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Visual Geography - Boris Kester and Nana Bj?rnlund

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After...more
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After viewing pictures of one country on that continent, they can click for a more in-depth examination and more pictures, listen to the native language of that area, click on another country to make a comparison, and take a quiz on that information. They can also select certain categories to learn more about transportation, education, religion, people, etc.

tag(s): climate (93), continents (49), countries (77)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a world cultures or geography unit or lesson on an interactive whiteboard or projector. This site offers a visual approach to studying and comparing other countries and interesting research information to use for independent projects. This site is also excellent for enrichment. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site to introduce the countries your ESL and ELL students represent. Have your ESL and ELL students guide the interactive picture tour for the class. World language teachers can use this site as part of their cultural studies.

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Ancient Mexico -The Art, Culture and History of Ancient Mesoamerica - Patrick Oliveras

Grades
4 to 12
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire,...more
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire, a clickable Mesoamerican time line and a wonderful interactive map. View the ruins of the cities of Pre-Columbian Mexico by clicking on their names on the map! Watch the conquest of Mexico as a flash animation of ancient drawings and music. Read the words of the Spanish explorers in the primary source documents of Mexico. Although Ancient Mexico is a commercial site, the advertising is limited to the books and DVD's for sale on the topic of Mesoamerica and some history-related Google ads. This site requires Flash to enjoy the music and animation. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): mexico (34), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Tour Ancient Mexico as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector. If students have access to computers, let groups delve into selected topics and create travel posters and brochures as their research projects. Students can look at the cities in ruins, explore architectural styles and ceremonial uses of the buildings, and find contemporary examples.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English Interactive - A. Gil and H. Massingham

Grades
2 to 10
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This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for...more
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This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for the teachers and students and a lot of the metalanguage is in Spanish. Click on menu, though, and all the topics come up in English. The intermediate and advanced levels are still under construction, but the highly interactive quality of the beginning sites offers a promise of continued excellent material. Click on the "P" on the left side of the interface to see printable reviews of many topics, especially grammar, all in English. The most in-depth portions are survival vocabulary and grammar.

Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker so you can "see" all the site content. Although the pronunciation is in British English, this is a great, high-content site. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (214), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Save this site to your favorites so you (and your students) can easily find this site. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference and for engaging extra practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hello World - Hello World Publications

Grades
1 to 8
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This site offers beginning level language lessons in eight languages: Spanish, English, French, Russian, Indonesian, German, Chinese, and Italian. Students can start by learning to...more
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This site offers beginning level language lessons in eight languages: Spanish, English, French, Russian, Indonesian, German, Chinese, and Italian. Students can start by learning to pronounce the alphabet in the target language. Other activities include dialogs which range from very simple to those using more complex grammatical construction. Students can hear the sentences in the dialogs line by line and repeat them as many times as they like; the pronunciation is very clear. In addition to the dialogs, there are delightful songs in all the languages as well as other language games like Memory and Bingo. Clicking on the letters of the alphabet opens the corresponding page of a picture dictionary with pronunciation. Complete verb forms, vocabulary with articles, and works by major writers are just some of the features of the picture dictionary. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (90), chinese (50), french (89), german (65), italian (34), russia (38), russian (28), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to review beginning language lessons, to provide extra practice, and to offer an online picture dictionary/reference. This site is especially useful in world language classes. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the language with your students, and then pair the students up with a partner to explore the site on their own. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Dialects - Craig Gibson

Grades
2 to 12
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Want to learn just a little or a lot of a new language? This is a great place to start learning vocabulary and basic phrases. The reviews and games are ...more
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Want to learn just a little or a lot of a new language? This is a great place to start learning vocabulary and basic phrases. The reviews and games are in cute interfaces, but there aren't many sound files. Since the description says the developer is adding more to the site each day, hopefully there will be more pronunciation added. The scope of the site is amazing: 44 languages. The languages include Albanian, Bosnian, English, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and MANY others. The sound files, few as they are, feature native speakers pronouncing the basics. The games allow the student learner to guess and practice as much as possible by presenting the same words several times. The advanced feature provides more advanced vocabulary and the geography features the geography of the language group. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (21), chinese (50), french (89), german (65), greek (41), hebrew (19), italian (34)

