The sound of Chatloop chatter

3 Dec 2018

UQ School of Languages and Cultures PhD student Michael Mersiades’ startup company ‘Chatloop’ recently won the inaugural Shane Chidgzey Young Entrepreneurs Award.

Michael started piloting an idea where refugees connect to volunteers through WhatsApp. They connect to a partner and have a chat or play a game using text and audio messages. They only send a few messages a day, and when they’ve finished, they connect to a new partner for another activity.

As an applied linguist, I wasn’t sure that I’d be much use at a tech startup. But they were building a chatbot to help people learn English, and my knowledge and experience of second language acquisition was something they highly valued.

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