Theresa, I am sure we have one or two that team members more familiar with that subject area can assist you with finding. Did you try the search feature on www.thinkfinity.org. You should also now that Foreign Language is one of the subject areas we have asked our partners to focus on in 2010. I hope you will share your find with us and continue to look for more foreign language resource as they come alive on Thinkfinity. Hope this response helps a little. Al
Hi again -
Thanks so much for any and all suggestions. I'm a Certified Thinkfinity Trainer and I've been conducting hands on workshops for a couple of years now. I was reaching out with the thought that others might have suggestions of lessons and interactives that I may have missed in my own searches so that I can better support end users both here on line and in person in my workshops.
One of our goals for the next year and beyond is to enlarge EDSITEment's world language offerings. We're happy to know you have on the ground contact with language teachers because we are very interested in giving them the kinds of materials they need for their classrooms, particularly at the more advanced levels where humanities content comes into play. Right now we are sufacing a lesson plan on Baudelaire for Apri under our Literature and Language subject area with great links to a French Web site in which students are able to read Fleurs du mal, as well as other primary sources. Tell us what you think and what you think can be added to for French teachers.
I hear a lot of requests for activities that focus on specific vocabulary. These lessons would need to be varied across grade levels/skill levels. Specifically teachers are looking for ways to reinforce vocab used in daily conversations.
Interestingly I've never heard any teachers looking for interactives or lessons for verb conjugation. Usually - what I hear the most is - I can't find anything for my language class (French, Italian, Spanish).
I've showed them interactives (like word mover) that allows the teacher to customize/modify the interactive to suit specific needs but something designed specifically for the foreign language classroom would be great.
I was looking for ESL activities and found a web site which I don't think is linked in Thinkfinity, but the activities to help students learn English vocabulary are created in an interesting format. I wonder if it would help foreign language teachers to have an activity similar to the model found at Learning Chocolate to assist students in developing a foreign language vocabulary and mastering pronunciations. I realize you can't copy an idea, but it may spark something creative from some of the Thinkfinity Partners.
Thanks so much for the question/suggestion and the reference to the Learning Chocolate site. I'm not sure if you have a specific language in mind here? Our intern this summer at EDSITEment is a native Spanish speaker and is developing lessons as well as links to quality resources to creatively outreach to students at different grade levels engaged in language and literature study in that language.
On EDSITEment's blue ribbon web site list you might check out this one devoted to French as a Second Language Activities for Kids
This site was created by veteran French teacher, Pierre Renaud (he writes "I have been a French teacher since 1990. A few people asked me why I use M. Renaud instead of P. Renaud in the title. As most of you know, M. stands for Monsieur.)
His site has lots of neat tools for young students learning French with crossword puzzles, drawing, and quizzes. Also includes an extended discussion of pedagogical strategies for teaching French. [M Renaud writes : What is FSL? It stands for French as a Second Language which would be FLS in French - Français Langue Seconde. However, depending on where you live, it may also be called Core French, French as a Foreign Language (FFL) or Français Langue Étrangère (FLE).]
Stay tuned for more!
Here's a lesson plan for teachers of high school students called "French Connections." This EDSITEment resource has links to give French Language students firsthand experience with French culture and society.
EDSITEment has a list of world culture and language lessons as well as a list of reviewed websites which are foreign language resources. I will post both here in the hopes that some of them may be useful to you and other teachers.
And here's another EDSITEment lesson, this one called La Familia, is for the youngest student K - 2nd grade. With this resource, students learn about families in various Spanish cultures and gain a preliminary knowledge of the Spanish language, learning the Spanish names for various family members.
Here 's a lessons from ReadWriteThink that may be helpful if it fits the curriculum and the grade level.
And for high school teachers interested in exposing their students to Italian World Literature, here's a link to an EDSITEment lesson on Dante. This resource introduces them to the structure and artistry of Dante's Divine Comedy; examines the episode of Paolo and Francesca as a poetic interpretation of romantic love; gives them the experience of a close reading of this classic Italian poetry in translation and interpretation of literary allusions.
Three EDSITEment selected Web site resources unlock the beauty and mastery of this poet for students:
DanteWorlds (NEW): A richly visual site providing compelling images, both new graphics and classic artwork, to supplement a classroom reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Includes character studies. http://danteworlds.laits.utexas.edu/
For teachers looking for quality resources on Russian Language and Culture, here's an EDSITEment selected link to Bucknell U's Web site for Russian Studies Resources: http://www.bucknell.edu/x983.xml Note there's also a link to Russian Language Studies materials down the bottom of page.
As Shelley mentioned, EDSITEment has number of lesson plans on the historical and cultural perspective on world languages. In 2010 we are going to embark upon a project to develop resources for foreign language teachers (e.g., Spanish teachers, French teachers, etc.). We'd love to hear what kind of resources (by topic, concept or format) would be most valuable to you.
