SEPTEMBER 21, 2015

Using Technology for Practicing Language Outside of Class: Faculty Suggestions

Using Technology for Practicing Language Outside of Class: Faculty Suggestions

By WAL Faculty and Staff

Practicing outside of class is extremely important for language learners. Sometimes it can be hard for them to stay motivated because they haven’t found the best online resources for their learning styles. We asked our World Language instructors what they suggest in class to help students practice independently what they are learning. Here are their suggestions:

Montse Vila, Spanish Instructor: “I recently found about todo-claro.com and suggested it to my students to practice on their own.  They have online activities for all levels, practice for specific points of grammar, dialogues with useful situations, etc.  The program corrects the exercises.  I think it´s very good.”

Azucena Ledezma, Spanish Instructor: “Many of my previous college students liked the online program Duolingo.  They said it was a fun way to practice Spanish.”

Minjung McKnight, Korean Instructor: “I always suggest the Poppopping Korean app to all of my students. It’s a great app where you can practice the pronunciation of each vowel and consonant.”

Kelly Feng, Chinese Instructor: “I highly recommend Quizlet to my students. There are a large number of free resources to learn Chinese as well as other languages.”

Tiko Gogolashvili-Radford, Arabic Language Instructor:  “I always suggest my students to use Memrise to build and practice vocabulary”

Adam McGarity, Russian Instructor: “My recommended Russian resource is the Transparent Language, Russian Language Blog.  This is an interesting, regularly updated blog that offers cultural and situational explanations for aspects of Russian language usage.  Its balanced mix of language and culture makes it a great resource for the Russian language learner.”

Simeng (Isabella) Liu, Chinese Instructor: “I encourage students to watch movies, especially documentaries in the language they are learning. It’s always helpful to hear native speakers’ pronunciation, as well as learn more about the culture. FluentU, Learn Chinese from Movies, and CCTV Documentary are all good resources for learning Chinese through movies and documentaries.”

Lydia Condrea, French/Italian Instructor: “I strongly recommend all my students to navigate the internet using extensions: .fr or .it respectively (for French or Italian).  Besides that, here is some information for students to practice their language skills:

French:  TV 5 Monde and Bonjour de France

Italian: Altervista- Noi Parliamo Italiano

All three programs are free, multi-leveled, and very rich in authentic material.  Word of caution:  Anybody who is working on their skills independently should start with listening exercises.  This advice is especially important for beginners.”

Gudrun Scheffler, German Instructor: “The German news and radio station Deutsche Welle provides a wealth of German learning material. There are many different German courses, podcasts, telenovelas, news that are spoken slowly and much more. Slow German provides podcasts that are spoken slower (text is available too) and is geared towards intermediate level learners. Another great resource is Short Stories for Beginners (and more) by Andre Klein. The BBC has many resources for language learning.”


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