Digital Second Language Learning
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Digital Second Language Learning
Learning second languages via computer (CALL)
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Humanity's Greatest Tool is Language - 4 Tips for Language Learning

Humanity's Greatest Tool is Language - 4 Tips for Language Learning | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
In this post Delfin explains why language and not technology still is humanity's greatest tool. He also shares four essential tips for language learning.

Via Shanthi Cumaraswamy Streat, D Flowers
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I scooped this - because I love the image!

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Shanthi Cumaraswamy Streat's curator insight, November 3, 2013 11:13 AM

Tip 4 - Be humble. You will never know any language perfectly.

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Read your way to a new language with Bliu Bliu - ArcticStartup

Read your way to a new language with Bliu Bliu - ArcticStartup | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Read your way to a new language with Bliu Bliu
ArcticStartup
Say hi, moi, ciao, hej and sveiki to Bliu Bliu. They're a small team from Lithuania that look set to make a big impact on the language learning scene with a fresh new approach.
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D Flowers's curator insight, November 12, 2013 2:37 PM

Interesting concept - builds upon what you already know in a specific language with the use of algorithms.

As you highlight specific text (which you do not understand) the Bliu Bliu's algorithm builds custom phrases using words you mostly know, and inserts a few new ones allowing you to learn the new words in context. Even guessing (in context) is helpful while learning.

 

For now the site is FREE - take advantage of the trial.

 

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WeSpeke | Technology and language learning

WeSpeke | Technology and language learning | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Yuly Asencion's insight: WeSpeke is a safe, secure and free Online Cross-Cultural Communications Platform that allows students to practice a foreign language by connecting them in one-on-one conversations with natives.
D Flowers's insight:
 

A free online communication platform that allows language students to connect with others in their native language. Great opportunity for one-on-one conversations.

Advertised as an option for a school/classroom, it comes with a downloadable teacher resources complete with assignments/assessments.

The program allows students to be connected/matched with others students of simlar ages and with similar interests which in my opinion will allow for greater opportunity for meaningful conversations. Options for video=chatting are available, but the time difference between continents may make this challenging for a classroom option. I think this is a great option for university students who might have more flexibilty in their time and schedules.

I have not tried this, but it looks like an interesting, well-run and safely monitored option for second language learners.

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Video chat may help language learning - CNN (blog)

Video chat may help language learning - CNN (blog) | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Video chat may help language learning
CNN (blog)
As a graduate student studying how children develop language, Sarah Roseberry made an interesting observation.
D Flowers's insight:

Grad student Sarah Roseberry confirmed through her research that "Language can be learned via video chat as long as the conversation allows for meaningful back and forth exchanges... It's the difference between the child being an active learner versus a passive learner".

 

The study appears in the journal Child Development

 

***Multi-modal learning continues to be the best way for most of us to learn new things, including language. I agree, the key to learning language through 'Skype' or other video chat programs is that it must be a meaningful exchange, and with the use of new and interesting words with the addition of body language and other cues the learner, either young or old will learn while being actively engaged. With second language learning/acquisition, the learner will be able to draw on prior knowledge and understanding of cues, prosody, and body language they are already familiar with.

 

 

  

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Games With Words

Games With Words | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it

Via Allyson Eamer
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Games with words ... literally.

Help students at M.I.T. with research by playing word games and testing yourself on vocabulary, your ability to learn new (nonsense) words and other fun games.

The games I played allowe me to test my vocabulary, and then see my results compared wiht others who took the same test AND to learn new nonsense words. The researchers explained after the test that not all participants were assigned the same variables. Your personal scores and more info regarding the research is available if you want it.

A good place to check your own vocabulary - I haven't seen word lists like these since SATs.

Fun for all ages and assisting with research at the same time.

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TPR Foreign Language Instruction and Dyslexia

TPR Foreign Language Instruction and Dyslexia | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
TPR Foreign Language Instruction and Dyslexia
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This article was written primarily for assistance with teaching those with Dyslexia but it is useful for all.

I think the points raised here are valid and important to consider when teaching language to all students, especially when using technology.

The article supports the idea that we learn language best when immersed and/or living it. We learn our first language through experiences not by being taught grammar etc.

In most language classes grammar is taught from the beginning, this is not the way we acquire our first language, and many argue that it is not the best way to learn a second language. 

A good read to reinforce our beliefs about learning.

 

 

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Developing a Computer Assisted Language Learning System Based on Spoken Language Learning Mechanisms

Developing a Computer Assisted Language Learning System Based on Spoken Language Learning Mechanisms | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
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Department of Multilingual Learning

Human Information Science Laboratories

by: Akahane-Yamada Reiko

 

 

FOCUS on PHONEME, PROSODY and VOCABULARY

 

Examines the relationships of the above and the acquisition of each.

There are TWO significnt findings in their research.

 

1/ The research suggests that learners of a new language should learn the phonemes first - to build up a new mental lexicon, and by doing this they are quicker at learning new words.

