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7 Excellent Language 2.0 learning resources

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For the love of poetry.

@Edu, after sharing with us, that the most common student response to her question, “What kinds of writing do you like to do?” is “Poetry!”, she points us to a perfect site for aspiring junior youth writers: The Young Writers Society,  which is “Specifically created for young writers ages 13 to 25, we are an online community where we share a common passion for creative writing.

Along the same lines, Potetry 180, as best described by its creatorBilly Collins, former Poet Laureate of the USA:

Welcome to Poetry 180. Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed.

Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. I have selected the poems you will find here with high school students in mind. They are intended to be listened to, and I suggest that all members of the school community be included as readers. A great time for the readings would be following the end of daily announcements over the public address system.

Listening to poetry can encourage students and other learners to become members of the circle of readers for whom poetry is a vital source of pleasure. I hope Poetry 180 becomes an important and enriching part of the school day.

Reading

Wordsy is a ‘A niche social news site for people who love reading and books. Topics covered include small presses, fiction writing, authors, book awards and poetry.’ (via Dosh Dosh )

Spelling

WordConnect is “WordConnect is a puzzle word game similar to the classic game tetris. Some have called it a hybrid between tetris and scrabble. You have to place the falling letters to form a word horizontally or vertically”. Very cool and educational for youth of junior high level.

Story Telling

Mathew Needleman offers “Digital Storytelling Carnival”, a list of links for story telling through the use of video.

English, as a second language

Jeffry Hill in a post called “Yappr: learn English by watching videos” shares with us:

“There are lots of video sharing websites but Yappr is the first one which has been designed specifically for learners of English. What makes all the difference is that the videos have subtitles (or translations) in English and you can replay phrases at the click of a button. You will also find notes explaining idioms and phrases that you don’t necessarily find in text books. There’s a good selection of videos organised in categories (perhaps ‘sexy’ is one we could have done without) and if you register, you can chat with other Yapprs around the world or comment on videos. You can already edit translations and very soon you will be able to post, transcribe and translate videos yourself. This makes it a very interesting tool for teachers, who’ll be able to put their own favourites online. In fact, Yappr promises to become the YouTube of English language learning.”

Foreign languages

Babbel is… a social network with a series of language learning tools for English, German, Spanish, Italian, and French. The language learning tools are currently fairly basic and come in the form of vocabulary quizzes that test you on words by matching a word’s sounds and spelling with pictures. The site tracks your progress and reminds you to continue training on new sets. Babbel leverages the social network by letting users message each other and work on forming lessons together. In the future you’ll be able to chat with each other as well. xLingo and LiveMocha are other language learning communities focused on matching up foreign language students.

But Babbel is not only about collaboratively studying a foreign language. The site will also depend on it’s users to contribute more content to their site through vocabulary words and eventually new lesson plans. Users can add new words or phrases to the site’s vocabulary index, and then tie them to an audio clip and picture representation.

Babbel does have some notable drawbacks, though. Conversations are only text based (Skype or TokBox could augment that). Also, it isn’t a site where you can learn the basic grammatical rules of a language, it only supports vocabulary lessons. Readers interested in starting from scratch should check out Mango Languages, which provides a free program for learning the mechanics of a language from the ground up. (via TechCrunch)



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