7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2014 9:23 PM by glen_w

    Duolingo

      Since finishing my two years of required Spanish in high school, I have wished that I paid more attention in class.  As a teacher in Texas, it has been a detriment to not be able to communicate with a portion of my parent population.  While the gold standard for self learning of language seems to be Rosetta Stone, I do not have the $500 they want to learn how to speak a language.  One alternative that I've found, and am beginning my language journey with is Duolingo.  Feeding in to the gamification of learning, and current social media, this is a mobile app and web application that gives you points as you master certain steps. The best part?  Completely Free!  I may not be translating "War and Peace" anytime soon, but I hope to better my skills.  Does anyone else know of some good, cheap language software that would be useful for students or teachers?

        • Re: Duolingo
          glen_w

          Jermaine,

           

          You've used Duolingo since August. I'm interested in hearing how this program is helping you communicate with more parents. I agree that parent/teacher collaboration can be the key to help students be more engaged and active learners. Please share your experiences so far.

          • Re: Duolingo
            lsrdhunter@msn.com

            Hi Jermaine,   I have not used Duolingo until I saw your post.  Looks like fun.  Whenever I need to translate words into a different language, I use http://translate.google.com   This web page opens with two text boxes. 

            • Select your language above the text box on the left  (use the dropdown to view over 60 different languages)
            • Select the language for translation above the box on the right
            • Begin typing your words into the left text box
            • The translation will appear on the right
            • Click the sound icon to hear the words spoken
            • If you need to save or practice these words you can select the star below the right text box and that will place the words into a Phrasebook for future reference.

             

            There is also a callout icon next to the sound icon which will give more examples of the usage of your words.   If you have not tried using translate.google.com ... I hope you will give it a try.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Duolingo
                glen_w

                Linda,

                 

                Our school uses only Windows and Macintosh computers. We do not have any Android devices for student use. We recently had a new student enroll from the Ukraine. She had been in the USA for less than a week when she arrived. One of the other students in her science class pulled out an Android Cell phone and ask permission to use the Google Translate app. Within seconds, the assignment information was now available in Russian which the young lady could read. I was impressed and did some research: ZDNet provides a great explanation of how to use the photo translate feature. While this tool does not increase discussion between teachers and parents, it quickly solved a comprehension problem for this new student.

                 

                I wonder who's used the Google Translate app and how it helped with an adult or student course.

              • Re: Duolingo
                staceylazarus

                Jermaine,

                 

                Duolingo is great for learning because it uses gamification to move ahead. Google translate is good for the "quick" response.

                 

                In my District, a Spanish teacher conducted a professional development class on how to communicate with parents. We started with the usual phrases we would need, and then learned to modify them with more details. Our "final" was to have a conversation with a real parent!

                 

                It is great you want to learn to communicate better. Would a specific "educator" training be better suited to your needs than learning non educational vocabulary? Or does learning this non-educational vocabulary help with "getting to know" your parents?

                 

                Stacey-Glad to be able to talk with others

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Duolingo

                    Stacey,

                     

                    Specific educator training for speaking with non-english speakers would be a fantastic opportunity.  However, one still has to have the base language to communicate.  Most educators I know aren't going to take a weekly (or more) class that is immersed in a language to learn it, but they may take 10-15 minutes a day to play a game that engages their brain in a different way, and may help them learn a bit of language on the way.

                  • Re: Duolingo

                    Stacey and Glen,

                     

                    I have to admit that it was a short-lived use.  This has less to do with Duolingo - which I maintain is an excellent teaching tool - and more to do with my lack of focus/time to dedicate to the app.  I personally trend against "gamification" of things, and Duolingo certainly falls into that category.  For the person that thrives on badges and posting reached goals on social media networks, Duolingo is a great tool I think.  For me, it is a fun tool that I have not utilized to its full potential.

                      • Re: Duolingo
                        glen_w

                        Jermaine, I so understand how and why you "dropped" the Duolingo ball. Time is precious for all of us and if anything absorbs too much time, I think we all rethink if/how important it is. I enjoy learning, but am also not into the gamification method of learning. Perhaps I'll share the tool with our foreign language teachers and they can decide if it will benefit their students. I truly value the honest feedback.