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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, teach summarizing, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions...more
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Use Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, teach summarizing, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ENL/ESL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Select a language to change information to one of many offered languages.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click Comic Starters or Writing from the top menu. Registration is required using an email address or login with your Google account.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (44), communication (135), digital storytelling (129), summarizing (18), writing (283), writing prompts (57)

In the Classroom

This resource is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless. Use the links on the website to use Makebeliefscomix in a variety of languages including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch and many others in addition to English.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Busuu - UNESCO

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers language lessons for several languages: Spanish, English, French, Japanese, German, Italian. Polish, and many others. Joining for free allows students to learn vocabulary,...more
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This site offers language lessons for several languages: Spanish, English, French, Japanese, German, Italian. Polish, and many others. Joining for free allows students to learn vocabulary, dialog, writing, oral skills, comprehension, and more - in a highly interactive format. Support from native speakers is a regular feature of this site using the interactive video chat capability. The range of topics includes more than 100 commonly used language situations. The site saves errors for review, lists of lessons already studied, results of those lessons, etc. This project of UNESCO's International Year for Languages offers lessons in "What you really need to know!"

tag(s): arabic (14), chinese (43), french (71), german (45), portuguese (21), russian (23), social networking (82), spanish (97), vocabulary (232)

In the Classroom

Check school policies concerning both student memberships and interaction with outsiders. You will want a written set of rules which both students and parents agree to before allowing students to navigate on their own in the portions of the site that use video chat with outsiders. Younger students (under 13) should use a teacher or class account, rather than an individual one, to avoid conflict with COPPA (child online protection act in the U.S.).

Make this site available from your class web page or as a favorite on local machines for ESL, ELL, and world language students to use to reinforce their survival and vocabulary skills. World cultures classes might even want to "taste" a bit of a language as they learn about other countries. French, German, and Spanish language students will enjoy the opportunity to "chat" with native speakers in their target study languages. (Be sure you have parent permission for students to interact with outsiders!). You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. This site is excellent for enrichment or personal learning. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class.

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Salsa - Georgia Public Broadcasting

Grades
K to 12
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic of Hispanic...more
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic of Hispanic culture. Besides transcripts, the website includes activity guides, educational games, review activities, etc. In some episodes, the action is translated into sign language for the hearing impaired, as well! Complete transcripts in Spanish and English allow the instructor to pre-teach vocabulary and set up the situation before showing the video. One of the main advantages of using this program in a mixed language class is that the Spanish-speaking students suddenly become the authorities in the classroom; they can assist the instructor with the episodes and activities.

Although the site contains the option to buy the TV segments and booklets, the materials are available for free on the website. The site also includes a complete broadcast schedule from Georgia Public Broadcasting.

tag(s): hispanic (21), preK (238), spanish (97)

In the Classroom

Use these episodes to supplement regular Spanish language classes or as enrichment for elementary classes wishing to learn a language. Encourage your Spanish-speaking class members to assist with pronunciation, episode summaries, songs, etc. Provide this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom; the activities and stories help with Spanish language comprehension. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a model for world language stuedents, then redefine learning and challenge students create their own stories. Use a tool like Biteable, reviewed here, or rawshorts, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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1000 Images on the Tip of my Tongue - Centre collegial de developpement de materiel didactique

Grades
5 to 12
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This tri-lingual site: English, French, and Spanish, presents idioms organized in categories. After choosing a category, students see a list of matching expressions. They can hear...more
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This tri-lingual site: English, French, and Spanish, presents idioms organized in categories. After choosing a category, students see a list of matching expressions. They can hear the idioms pronounced and used in sentences. This site offers a new and different feature than most idiom sites: a link to an equivalent idiom in French or Spanish! The only idioms here are idioms with similar expressions in the three languages, though they are not directly translated. By clicking on Activities, students can see selected idioms in animated cartoons with sound; there is also the text of the utterance available at another click. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): idioms (33), speech (68)

In the Classroom

Use this in reading classes studying English idioms and figures of speech or in middle level French and Spanish classes to help students remember idioms in those languages by aligning them with similar expressions in English. Include the site in your class web page for easy access from computer labs or home.

Challenge your class to create an illustrated idiom wiki in English or the language you are studying, adding digital pictures to "illustrate" the idiom literally and in its figurative meaning: Ex. "feeling blue" with a photo of a person shaded blue, then one of a SAD person. Be sure to include the text and a link to the page on this site for visitors to hear the clip, as well.

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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 nothing 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 (65), spanish (97), vocabulary (232)

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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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English Current - Minimal Pairs - Chuala

Grades
4 to 12
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Here you will find advice, lists, and links for helping students to practice pronunciation in English through minimal pairs. An example of a minimal pair is "alive and arrive," You'll...more
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Here you will find advice, lists, and links for helping students to practice pronunciation in English through minimal pairs. An example of a minimal pair is "alive and arrive," You'll also find ideas for teaching mouth positioning.

tag(s): ELL/ESL (20), pronunciation (34)

In the Classroom

Pair an ENL/ESL student with a native Enlish speaker (or you can do this as the leader in a small group). Either you or the students can use the word pairs on this site to create flashcards for practice. Use a tool like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here. Share with the partners the ideas for mouth positioning.

