Parent Resources for Early Language Learning
Websites to support early language learning
Websites to support early language learning
This website offers lessons in eight languages. The site is free because it is supported by advertising dollars, although users can choose to pay for an ad-free version of the site. Each course includes visual flashcards, native speaker audio and interactive games.
The Lingo Dingo game challenges users to type in correct words or phrases quickly in order to build a robot. A memory-style game is also available. Vocabulary is split between themes and phrases.
Additional pages with brief explanations of culture, lists of the most common verbs, and an occasional blog are also available. The site could be used as an introduction to a new language, with lots of vocabulary and opportunities to hear native speakers.
The World Digital Library (WDL) is a site that provides materials from countries and cultures around the world, free of charge and in multilingual format. The site was created by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions in many countries and with the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a number of companies and private foundations.
The WDL was created to promote international and intercultural understanding, expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences, and build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries. On the WDL site it is possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures from around the world in a variety of ways. The cultural treasures include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings. One can browse by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or locate items by an open-ended search in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. Many more languages are represented in the primary materials themselves.
This site is an extensive on-line resource of geography supplements. It offers interactive and self-scoring maps. The name of a country or other geographic area is given and you click a spot on the map. After three tries, you can use the site’s suggestions and support or continue guessing without help. The site focuses on various areas of the world, on countries, capital cities, major cities, counties, republics, prefectures, and provinces.
This user-friendly site can help teachers and students learn more about culture and languages. The online magazine helps visitors learn beyond the headlines.
The Travel Quiz link includes division by country, continent, city and national parks. Visitors can take the quizzes, which give immediate feedback and provide a rationale for the answer.
Through the BBC Languages website, one can access an enormous amount of text, audio and video in a large number of languages: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Greek—but there are also links to find useful phrases in Estonian, Gaelic, Urdu, Lithuanian, Catalan, Polish and more. There are interactive videos, many photo slide scenes, and links to student and teacher resources in the target language. Those links include Internet tips, TV links (with BBC news links in target languages that include transcripts), and tutoring tips (with ideas for games and assessments.) This site yields numerous resources to support teaching and learning of foreign languages.
The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) site is teaming with authentic material in different languages. Many video clips give visitors to the site a glimpse of how the language is spoken and how certain cultural aspects are practiced. The Merlot is an amalgam of fee-based and free resources.
The Asia Society has devoted part of its website to activities for children, which includes stories, art, languages and games. Children visiting the site can read stories from Asian culture, learn to count in Chinese and Hindi, put together a map of China, decipher early human writing, make an origami bunny, learn about festivals/holidays and explore Australia, Iran, and China.
This animated site leads players through a series of games related to vocabulary for parts of the body. The game is available in English, French, Spanish and German and is designed for students age 11-14. Players practice their reading, spelling, grammar and sentence construction skills while interacting with an alien doctor aboard a spaceship. In addition to four on-line games, there is a visual dictionary and a few downloadable worksheets. To avoid any glitches (working with the accented letter pads or other keyboard issues), make sure your Flash plug-ins are updated. The site was developed to correspond with the UK National Curriculum.
Light Bulb Languages is a website packed with over 5,000 language resources for teachers of languages. The idea behind the title is to give teachers that light bulb moment of inspiration when you are planning and preparing. The site includes a Blog or all the latest news and links.
This website by Derek Abbott includes a list of animal sounds, animal commands, and pet names from children’s stories in a variety of languages. Languages included are Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
Radio Junior streams kid-themed music in French. There are several “zones,” including a parent’s zone, with tips and information on regional activities around France; and a kid zone with music and news about teen stars. Some other sections list bios about musicians that play children’s music and a section with recipes (appropriate for kids to make) where you can listen to the audio instructions for the recipe or print out the recipe.
This is the official website of the cultural services provided by the French Embassy in the United States. There is information about the ten regional offices and special events hosted at those sites. Visitors can read articles about culture, the arts, books, film, media, music and the performing arts or sign up to subscribe to the newsletter.
Supplemental resource for teachers, Basho & Friends offers songs with fresh beats and catchy lyrics to make it easy to learn Spanish. New videos are produced each week teaching content such as greetings, feelings, family member, seasons and the weather. Some content also available in French and Mandarin. Aligned to Common Core standards in the US.
This website from the Centro Virtual Cervantes, gives visitors to the website opportunities to practice family, house, park, school, and activities vocabulary. Each section includes an introduction to the vocabulary with texts that are shown and read in Spanish about the topic. There are also games, a workshop area with materials to print and a glossary.
This is a site of free educational Spanish videos. All of the videos are separated
into levels. The videos range from different elements of the Spanish language such as
vocabulary and grammar to cultural artifacts. Transcripts and a work booklet accompany each level. The site is intended to be self-guided, however, teachers may find it better to pick and choose, which videos they would like to use as supplements to their lessons.
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