In the Classroom

Try a few words in another language with your class as you study world geography and history! This site is especially useful in ESL, ELL, and world language classrooms. Have your students plan a pretend vacation and study a few words of the target language before they go. Ask students to go beyond the games by guessing the answers before they appear on the screen.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Center for Language Education and Research - Michigan State University

Grades
7 to 12
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR...more
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR project leverages the power of the Internet to provide a suite of tools that give students audio and video learning experiences while supplying teachers with smart effective tools for lesson design and assessment. Teachers who are comfortable with technology and those who are confident creators of multimedia content will find these tools easy to use and backed up with good documentation and video tutorials. The tools require no download or installation for use. The supported languages include, Chinese, German, Russian, Korean, Arabic, French, Vietnamese, and others.

Teacher registration is free and students don't need email accounts or registration to access the tools. Go to http://clear.msu.edu/teaching/online/ria/index.php to click on the link for Rich Internet Applications. The tools provide great ways to create interactive audio and video language prompts, record student responses, and collect them into audio dropboxes for teacher assessment.

The website also includes an extensive library of interactive multimedia modules for language learning, practice, and assessment. The modules are based on video clips that show native speakers and nonnative speakers interacting in natural, unscripted situations.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (21), chinese (50), french (89), german (65)

In the Classroom

Language teachers can create a series of audio/video prompts for their students with the program "Conversations." Learners can access the questions in practice mode or real-time mode. Students' responses to the prompts are automatically saved so that teachers can monitor their work. SMILE is a collection of templates to create interactive language practice exercises that can be accessed from web pages. A record-keeping function allows learners to log their work for their teacher to view. Go beyond paper-based worksheets by adding interactive and multimedia elements such as drag-drop matching, instant feedback, and audio recording and playback with the worksheets tools. The "Broadcasts" program lets teachers record audio files and distribute them to students for playback on the computer or on their portable media devices. Viewpoint is an audio and video repository that lets teachers record audio/video online using a microphone or webcam, or upload existing media.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lingro - lingro.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A ...more
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A clicked word immediately displays its definition from the Lingro dictionary pages. The website looks visually the same within the Lingro window, but all words become clickable. You can also use Lingro to translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Polish with more languages to be added. When students use the translation/definition tool, the site keeps a short-term record of their words and web pages, allowing them to study their own wordlists and to play games with these words. The wordlist and history feature only works short-term and at the SAME computer, unless you register, for free, to be able to take your personal history to any computer. With the translation capability, you can read websites in other languages. If you spell a word incorrectly, Lingro has a "best match" feature which finds likely definitions for your word of choice. There is also a tool to create electronic flash card type games from your saved wordlists.

Important technical note: Lingro cannot "see" words included in Flash interactives such as the "What's New" rotating content on the TeachersFirst home page. If you RIGHT click on an area of text and see "About Adobe Flash Player...," this means that the text is displayed in Flash and not "legible" to Lingro. Often pages offer a non-Flash version as an alternative.

tag(s): french (89), german (65), germany (28), italian (34), spanish (109), vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

When your ESL/ELL, learning support, or weaker readers do Internet research on sites above their independent reading level, have them open Lingro first and then enter the URL (web address) they wish to read. Use Lingro for vocabulary development in any subject. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page so that ESL/ELL, world language students, or weaker readers can use the definition and translation feature and benefit from instantly-created word lists. If your school permits individual student accounts on web tools, this is a good one. If not, create a single teacher account to compile class word lists.

