Thursday, June 4, 2009

CAPL - Images for Language Lessons

CAPL, Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon, is a project developed by Dr. Michael Shaughnessy at Washington & Jefferson College. The purpose of CAPL is to provide images that demonstrate the true meaning and intention of the words in a language. CAPL currently has collections of images for teaching and learning English (North American), German, French, Chinese, and Spanish. Later this year CAPL will expand to include images for Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Portuguese. All of the images in the collection are licensed under a Creative Commons license that allows for re-use and manipulation for non-commercial purposes.

Applications for Education
CAPL could be a good resource for foreign language teachers to use in constructing lessons. You could create a simple vocabulary matching game using CAPL. Simply copy and paste some of the images into a column then list vocabulary words in another column.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
TED Talks in 40 Languages
Three Good Resources for ESL/ELL Teachers
Pronunciation Animations

Google Street View is Now Easier to Navigate

As some readers of this blog know, I love maps and I especially love Google Maps. Today, Google made Google Maps Street View better than ever. Starting today navigating Street View is as simple as double-clicking on whatever you'd like to see along the Street View-enabled roads. Prior to this enhancement you had to click and drag along a road to navigate through Street View. This enhancement makes navigation easier and faster. To learn more watch the video embedded below then give it a try on the map of Grand Teton National Park embedded into this post.

Give Street View double-clicking a try on the map below.

View Larger Map

Applications for Education
As I've written in the past, Google Maps Street View could be used by students to create virtual tours of an area. Street View offers more views in cities, but as evidenced by the map above, there are definitely some options for using street view in rural areas as well.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Geography and Science Lesson Plans Using Google Earth
Google Maps for More Than Social Studies
Create a National Parks Virtual Tour

Verbs Online - Verb Conjugation in 6 Languages

Verbs Online provides foreign language students with a good selection of activities for practicing verb conjugations. Practice activities are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. The practice activities deal with the past, present, and future tenses of regular and irregular verbs. Students can choose to do the activities in sets of ten through fifty practice items.

Here are a couple of screenshots from my test drive of Verbs Online.

Applications for Education
Verbs Online is an easy-to-use source of practice activities for students learning any of the six languages available on the site. Students receive can instant feedback at the end of every practice activity. If a student struggles with an item or items they can use the hint button to get a little help.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Hello World - Language Games for Kids
Leximo - The World's Multilingual Dictionary
Make Beliefs - Multilingual Comic Strip Creation

Construct a Word - Build Vocabulary and Spelling Skills

Construct a Word is a good online activity for elementary school students to use to develop their vocabulary and their spelling skills. Construct a Word, produced by Read Write Think, asks students to select the ending (not necessarily a suffix) for a word. After selecting an ending, students have to select from a bank of letters and letter combinations to form a word. Construct a Word tells students how many words can be formed from the letters available to them. When a student has created all of the words possible from the available letters, he or she moves on to a new new bank of endings and letters.

Here are some screenshots of Construct a Word.

Applications for Education
Construct a Word is a nice interactive activity for elementary school students. Construct a Word is design to be used as an individual activity, but it could also be used as a group activity on an interactive whiteboard.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons... And a Laugh
Five Great Grammar Resources

Tiananmen Square 20 Years Later

Yesterday, I posted a small collection of resources for teaching about the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. This morning, CNN Student News provides a look back at the events of the Tiananmen Square protests. The episode also includes a short segment about the Chinese government's attempts to restrict information about the events of June 4, 1989.
The video is embedded below. Don't forget CNN Student News provides a quick ten question quiz that you can use with each video.