How the UT Arlington prof is trying to parlay a childhood love into a mobile app that helps people learn languages or regain their ability to speak after a stroke.

FWinc.
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Scott Nishimura

How the UT Arlington prof is trying to parlay a childhood love into a mobile app that helps people learn languages or regain their ability to speak after a stroke.

Jodi Tommerdahl says she’s always been interested in languages. It started with Norwegian as a child when her grandmother would teach her bits. When she was 12, Tommerdahl, who grew up in Minnesota, began attending summer Norwegian camps in the state. When she was in her 20s, Tommerdahl learned French.

“I have a huge American accent because I learned it in my ‘20s,” she says. In the back of her mind for years: “Why is there no computer game or software that would show me the difference between these two sounds” – the correct and incorrect pronunciations?

“There’s language learning products, but there’s nothing for your accent, nothing with feedback,” Tommerdahl says.

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