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Power Point Games - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
2 to 12
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This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a...more
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This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Password, Twenty Questions, and others. Most of the games are done in PowerPoint. Depending on the version of PowerPoint you have, the formatting may be slightly off once you input your words, questions, or answers. Original games created by a teacher complete the offerings. Our editors note that the sound files included with some templates may be copyrighted material, and TeachersFirst does not condone the use of this content without the permission of the copyright holder(s). Most templates are "clean" of such potential problems. This website requires PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. Download both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Use these templates with any subject you wish to review: foreign language word lists, social studies terms and concepts, science, language arts, art, music, sped, etc. These activities offer an excellent method to review information through a fun and different approach. Teachers can also have students create their own versions of review games.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Owen & Mzee - Turtle Pond Publications

Grades
1 to 8
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this...more
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this website are truly amazing. The sound clips alone are guaranteed to delight your students. Teachers will find several interdisciplinary lesson plans, documentary videos, a detailed teachers' guide, a "picture pond" slide show of the area of Kenya where Owen and Mzee reside, interactive activities to learn Swahili, and more. The beauty of this website (and story) is its ability to teach acceptance, resilience, diversity, African culture, and more in a fun and engaging style. This website is truly a MUST SEE for any elementary or middle school class. Don't miss the "KIDS BOMA" link. This highly engaging link includes sing-alongs, games, video makers, and even "Mzee's Swahili Rebus". Many of the activities require Flash, some require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): diversity (35)

In the Classroom

Opportunities abound at this image-rich website. Share the documentaries, video clips, and the story of Owen and Mzee on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Take a peek at the "ready to go" lesson ideas for grades 2-7. Use this excellent resource as a springboard for a class meeting on acceptance and diversity. Use the link for "KIDS BOMA" as a learning center. Share the video slide show as an anticipatory set on a lesson about the animals of Africa.

Be sure to share this link with the parents of your students in a class newsletter or on your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Telephoning English - English Portal.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone...more
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone is a big challenge when learning a new language, this site will be extremely helpful for newcomers. There are three levels of difficulty available.

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Have your students practice the language on this site in a simulated telephone conversation. Have them record the voice mail messages and then play them for other students to respond to. Share this site on your class website or in your class newsletter so ESL parents can benefit from understanding telephone conversation better, too. Teachers of world languages may wish to use this site as a model to create similar information for their students of French, German, Spanish, and other world languages. Special ed teachers working on life skills will find these phone skills helpful, as well.

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GeoBeats - GeoBeats, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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This multi-sensory website features video clips from around the world. This website is an amazing visual treat for students (and teachers). GeoBeats, based out of Washington, D.C.,...more
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This multi-sensory website features video clips from around the world. This website is an amazing visual treat for students (and teachers). GeoBeats, based out of Washington, D.C., has filmmakers throughout 45 countries. All video clips promise reliability, personality, and relevance. All facts are research based. You have the choice of location AND the choice of topic. Some examples of locations include Austria, Egypt, Finland, Canada, Greece, India, Mexico, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and many other countries. The topics you can choose from vary by location. Some examples of possible topics include chocolate shops (in Paris), the Colosseum, local etiquette, and many others. The neat thing about the topics is they vary from tourist attractions, local customs, food, city life, modes of transportation, and countless others. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): canada (30), india (36), italy (16)

In the Classroom

Take your students on a journey around the world. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share specific video clips with your class. This website is also useful for individual research on numerous destinations throughout the world. Why not assign each student a different country to research. Provide time for the students to view the video clips relevant to their country. Have a class "World Day," and have students present multi-media presentations about their country. World language teachers will also love the rich options within this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inspired Beginners Spanish Podcast - Ben Curtis and Marina Diez

