5 Amazing Tools For Teaching Foreign Languages
We live in a world where technology has changed the way we live as well as the way that we learn and teach. When it comes to teaching a foreign language, there is a whole new world at your disposal to help enrich your students’ learning experience. Students learn languages best when they can engage with the material in interactive ways that immerses them in the experience. This is now more possible than ever due to technology and an increasingly connected world.
Best Tools For Teaching Foreign Languages
We are going to look at 5 amazing tools that can be used to enhance the foreign languages teaching experience for both students and teachers. These are the ones we have determined best in their categories, giving you a wide range of tools to use in the classroom and beyond.
1. Encore!!! – Best App For Teaching of Foreign Languages
There are many language learning apps out there. In fact, we imagine you hear about them daily. You see the gimmicks about how you can learn in “5 minutes a day” or the various game based methods advertised. Encore!!! is different from all these other apps in the fact that it is a tool for teaching foreign languages that uses a proven learning method, is customizable, and can be used in the classroom and out.
Encore!!! utilizes innovative technologies in teaching foreign languages to give teachers and students the most robust learning experience possible. The app uses proven learning methods, such as the L1-L2 methodology of teaching foreign languages. Combine that with customizable lessons, user made content, and the ways that Encore!!! can be used with many of the other tools on this list, and you have one of the most powerful foreign languages teaching tools you can find.
2. Netflix – Best For Media Based Immersion Learning
Using media content for learning to speak a language is a classic method of immersion learning. Around the world you hear stories from people saying they learned a language from watching movies and TV. There are many streaming services out there to choose from, but Netflix is our top pick due to the sheer volume of international content they have in their catalog.
With content in a wide variety of languages and a large selection of subtitles or dubbing, Netflix is a great supplementary foreign language teaching tool. Students can be assigned to watch a movie or TV series, or choose one for themselves, and then show what they learned by providing examples of lines they focused on and how they can use the words in the real world. These lines from the content can even be added to the Encore!!! app by the teachers or students to focus on.
There are many fantastic ways to use entertainment to immerse students, and the teacher’s imagination is the only limit to the possibilities.
3. Google Apps – Best For Collaboration
This might come as a surprise entry into this list but Google’s app suite is spectacular when it comes to the ability to distribute lessons and have students collaborate. Teaching a foreign language online is made much easier by the tools that Google is providing. Here are just a few of their apps that can be used in foreign languages teaching.
- Google Docs – Lets you send and receive written assignments, syllabi, resource lists, instructions and more.
- Slides – Create powerpoint style presentations, can be used by teachers or to have students create a presentation on a subject related to the language they are learning in that language.
- YouTube – Create video content for teaching foreign language lessons to your students that they can access from anywhere. The students could also create videos to send to teachers for projects and lessons.
There is also Google Classroom, which provides a robust teaching and learning environment. Teachers might find some of the other apps in their suite fit their uses too. These tools are flexible, free, and accessible to all, which makes them even more valuable.
4. Zoom – Best For Live Video Lessons
In the last few years, Zoom has become a pretty big part of many of our lives. That being said, while there are other video meeting programs available, a majority of people will be most familiar with Zoom. For this reason, Zoom has become the top choice for live video and makes our list. If your class has other preferred methods, then those are all viable too.
Some lessons are best done face to face, but that is not always possible. Foreign languages teaching benefits from the use of live video due to the fact that seeing words spoken, the way the mouth moves, and body language all are important to how we learn to communicate. Being able to gather a class on camera for lessons gives the ability to include the physical action of your lessons, even while students might not be able to make it to your classroom. The flexibility this option gives when teaching foreign language allows more people to learn face to face than ever before. This is fantastic for students in rural areas, with disabilities, or far from their teacher of choice.
5. Slack – Best For Real Time Communication
Communication is obviously an important part of foreign languages teaching efforts. Using a real time communication tool like Slack allows students to communicate with their teacher as well as each other. Students can reach out for help understanding an assignment, communicate about projects, and generally support each other’s learning efforts. The teacher can help with these efforts, reach out to students for feedback, or offer up supplementary lesson information in real time.
This type of communication also lets teachers and students use the language they are learning in a written form. In class discussions that use the language being taught can also help with the immersion, much like how physical classrooms use speaking only in the language of the class.
Teachers could also ask some questions and give the first to respond extra credit. The creativity of the teacher is allowed to thrive with tools like Slack.
After reading this article, we hope you now have an idea of how these tools can help your foreign languages teaching efforts. Entertainment content such as Netflix is an engaging and immersive way to learn. Google Apps lets you and your students share lessons and collaborate. Zoom gives you a virtual classroom where face to face learning is possible virtually. Slack allows for real time communication. Finally, Encore!!! gives you a robust and customizable language learning app that can be used alongside all of these other tools and even customized to combine with them.
There are technology based tools that will fit nearly any foreign language teaching methods. While the ones we listed are what we consider to be the best, you might find another tool in the same category that fits your classroom or online course better. However, these tools are all fantastic additions to your lesson plan.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Tools for Teaching Foreign Languages
What are the basic tools and techniques of effective foreign language teaching?
Immersion and repetition are the basic tools of effective foreign language teaching. Immersion keeps you thinking in the language and focused on learning it. Repetition is vital to memorization and learning each word or phrase along with its place in speech.
How can the Encore!!! app help in teaching foreign languages?
The Encore!!! app uses the L1-L2 method of learning which involves speaking a word in your native language along with the one you are learning. Encore!!! also lets students and teachers create their own content and lesson plans.
Which method is best for teaching foreign language?
There is no single best method for teaching a foreign language. Everyone learns differently and combining methods will have the best outcome.
What role does technology play in teaching foreign languages?
Technology gives us all new opportunities when it comes to teaching foreign languages. Language learning apps such as Encore!!! give us a way to learn wherever we are. There are also opportunities for immersion or education in other apps including video streaming and communication apps.