I’ve seen some really creative ideas for using technology to teach modern foreign languages, both in schools in the UK and in other countries. Since I used to be a French teacher, this week’s subject snack would be a pain au chocolat: buttery and rich and perfect with coffee. (And really fattening, as I experienced when I gained 20 pounds in 6 months of study in France. But I digress…)
The most obvious choice for the foreign language snack this week are the Flashcards from Microsoft Education Labs. Stuart blogged about these back in February. I created my own set of flashcards in less than 10 minutes to teach words for fruits in French. You can see this lovely resource here. I chose to use photos and to omit sound, mostly because my American-accented French isn’t what it used to be.
One of the best foreign language lessons I’ve ever observed was at a school I visited in Greece. (This one is a bit more elaborate, but a fantastic application of real-world language skills.) The English class in this Greek school was partnered with an English class in a German school, and the only common language for the students was English. The students used Windows Live Messenger to communicate – through both writing and video/audio chats – on lessons and activities that their teachers had planned in advance. The day I visited they were discussing popular music, and every student was actively participating (possibly because people in suits were visiting, but I doubt it).
Share with us YOUR ideas of how to use technology to teach modern foreign languages, and you have a chance to get one of our lovely prizes! Simply click the Email Blog Author link on this page, or add your idea to the comments field for this blog entry. We’ll announce the best ideas next week.