Grades
5 to 12
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This language-rich website features podcasts spoken using British English. The podcasts review the previous episode, explain new English vocabulary, discuss the subject in English,...more
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This language-rich website features podcasts spoken using British English. The podcasts review the previous episode, explain new English vocabulary, discuss the subject in English, and then present the Spanish language podcast. Be aware that clicking to play a podcast will start a long pause as the podcast downloads to your computer, and it may appear that noting is happening! The subjects are of high interest for students. The name is somewhat of a misnomer, though, since people with no knowledge of Spanish might be a bit overwhelmed by the language used. Unfortunately, accompanying worksheets with complete transcripts are not free, and there is no text available elsewhere. There are a few other free worksheets available under the About link (see resources). Listening options include listening on your computer, iPod, or mp3 player as podcasts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This site includes tools for blog users to interact (in English or Spanish). Any visitor can comment on the posts and podcasts or participate in Forums. There is also a link to a sister blog on Spanish culture. Check your school policies on students posting comments, etc. to the web and whether they are permitted to do so anonymously and/or with name or initials.

This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): podcasts (55), spanish (109), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This site is a treasure trove for Spanish teachers. It also provides a way for your ESL and ELL students to share their language and culture as the focus of a lesson, perhaps as you study other cultures. Have the ESL or ELL students and native English speakers work on understanding podcasts together. They can discuss what they understood and what they did not. You might have your Spanish speakers write out the dialogue and vocabulary selections, but be sure to have a knowledgeable adult check the Spanish before using it with your students.

To alleviate safety concerns, you might want to create a simple class policy (e.g. initials only) and obtain parent permission before inviting your class to participate in the blog, since you will not be able to monitor their submissions. The site does moderate to prevent "bad" comments from appearing online, but you do not control this moderation. ALL blog comments require an email address (kept hidden). If safety and school policy concerns limit student access, use the site as a whole-class activity and selectively choose portions for students to use. You can assign DIRECT links to podcasts by right-clicking the "Audio: download" link and copying the URL that shows in "Properties," ex. http://media.libsyn.com/media/learnrealspanish/nisbeginners20_el_kindle.mp3. Students can RIGHT-click >Save target as to download and load podcast files to their mp3 players or simply keep to listen over and over at a computer.
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Time For Kids - India - TIME for Kids

Grades
3 to 7
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Come take a virtual tour of India - the home of 16% of the entire population of the world! This website features an interactive map with a sightseeing guide, historical ...more
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Come take a virtual tour of India - the home of 16% of the entire population of the world! This website features an interactive map with a sightseeing guide, historical timeline, native lingo, an online quiz, numerous pictures, and more. The website also features lesson plans, worksheets, maps, and graphic organizers. Certain activities at this website require Adobe Acrobat and/or QuickTime Player. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): india (36), maps (291)

In the Classroom

Pack up your suitcase, and take your students on this interactive tour using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the native lingo and have your students try to pronounce the various words. Challenge your class to learn more words from the language. Do a class research project by dividing the class into cooperative learning groups to research various elements of the country. Have a group of "politicians" examine the government of India. Have a group of "tour guides" learn about famous tourist attractions in India. Assign other groups to "be" architects, religious officials, and whatever other role you want your students to learn about. Have the groups create multimedia presentations or wiki pages to share their discoveries with the class.
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Art Junction - Universtiy of Florida

Grades
2 to 10
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This is a colorful art education site that also speaks to non-art teachers. The site shares project ideas that incorporate self-expression. It also has lots of information about helping...more
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This is a colorful art education site that also speaks to non-art teachers. The site shares project ideas that incorporate self-expression. It also has lots of information about helping children learn to draw and paint. The site features a neat chart of the developmental stages of artistic output. In addition to art "projects," there are exercises to help children think more creatively and training exercises to look at things from multiple points of view and find unusual view of the everyday. There are also lesson plans, specific links and activities for kids and "Art Education 2.0" (for teachers who want to collaborate with other teachers). One project that's particularly appealing is "Community Stories." Schools share art projects and culture from around the world as they describe their schools and communities. Some of the activities require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): creativity (119), critical thinking (110)

