Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.
Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. For example, if teachers wanted students to practice French with native speakers, they had to organize a costly trip to France. Edtech makes it possible for teachers to use Skype to do schedule video calls to allow students to practice with their counterparts in France.
There are also tons of language learning apps that teachers can use to help students learn a new language. These apps allow students to learn the language from native speakers and become immersed in the language virtually. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these language learning apps, tools, and resources:
Duolingo: Duolingo is one of the most popular ways to learn a new language for free. You can choose from almost thirty different languages. All of the content can be accessed from any device with personalized login information, allowing students to practice reading, speaking, and listening at home.
TripLingo: This is a culture and translation tool intended for international travelers. The app can instantly translate the voice of the user or connect to a live translator for help with translating words in the local language of the location where the user is. The free version of the app includes access to the basic features in every language; the premium subscription gives the user access to additional content.
Speak & Translate: This is an app for online and offline language translations. It offers offline translations in 10 languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English (US), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish. It offers translations for both text and audio inputs. It has 117 text and 57 audio translations. You can also detect other languages using the text-to-text mode. It incorporates Apple’s Speech Recognition Technology which enhances the speed of translations.
Babbel: Babbel offers more than ten languages for you to learn using their revolutionary system. Real-life conversations and interactive dialogues give you the practice you need to speak fluently. Lessons are short and sweet at just fifteen minutes or less.
Rosetta Stone Travel App: The first company to come to mind when you think of learning a new language is often Rosetta Stone. Now, you can take advantage of their program on the go, complete with mini-lessons and a built-in phrase book.
Did we miss any?