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Apps for language learning

Language students can use different apps in the classroom, or outside the classroom as supplement to regular teaching.

Learning to read, through writing on a keyboard:

School Font (Skolstil) http://www.skolstil.se/en/

As the students press a key, the program’s synthetic speech will pronounce the corresponding sound, and the letter will appear on the screen in a handwritten style. When the space bar is pressed, the program will pronounce the whole word. When the punctuation mark is pressed, the program will pronounce the whole sentence.

When the students hear the sound as they press a key, they experience the connection between the symbol and the sound.

Video here: http://www.vox.no/Norsk-og-samfunnskunnskap/Metodisk-veiledning/Skrive-seg-til-lesing-STL/

Learning vocabulary through images and simple games:

Bitsboard, http://bitsboard.com/

Contains 25 simple memory games. It is possible for the teacher to create her or his own lessons and track student progress.

Book Creator

The students can

-listen to the teacher pronounce words

-record their own pronunciation and compare it to the teacher’s

-translate the words into their own mother tongue

-take pictures with the unit’s camera and enter them into Book Creator

-write descriptions of the pictures and record the descriptions as sound

Camera-app

The students can use the unit’s camera independently of other apps. The student can take pictures or videos of something he or she wants to learn about, show them to the teacher and ask questions about how to describe the things and situations in the language they are learning.

 

Quizzes for language learning:

Kahoot, https://getkahoot.com/

The teacher can make interactive quizzes that the students can play on their mobile devices, track their right and wrong answers, detect where the students need more teaching, and bring it to the classroom.

Supplements to classroom or net based teaching (for students who can also study on their own):

Duolingo, https://www.duolingo.com/

Game-like language learning. Short learning sessions that a student can complete in 5-10 minutes on a bus, in a break etc. Requires that the student knows a support language – English, French etc. Duolingo courses are quality checked before release.

Memrise https://www.memrise.com/

A course platform with many language courses. There is no quality check from the platform, so the teacher should do that before recommending courses to the student. The teacher can make his or her own courses in the platform and choose whether they should be available to the public or not.

Loecsen http://www.loecsen.com/

With 40 languages. The student can read, listen to and repeat a limited number of common phrases in the target language, and get it translated to one of the 40 support languages.

Other apps

Many apps not created for education may be used for language learning. The teacher and students can use travel time tables, online markets, weather forecasts, online recipes etc. for vocabulary and phrase training, and discussion.

Facebook or similar platforms: It can be useful to create network groups where language teachers can share experiences and recommend apps.

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Espen Munch
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