Flash Video Big Books This is a great site for anyone interested in using story telling as a key component of their courses. Some free stuff but the books you have to buy are pretty cheap and excellent quality. Highly recommended.
Wordle - Create word clouds This is a fantastic little site for anyone wanting to be creative with Language. It creates key word diagrams on any topic in an arty way. It is a great way to introduce a topic or allow kids to create a keyword list to help them prepare for a speaking test
This link will take you to a page on the online dictionary WordReference which explains how you can add some bookmarks to your Favourites in the Firefox browser. Once installed all you have to do is type the short cut in the browser tool box to quickly translate words or conjugate verbs.This could be a really useful tool to help your students. the vocab tool is available for Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. Unfortunately there is only a conjugation feature for French, Italian and Spanish verbs.
There is a similar toolbar feature for Google Chrome
I'm posting a link to a page on a site called 'powerpoint heaven'.
I thought this scrolling text idea was a neat way of adding a visual effect to a teaching presentation. I am going to post an example of how you can modify this to create a simple set of questions to encourage pupils to take in information and engage with your slides. I will be adapting a Christmas quiz I downloaded from the yahoo mfl resources forum. That's coming up later on today.
"Tutorial on creating a Scrolling Ticker In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a Scrolling News Ticker which can be placed at the bottom of the slide for you to display any news and information."
Following on from yesterday's post on using macros in Word, this video explains how you might exploit this vowel macro in Microsoft Word to do some listening work with a text on Christmas in France. If you have a KS4/5 class next week and are stuck for something to do, this could plug a gap!
Again, whilst the language here is for pupils aged 15 +, the idea could be adapted for much simpler texts and sound files at a simpler level.
My thanks to the person who tweeted the original source material for the sound file and text, and thanks to the host site at ie.languages.com
This is the original sound file
and an extract from the Word file. Download both in the zip file below.
Here is the video link. Right click to open in a new browser window or download.
The link from the mp3 to the media player embedded in the Word document might be broken but there is an explanation at the end of the video of how to re-insert it if you wish. Otherwise just play the mp3 in your own media player.
Joyeux Noël à tous mes collègues qui travaillent si dur dans des sections de langues partout au Royaume Uni et ailleurs!
In this post, I link to a video explanation of how to create a simple macro that will enable you or your pupils to play around with parallel texts to practise translating to and from English. Although the example worked through below uses A-level Standard text, you can adapt the idea to any other much simpler text for younger pupils.
Having read some posts about using parallel / bilingual texts on the MFL Resources forum (Yahoo), I found this site http://www.bilingual-texts.com/library/. There are a number of bilingual texts in numerous languages taken from well known novels.
I selected "Le Petit Prince". This is a small screen shot of the Word document you download. The files are free.
To make working with this into more of an interactive exercise, I placed a selection of the text into Word.
I then recorded a macro that would enable me to remove all of the vowels in turn in either the French or the English part of the text.
The video of how to do this is here. Right click on the link and open in a new browser window or right click and choose 'Save as' to download to your computer.
The beauty of this idea in class is that by using the ctrl+z and ctrly+y keys you can instantly toggle between putting the letters back in or removing them again.You can apply the macro to small sections of the text at a time as well, rather than to the whole text.
You could ask pupils to work in pairs/groups to try and read out the correct English or French version using the skeleton as a prompt.
A variant would be to use a video/sound file as a prompt (say in French) and the English version of the translation as a skeleton text.
Another idea might be to use a text that has a lot of connectives in it. Run your macro to find/replace all the connectives and ask pupils to suggest what connectives might be missing. A simple use of the ctrl+z key would then gradually reveal those connectives.
If you are interested in working with Macros and Word yourself you might also be interested in some software I have mentioned before called Teacher's Pet. This plug in for Word enables you to select from a huge range of pre-recorded Macros. I posted an article on this site some while back that you can access here. There is a code on the page which will get you 10% off the asking price should you wish to use it.
Further to yesterday's post, I am uploading a zip file of songs translated into French from the Sing Up Website. For copyright reasons, I am asking people to register on my other site so that I can have some control over who this is going to. Once registered follow the link in the confirmation email. Registration is free. If you have already registered on the other site, use the link in your confirmation email.
Here's a screen shot of one file plus the backing track
I like this site jigsawplanet. You can take any picture and turn it into a jigsaw. You can control the level of difficulty and it offers a way of taking any topic and providing a bit of a fun.
I can see a potential for using this as a 'team' directed game where each team has to direct the teacher to move the pieces to recreate the picture: one puzzle piece is selected either by the team or the teacher: the team has to instruct the teacher in the target language to move the piece to the correct place on the board. eg:
à droite plus haut plus bas
à droite / à gauche etc.
For example I searched for an image of the Nativity for Christmas, found this:
You can do exactly the same thing with text. Here is a very simple text:
As the puzzle software can only cope with jpg images, I had to 'capture' the text as an image. With a Mac you can do this with the 'Grab' utility provided in the Applications/Utilities folder. With windows you can use a program such as MWSnap. a free program. Once uploaded to the site you can 'chop' up the text and make a puzzle. Here is a version using the above text. Click on the image to try.
After posting the drag and drop macro for powerpoint, I have been experimenting with macros to try and make instant changes to text and shapes in MS Office suite programs. I came across this brilliant site, Teacher's Pet.
Teacher's Pet Software - Turns any text into fun classroom resources, including crosswords, word search puzzles, bingo cards, flashcards and more.
From here you can download a free program that will enable you to play around with a host of ideas to manipulate chunks of text. I think this was developed with TESL colleagues in mind so some of the functions may not be appropriate for other languages, but I recommend that you have a look. Some features such as the flashcard, bingo and crossword generators have to be purchased but many others are free. This image file shows you the possibilities once the Teacher's pet toolbar has been installed on your version of MS Word.
Here is a video demonstrating how it works for one piece of text where I wanted to remove all of the vowels.
Here is a link to a Word document which explains in detail all that you can do with this. Much of it is free but If you want to use the premium features of the software, use this code ‘ed7up’ to get a 10% discount at Teacher's Pet Software
I have been looking at the Teachers Love Smartboard site and there is a load of useful material here. In particular he drew attention to this Spanish site which is incredibly rich in material available in Spanish, English, French, Catalan, Basque and Galician! There are a load of games and an area with good 'bigbook' children's stories. You can access everything for free as far as I can see online or purchase the DVDs for very reasonable prices. Well worth a look. Here is the front page screenshot.