Thursday, March 5, 2009

ICT for Modern Languages

In this session we will be looking at how ICT can be wonderful for
  • supporting your own learning
  • supporting your teaching
  • finding tools and resources
  • being creative
The examples are for French but most ideas are transferable to German, Spanish.

Supporting your own learning - referencing is easy
online dictionaries such as scroll down for examples of use, discussions has grammar and conjugation of verbs as well
and a brilliant number to word tool eg type in 1789 and find out how to say/write it
for help reading foreign webpages use
be very suspicious of babelfish for translation, ok for French - English
Keep au fait with news stories
written news reports for children journal des enfants
short video news clips for children mon jt quotidien
watch French TV eg Paris TV
BBC clips for language and culture
For pronunciation what better than to hear a native speaker saying it. All of these next sites have audio files
French about is a huge site with all sorts of useful stuff eg dictionary sounds, tongue twisters, animal sounds - very useful a comprehensive list of words, but no meanings.

Word processing
Using Microsoft Office Word for typing French
Word will autocorrect words, often without you noticing it
eg trois comes out as trios and cathédrale will come out cathedral
Either turn off autocorrect (tools menu)
or better still turn this to your advantage by changing the language for he document in Tools Menu>Language to French. Then, with (autocorrect on or by spellchecking) it will put on accents for you and correct your spelling!
Typing accents
on a mac it's easy. The option key is now called alt. The trick is to lift off after typing alt e; then type e again for é
on a PC use ASCII codes or in Word use Symbols
or if online use typeit to copy and paste

Supporting your teaching
Network with other practitioners across the globe and find out what they are doing in languages teaching with Web 2.0 social networking tools eg blogs,, This is all about sharing!
See my favourite blogs in the Blog List at the side
I "follow" and "talk" to teachers elsewhere in the UK and in Australia and the US and share ideas.
watch video clips of teachers in action from
teachertube video on using puppets
Join a Glow group!

Finding tools and resources
delicious is a site where you can bookmark and tag useful sites. you can access them from any computer. You can see other people's links (your network) and save them too.
my delicious links look at the tags. click or type them in the box. eg French, primary, whiteboard
flashcards and instant games is a site for teaching English as a foreign language but the flashcards without words are very useful. you can use them to make bingo cards in the related site, tools for educators
youtube videos
great for all sorts especially songs, karaoke versions, see the actions

Being creative
Here are some ideas to motivate your pupils to write. Their work can be published and viewed by classmates, parents, the world. What better reason to make a good job?

cartoons - there are various sites and pieces of software to create a colourful cartoon
I like You need to create an account but it is free.
Here are some examples


Wordle is a visual tool to display text, or highlight frequency of words in a text. No account is needed but you need to remember what you called it to find it again.
(You need the Java plug-in installed in your browser)

Voki lets you create a talking character. It uses text-to-speech or you can record your own voice. You need to create a free account first.

There are lots of sites where you can create your own quizzes and games with exactly the vocab or info you want for your class
Blockbusters - numbers
Dustbin sorting game- my game on nasal vowels
Mystudiyo multiple choice 7 questions on Paris

Other devices
Apart from computers and internet other devices to use:
mobile phones – have cameras, video and audio recording and Bluetooth to send files to your computer
digital cameras
USB sticks
mp3 players have inbuilt microphones, cost from £10
ipods play audio and video (need extra microphone to record)
dv cameras eg Flip video from £77 - £130 pocket sized, batteries, USB connection
low tech – Talk Time products with recording modules from TTS catalogue

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