Cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration are essential for a project such as this. It has become a central theme of our work. Most multimedia authoring tools, including language-learning authoring tools, are designed to support individual content authors.
We have had to develop a whole new suite of tools enabling people with different technical and even cultural backgrounds to work together collaboratively. It also requires that team members learn to respect the contributions of the other team members. It is also interesting to note the extent to which we have had to develop connections with different cultural communities in order to carry out this project. People familiar with the culture participate in the design of the materials; native speakers of the language record samples of the language and lines of dialogue for the game characters. We have to work with people we can find to work with, even in a big city like Los Angeles, which contains many ethnic groups. In fact, we found ourselves applying our own cultural lessons, as we developed relationships with the local Arab-American community in Los Angeles. These skills and cultural sensitivities will come in handy as we proceed to develop training materials for other languages and cultures.