We have a few online exhibitions in Spanish. I could see them supporting cultural awareness in Spanish classes:
Later this year, we'll be doing an exhibition about the national anthem in Spanish. (The State Department had a Spanish-language version of the song written) We'll keep you posted!
Some resources that we, at EDSITEment, are compiling, which will be featured on our website, try to satisfy two needs: the teaching of Spanish and the teaching of the humanities. There may be a lot of teachers out there who have bilingual students (Spanish-English) and who are taught in Spanish some subjects, therefore, there is a need for resources on the web purely in Spanish. Many of the subjects that may be taught in Spanish could be in areas within the humanities, like Art and Art History. The resource here posted is excellent for art classes, or art history, for students to learn about artistic movements and artists' biographies in Spanish. This is also a great tool for students who are not bilingual, but who have a solid, advanced proficiency level in Spanish, to give them some tools to do research in the target language, and learn about art.
Biographies of Artists in Spanish
******For teachers in a bilingual environment, or for students with an advanced proficiency in Spanish, or teachers who teach subjects in Spanish, this website has all its contents in Spanish in the humanities subject of art history, including pages discussing artistic movements, as well as the biographies of some of the world’s most important artists, like Toulouse-Lautrec, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Picasso, among many others. The biographies appear on a page accessed by clicking on the “Biografías” tab on the menu on the left side of the screen. All these resources would be optimal to complement lessons for students, including writing essays and doing research assignents in the target language, as well as instruction on essential parts of the study of the humanities. Under the tab entitled “Historia del Arte” on the menu on the left side of the screen, there are topics (all in Spanish) including the following: Pre-Columbian Art, Roman Art, Pop Art, Egyptian Art, Mythology in Art, Baroque, Gothic Art, Renaissance, among others. The website is at:
******Another excellent resource, though not in the humanities but on a variety of animals, appears below. It contains great interactives, activities and reading materials that are ideal to help students who have Spanish skills and fluency expand their vocabulary and reading-comprehension skills. Remember that all these resources, with many others, will appear on the EDSITEment website, in an effort to offer educators and parents as many resources for the teaching of Spanish as possible.
Secretariat of Public Education / Secretaría de Educación Pública (México)
From the portal for “niños y niñas” at: http://sepiensa.org.mx/secciones/ninos/principal.html and by clicking on the bottom option/tab on the menu column to the left entitled “Tiempo libre” (“free time”), you can access some outstanding educational resources inlcuding a lot of interactive activities and games for children to teach about animals. There are other options, but the site has not been completed, so for the moment, the option “mundo animal” (animals) opens a new window with a top menu bar to select different habitats or environments and learn about some animals that inhabit them. Many of them not only have an educational text or entry, designed for children, but also outstanding activities. The site is worth exploring! For example, if you click on the “Del Agua” (from the water) option on the top menu bar, one of the options is learning about “caballitos de mar” (seahorses), and it includes an interactive to test reading comprehension of the passage on seahorses. Another activity is on the reading material on “los murciélagos” (bats) as well as on “serpientes venenosas” (poisonous snakes), both of which are found by clicking on “Del desierto” (from the desert) at the top menu bar. To your right, you will notice a small menu column with three options, two of which: Galería (gallery) and Actividades (activities) have EXCELLENT educational materials, visual and interactive. They will visually challenge students with interactives and also test their reading-comprehension skills in Spanish, while teaching about some great topics, like the importance of ants or the food chain. Alternatively, the main page/portal, http://sepiensa.org.mx/secciones/ninos/principal.html , after clicking on the bottom of the left hand option at the bottom: “Tiempo libre” (“free time”) you will see the same options, Galería (gallery) and Actividades (activities), to your bottom-left corner.
We are excited to announce a new group—Recursos para docentes del castellanos—for educators, parents, administrators and students to exchange ideas about teaching and learning Spanish. We welcome you to join and contribute your ideas!
Free Technology for Teachers recently featured the following: Pronunciator - Lessons for Learning 60 Languages--"a free service offering self-paced lessons for sixty languages. Each lesson is comprised of flashcards that are read to viewers in the language that they are trying to learn. There are practice quizzes available with the Pronunciator lessons." This is a great site for students to practice vocabulary in a foreign language they are learning in school.
One of my daughters married a Venezuelan and the other married a Swede. Consequently, I've been practicing Spanish and Swedish using Pronunciator.
Try it! You may like it as a foreign language resource.
Has anyone used one or more of these "7 Good Resources for Learning a New Language," described in a blog post in Free Technology for Teachers?
Which of these resources do you consider are the most valuable in teaching students a foreign language?