In the Classroom

Find an art project to accompany your current unit or try the "Community Stories" link to reach out to communities you have learned about through the ESL students in your school or your world language studies.
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Time For Kids - Around the World - TIME for Kids

Grades
3 to 7
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This informative website offers students "faraway places at their fingertips." There are countries included from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, North America, South America,...more
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This informative website offers students "faraway places at their fingertips." There are countries included from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, North America, South America, and Oceania. Some of the specific countries include Nigeria, Tanzania, Pakistan, Thailand, Costa Rica, Norway, Turkey, Alaska, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, and more. Each country's information varies a bit. Most include some "native lingo," a sightseeing guide, a history timeline, current news, and other educational bits of information. The website also features lesson plans, worksheets, maps, and graphic organizers. Certain activities at this website require Adobe Acrobat and/or QuickTime Player. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): china (67), egypt (70), france (40), greece (26), india (36), jordan (5), maps (291), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous resource for independent research projects or country comparisons. Put the names of all of the countries into a hat or jar. Have individual students or small groups pick a country. Challenge the students to learn the native lingo, the geography and climate of the area, the history of the country, and more. Have the students create multimedia presentations to share with the class or have a World Cultures day.

If you don't have time to complete a large research project, use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and take your students "virtually" to a different country every week. Spend 10-15 minutes navigating the website. Challenge your class to learn some of the native "lingo" and practice native phrases throughout the week. Use this site for background when reading folktales and stories set in far-off lands. If you have a chance to do a collaborative project with students across the world, start with basic background knowledge from this site.
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Word Reference - wordreference.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up...more
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up in English, there are links to other dictionary pages where the word appears in a sentence. You can click on the audio button to hear the word spoken in both languages. This feature is only available in more commonly used words

There are also immediate clicks to other languages, so a student could check the same word in Spanish and French very easily. In addition to the translation dictionaries, there are also "English Dictionaries" (non-interactive) available in Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic (coming soon). Many of the foreign language dictionaries will increase in volume as the site developers add more vocabulary.

Be aware: this site does include minor advertisements. There is a link to Language Forums. It is probably best to advise students to stay away from the forums.

tag(s): chinese (50), dictionaries (57), italian (34), japan (61), japanese (43), korea (15), portuguese (20), russia (38), russian (28)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers for use by ESL/ELL and foreign language students or for use when studying derivations and word families in English (compare the same word across several languages to see how close they can be!). Students can take an active role in vocabulary preview work by using this site in prior to reading. Be sure to list this site on your class webpage so students can access this information both in and out of the classroom.

If you are introducing new vocabulary words to your foreign language class. Have them use this site to find the appropriate translations. Then have the students work in cooperative learning groups to create online vocabulary guide books using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to keep the links for future students to use the guides, as well.

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Chuala - Chuala

Grades
4 to 12
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This site allows students to practice pronunciation in 10 languages, including English, European languages, and Mandarin Chinese. After a free registration, you can put in a search...more
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This site allows students to practice pronunciation in 10 languages, including English, European languages, and Mandarin Chinese. After a free registration, you can put in a search term for lessons. It's a bit difficult to guess search items, so looking at the entire list in any given language is a good way to start. Currently, English has 298 items. You are also able to contribute lessons.

One helpful document is the Chuala inventory which allows instructors to quiz ESL students on their pronunciation by having them pronounce 144 distinct items. They can then search the lessons for practice, recording, and making comparisons on these phonemes.

Some of the lessons take the whole language approach and appear as dialogs, discussions, or Q and A. Most, however, have students practice distinct sounds only, with no context. One advantage of the program is that you can select lessons by distinct language area. For example, American English students can hear examples of American English rather than British English. You can also request that other lessons be created. This site requires Flash and enabled Javascript. Get Flash and directions on enabling Javascript from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): chinese (50), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Set ESL/ELL or speech/language students up with this site on a classroom computer cluster or in a lab to practice phonemes they can't hear or pronounce (see safety notice below). You MUST have a microphone or use a computer that has one built in. Use the inventory to make initial ESL/ELL evaluations as well as periodic progress checks. Students may like the site so much they'll want to practice at home.

