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Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom

Elvira Deyamport, Ed.S. 2nd-6th Gifted/Talented Teacher

What technology have you used in teaching languages? Do you have any favorites? How about tips? Please share any programs, Web 2.0 tools, or other resources you have used in your classroom. Also, please share what level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and age group (elementary, secondary, college) you teach.

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Co-Director East Bay WL Project at UC Berkeley Language Center

@Gared

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Hi Gared, I use Adobe's Photoshop/Premier elements, which works for both Mac OS and Windows, though I suspect most Mac users prefer iMovie. The Flip Camera comes with some software actually stored on the camera which you can install when you sync it with your computer. Some people like Windows Movie Maker as well. I think that these are all excellent choices. Although Adobe's product is less intuitive than the others, in my opinion, it also has lots of wonderful features, and is well worthwhile learning how to use it well.

Best,

Don

K-8 French,Music, Dance, and Drama, from Ontario, Canada

I paired up with another

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I paired up with another intermediate class learning French as a second language. At the beginning of the year we held 15 minute introductory conversations with two students from each school in front of the camera and participating directly and the others watching, with a responsibility (point per contribution) to help write a "biography" of the two students we talked with when it was over. We prepared for this in our classroom in advance by co-creating anchor charts, beginning with Bonjour, je m'appelle... Comment ça va? etc. and adding more material each time: preferred subjects, films, music, pastimes, age, birth dates, food... Our final biographies were quite detailed. When the anchor charts were ready, we chorally rehearsed them, and then used them in a `speed-dating` style of game with each of their classmates, standing in two lines and moving one line along after every two minutes. The benefit of the speed dating was that I could pinpoint types of errors and freeze them all, teach a mini lesson and carry on immediately. Then we were ready for Skype. It was a huge success. The students were very excited by what they saw as authentic conversation, even though the people they were talking to were other second language students. Now to find them a francophone partner!

Google docs and more

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I teach English as a Second language in Israel. Recently I have created a lesson plan which involved Gogole docs, Fakebook (not a spelling mistake) and qr codes for my 6th graders.
I asked them to scan a qr code using their iphones or ipads and then discover who the artist they need to search about is. I have provided them with a worksheet (card) with information they needed to find out. Their foundings have been written down on a Google doc (I have opened in advanced) and so the entire class (they were divided into groups) shared their finding on the same file. Then they had to create a Fakebook page to their artist using the information they found. They added youtube videso and more.. Each group commented on the other groups and it was a lot of fun.
To learn more you can simply go to my blog where I have the entire lesson plan. www.englishatbarlev.blogspot.com
Hope you find this information useful

Co-Director East Bay WL Project at UC Berkeley Language Center

@Mme Tammy and @Roneet

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Hello Fellow WL peeps. I love your ideas, and appreciate your contributions to our community forum! Thanks so much for sharing.

Mme Tammy - love the idea of pairing kids with other students. It is very motivating to kids to be able to actually use the target language in real life communication with others. My French 3 class is paired with a class in French - they are studying English and are at about the same level of communicative ability in English as my French students are in French. The students share a group in Edmodo - they can all see every post, as can I and the teacher in France. Epals is a good source for finding a class, though I did not find my contact that way. My French 1 students are paired with a class in Martinique - I found this connection on Edmodo. My French 3 class is paired with the English class that my cousin's son is in. Do you have connections to anyone in a Francophone culture?

@Ronnet Kids love the QR codes! Great way to use smartphones for academic purposes. We engage kids with creative approaches like this. When kids are engaged, they move from being merely complacent to being really engaged and learning. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Let's keep sharing the ideas everyone!

Best wishes,
Don

Co-Founder at Lingua.ly

I also invite you all to try

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I also invite you all to try Lingua.ly. We just launched last week with our easy to use and free Chrome extension. It helps you (and your students) learn a language as you browse the web, by adding words automatically to your dictionary, helping you practice them, and finding real content from around the web that is just right for your vocabulary and level. I would really love to hear your feedback!
http://lingua.ly/

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