 points.

"I work for a hotel in engineering department. I take care of the building which includes repair maintenance and decorations. In the morning brief, I organize/assemble grouping of technicians into 3 small teams to service the whole building in order to make sure that all the systems will be ready to service our guests at all times.

The first team is assigned to general and routine task which entails walking through the machine room, preparing checklists for all machines and their proper functioning, and finally monitoring all system and sign off the log sheets. If there are some malfunctions in the machines, we will check whether it could be fixed right away or whether it needs outsourcing to to a specialist company. In case of a serious problem that may occur, (or In the eventuality that a serious problem may arise….) , the implementation of the action plan co-operative will assure smooth operations. This team is required to act quickly at anytime following work orders from all public area especially if life safety issues are involved.

The second group is the guest room engineering service. The team will receive work orders from concerned departments like housekeeping or guest services agent through the sms via mobile phone. We are required to acknowledge incoming work orders sent by by code of work order (abbreviation for #WR) . A reply to the system will signal that the task is done, and when it is completed (accomplished) another message is sent back to the system by #WR and -d . These steps complete the whole process. . Sometimes the task will take too long to fix for the standard duration allowance. In this case, after the acknowledgement step, we need to resend the message with #WR -w to generate another type of work order designed to communicate on call with the appropriate departments, in regards to the estimate duration time the task requires to communicate with the guest. This process will ensure the best solution and satisfaction.

The third group handles kitchen services. We've got 7 restaurants in our property for all day dining , so one can imagine how many tasks need to be completed each day. Kitchen services closely work together with the culinary team to ensure that all the equipment in the kitchen will be in good standing and within safety conditions. This system includes all HVAC system for all outlets that will be part of co-operative with the first team in order to provide our building with comfortable and cool temperature as much as possible.

Those are just some aspects of my job with its specific details that I manage to perform. I will try adding more details later.
Hi, you have a lot to say and appear to be eager to say it all in one sentence. I can see your enthusiasm. In English, make an effort to shorten your sentences, use punctuation to help the reader to catch his/her breath. My suggestion to you, is when you are conveying lots of technical detailed information, think at the specific task, and simplify it to make it straight to the point. It will be an easier essay to read. Overall, you did well.
1. In the eventuality that a serious problem may arise
2. This phrase is convoluted and needs to be simpler:)
3. I am not sure what you like to say here"

I did not look for one of the particularly bad examples, I just took the first one done by a non-native English speaker that I happened to find.

Obviously this was completed by someone with a high level of English. Still I think, given the proponderance of good, and free, language learning material online, charging for material like this is a rip off.

@Davidjvl - If the request is posted openly, and that is one of the responses received, great. The poster is free to wait for others although as an initial correction, that is not too bad. I posted in Italian and was extremely happy with the results and happy to pay. I don't understand your point. This is our system. People are free to do what they like.

Better corrections were given for the same request by native English speakers. Why is it fair that they were rewarded the same amount as (and in one case a corrector was rewarded less than) the non-native speaker?

In the end it's up to the poster to decide what they feel is fair and up to the responder to decide if he wants to continue responding.

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