Rosetta Stone not only has lively foreign language courses to help students master French, Spanish and a slew of other tongues, but an online resource for teachers to share what works and what doesn’t in the language classroom. The Language Creates page features teaching tips and a presentation that emphasizes the need for technology in the language classroom. My favorite is Teacher Tuesday, which includes teachers’ techniques for helping students understand that behind every language is a culture.
Latin may appear to be an impenetrable language that has few speakers, but its vocabulary is wide and far reaching. To get a crusis (leg) up on the language, get the Latin Word of the Day app. Created by Ron Bell, the app is only available for iPhones and iPads version 3 or newer; sorry Android users. It delivers a different word every day in Latin along with its English translation so subscribers can enlarge their vocabularies. Best of all, it’s free.
As you might expect, Learn 101 has more than 100 languages under control for a variety of students with vocabulary and grammar for each. From Albanian to Zulu, the site has it all with detailed alphabets, dictionaries and audio samples. At the end, there are exams to see you your students have done.
A program that can help teach one, two or maybe three tongues is a great help in the foreign language classroom, but what about 48 different languages? Open Culture has a list of dozens of free language classes online. They all start with online classes and many include printable textbooks. From Arabic to Yiddish, there’s something for everyone.
The latest in digital foreign language instruction is Breaking the French Barrier, a series of iPad-based digital texts that make the most of this new medium. In addition to audio from native French speakers, Breaking Barriers has a virtual blackboard for highlighting key grammatical points as well as vocabulary pointers like photos, audio and text. It costs $15.
It can’t replace a creative language teacher, but DuoLingo can help kids get a better grasp of ten languages, including German, French and Spanish. It has lots of short lessons that are easy to digest along with tons of practice exercises to drill students where they earn points towards mastering their language. It runs on Android or iPad tablets.