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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 (43), dictionaries (49), italian (26), japan (55), japanese (46), korea (18), portuguese (21), russia (33), russian (23)

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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Proverbia.net - Vicent Jorda

Grades
3 to 12
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Finally, a rich resource of proverbs to use for classroom bulletin boards, quotes of the day, and, most importantly: teaching figurative language and idioms. Find proverbs alphabetically,...more
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Finally, a rich resource of proverbs to use for classroom bulletin boards, quotes of the day, and, most importantly: teaching figurative language and idioms. Find proverbs alphabetically, by topic, or by author. Click for the Spanish version of the site, as well. Spanish teachers will love this way of teaching the nuances of the language. If you teach about Ben Franklin, you could spend a full class on his proverbial sayings found here. ESL/ELL students will benefit from exposure to the idioms included in the proverbs, as well.

tag(s): figurative language (13), franklin (8), idioms (33), spanish (97)

In the Classroom

Ask students to find three proverbs unknown to them and explain them visually on a PowerPoint slide (can easily be printed into a big book or poster). Feature a proverb a week in your classroom or on a bulletin board to build analogous thinking, cultural literacy, and inferencing skills as you ask students to explain what it means. This will gently ease your concrete thinkers into broader understanding.

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Colorin Colorado - WETA

Grades
1 to 10
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ELL/ESL and regular classroom instructors...more
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ELL/ESL and regular classroom instructors about how to encourage reading. Although the focus is on Spanish speaking students, the information is specific and easily adaptable for all reading learners. Lots of information is available on the site concerning not only reading instructional techniques, but building partnerships with families of Hispanic students, placement and assessment, and important authors. Webcast information programs include accompanying reading and discussion questions. This site is a good resource to help meet the needs of increasing numbers of students born speaking other languages. Videos and webcasts reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): hispanic (21), parents (61)

In the Classroom

All classroom teachers who have ENL/ESL students should consider this a primary source of information about how to teach and help second language learners. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who are concerned with the challenges of the increasing number of ENL/ESL students.

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World of Teaching

Grades
K to 12
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This website provides numerous teacher-created PowerPoints. Some of the presentations are excellent, while others are just mediocre. The range of topics goes from astronomy, to history,...more
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This website provides numerous teacher-created PowerPoints. Some of the presentations are excellent, while others are just mediocre. The range of topics goes from astronomy, to history, to French and much, much more! There is something good here for every classroom. You MUST have PowerPoint software (not free) to be able to download and edit the shows.

In the Classroom

Use the small blue buttons to find your subject(s). This site is great for finding/sharing an interactive whiteboard activity or projected lesson. Since the PowerPoint shoes are editable, you may want to customize the shows you find. The grade equivalents are listed in the British system: KS1=ages 5-7; KS2=ages 7-11;KS3= ages 11-14;KS4= ages 14-16, A Level=ages 16-18.

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Spanish Verb Conjugation Trainer/ Learn Spanish Online - Peter Klein

Grades
6 to 12
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This website focuses on Spanish grammar, offering conjugation practice with any verb in 7 tenses, instant conjugation of a selected verb, grammar explanations of the tenses and translations...more
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This website focuses on Spanish grammar, offering conjugation practice with any verb in 7 tenses, instant conjugation of a selected verb, grammar explanations of the tenses and translations from Spanish to English tense phrases. Practice or learn from one of 5 predetermined verb sets: regular, irregular, basic, learning, and traveling. Learners can also create their own verb sets with lists of 10 verbs they select. The site offers clear grammar explanations, comprehensive verb lists, and great flexibility for both student and teacher.

tag(s): spanish (97), verbs (27)

In the Classroom

Include this site on your teacher web page for students to access and use for review as you teach about all differenet Spanish verbs. You can also plan in-class activities using one of the tools for reinforcement of new skills on laptops or lab computers. Some may also be suited for team competitions on an interactive whiteboard or projector as test review.

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Zut!

Grades
7 to 12
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French teachers will find this one intriguing. Zut! offers an interesting collection of interactive, online exercises to help increase French vocabulary and comprehension. The mixture...more
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French teachers will find this one intriguing. Zut! offers an interesting collection of interactive, online exercises to help increase French vocabulary and comprehension. The mixture of different activity types and the inclusion of audio files makes this one a truly useful site for either classroom or individual use. There are also links to get to Spanish and German lessons!

tag(s): french (71), grammar (134)

In the Classroom

Use this site in your world language classes. These activities are ideal for in the classroom or remote learning.

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