This website could be very useful to French, Spanish, and German teachers (or teachers of other world languages). Use this site to learn new vocabulary and improve pronunciation of world languages.

Safety concern: This site requires FREE membership to use the audio tools and access content. Membership includes social networking tools, such as "friends" and "messages," and requires an email address. You may want to set up a single class account for in-school use, entering your "extra" email address to avoid unsafe use of the site by your adventurous students. If you KNOW how they are logging in (with your account), you can remove any friends or other unauthorized contacts. The problem with this approach is that you will not know which student has done what. If you do permit individual user accounts (according to your school's policies, of course), have parents and students sign an agreement that spells out permissible behavior and consequences -- and get your principal's OK!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kidlink - Kidlink

Grades
3 to 12
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This website provides an online connection to students from various areas of the world. There are links provided for students, families, and teachers. The website is available in various...more
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This website provides an online connection to students from various areas of the world. There are links provided for students, families, and teachers. The website is available in various languages - English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese. Students can share stories, artwork, and more. The educational content includes life planning skills (careers), social studies (geography, government, history, etc.), writing, and many other academic areas. Free registration is required for each student and teacher. All content is monitored by volunteer moderators. What a fabulous resource to use in geography or language arts class. This website doesn't just teach students about countries throughout the world, but also allows students to interact with students of various cultures as they write and respond to each other in this safe environment.

tag(s): careers (134), cultures (107)

In the Classroom

Students need not have their own email to use this site. Kidlink explains that they are permitted to use the teacher's email address (which allows you to monitor their activities, as well). You might want to use your "extra" email account. Set up accounts for your students to communicate in your world language class or as part of your study of other continents. With younger students, you may want to communicate as a whole-class activity, composing on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

If your school policies limit your ability to use such a site, see the FAQ information and ready-to-go presentation explaining Kidlink. Share it with your principal and parents. ALWAYS get written parent permission when sharing student work/ideas online.

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Language Menu Games - Learnwell Oy

Grades
6 to 12
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This highly motivating site has many interactive language review activities. Most of the review does presuppose quite a bit of language study in the target language. There are currently...more
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This highly motivating site has many interactive language review activities. Most of the review does presuppose quite a bit of language study in the target language. There are currently 36 languages to choose from. (From matching games to picture recognition to translation practice, the site offers fairly sophisticated word practice. A flag-country matching game is of general interest to all students, not just language learners. There are many advantages in using this site for ESL or ELL students. The main advantage is the capability to choose a different language for questions and answers, thus assuring specific understanding of specific words with the definitions in their first language. This site requires JAVA. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): capitals (24), flags (22), vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Mark this site in Favorites on your classroom computers for ESL and ELL students.. Provide information about this site to foreign language teachers in your school. This is a wonderful site to list in your class newsletter (if applicable) or on your class website.

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Travel For Kids - Globetracks

Grades
2 to 8
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This website provides easy-to-access information about numerous countries. The information focuses on what would interest travelers to each country: the main cities, sites of interest,...more
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This website provides easy-to-access information about numerous countries. The information focuses on what would interest travelers to each country: the main cities, sites of interest, geographical features, food, shopping, family activities, and books. There are approximately 40 countries included (such as Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Canada, Cuba, Chile, Bali, Kenya, and numerous others). The highlight of this website is the wonderful annotated list of books about each country.

tag(s): countries (77)

In the Classroom

Have students research various countries throughout the world -- maybe one from their famiy heritage. Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to have them share the various countries. Have your students read books from the various countries. Then challenge your students to create travel posters or broshures about the country. World language teachers can use the country information for students to learn "plan a trip" to a country where residents speak the language you are studying and create a tour advertisement in the language.

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