2/ New words introduced in semantically meaningful sentences improved results (identification ability) versus new words learned in isolation or in "neutral carrier" sentences.

 

The results of this confirm the idea that learning needs to be meaningful and by putting things in context, a stronger meaning is interpreted.
 

 

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Lee - English Teachers' Barriers to the Use of Computer-assisted Language Learning (TESL/TEFL)

The reasons for using Computer-assisted Language Learning include: (a) experiential learning, (b) motivation, (c) enhance student achievement, (d) authentic materials for study, (e) greater interaction, (f) individualization, (g) independence from...
D Flowers's insight:

An excellent resource on CALL, including the history of CALL,

Behaviorist CALL, Communicative CALL, Integrative CALL.

Thoroughly researched and well-written.

 

Why use CALL?

(a) experiential learning

(b) motivation

(c) enhance student achievement

(d) authentic materials for study

(e) greater interaction

(f) individualization

(g) independence from a single source of information

(h) global understanding.

 

Teachers' barriers of CALL:

(a) financial barriers

(b) availability of computer hardware and software

(c) technical and theoretical knowledge

(d) acceptance of the technology

 

 

 
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Praat: doing Phonetics by Computer

Praat: doing Phonetics by Computer | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
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"The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Vowels"

Praat: Phonetics via computer

 

The PRAAT PHONETICS SOFTWARE PACKAGE is available for FREE for your use in phonetic or phonelogical research. 

 

Use it to create sound files, measure sound durations, formula manipulation of sounds, pitch, and advanced tasks like source-filter resynthesis, A1-PO nasality measurement and formula manipulation of sounds.

 

 

 

 

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Learning dialects shapes brain areas that process spoken language | PsyPost

Learning dialects shapes brain areas that process spoken language | PsyPost | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Using advanced imaging to visualize brain areas used for understanding language in native Japanese speakers, a new study from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute finds that the pitch-accent in words pronounced in standard Japanese activates different...
D Flowers's insight:

Researchers using differen dialects of Japanese found “that an individual’s language experience at a young age can shape the way languages are processed in the brain”. Brain imaging was used to determine if there was a difference between standard dialect speakers of Japanese and accent-less dialect speakers. Pitch changes affect/activate both hemishperes of the brain, while word meaning is associated with the right hemisphere. When the participants heard the word pair that differed in pitch-accent, the left hemisphere was activated in standard dialect speakers, accent-less dialect speakers did not show the left-dominant activation. Standard Japanese speakers use the pitch-accent to understand the word meaning. Accent-less dialect speakers process pitch changes similar to individuals who learn a second language later in life. Both groups are native Japanese speakers who are familiar with the standard dialect.  

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Toddlers Learn Language Faster Via Video When It's Interactive: What Will The ... - Medical Daily

Toddlers Learn Language Faster Via Video When It's Interactive: What Will The ... - Medical Daily | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Toddlers Learn Language Faster Via Video When It's Interactive: What Will The ...
Medical Daily
Toddlers can absorb a language while watching a video that is interactive, but not passive, according to a new study.
D Flowers's insight:

"FRESH FUEL to the debate over whether video- and television-based learning is suitable for young toddlers".

 This research was conducted with 26 toddlers, 3 variables. 1/ Adults & toddlers interacting - learning language via interaction2/ Skype Chat - adults & toddlers - learning language via interaction3/ Toddlers observing video of adults teaching the same languge (non-interactive) 

"The study highlights the importance of responsive interactions for language learning," suggested co-author Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, professor of psychology at Temple University. "Interactions allow adults and toddlers to respond to each other in a back-and-forth fashion—such as live instruction and the video chats".

 

The responsiveness of the one-on-one personal interactions and the video-chats, allows for meaningful development of language. 

This research lays the ground work for future for develpers of programming towards toddlers to create more interactive and meaningful programs that support language  in an interactive fashion.

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Kids Learn Mandarin - Game Based Learning Package For 2-6yr Olds

13 Fun Digital Animated Games To Teach Kids Their First 100 Words In Mandarin Chinese. Ideal For The Home Or Classroom. High Demand & High Commission.
D Flowers's insight:

Mandarin Playground is an addition to Mandarin learning games that can be instantly downloaded onto your personal computer.

Designed for children aged 2-8 years old, with little or no exposure to Mandarin.

13 INTERACTIVE games introduce single words (100+) visually and audibly. Translation in English, Pinyin & simplified Chinese characters are shown on digital flashcards.

 

Interactive games introduce the following:

ColorsAnimalsFoodToysTransportClothingNumbersMy BodyMy Family

Games include:

PAINT & PLAY DRESS UPMIX & MATCHJUICY FRUITKUNG FU COUNTINGTEACHER SAYSMEET MY FAMILYSNAP  These games appear fun and enjoyable. I have observed young children playing this in restaurants -  they are intrigued and occupied. I am not sure how much language they take away, but if they learn a few words, and are having fun doing it, a foundation for future language learning is being established.  
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Learning dialects shapes brain areas that process spoken language - Medical Xpress

Learning dialects shapes brain areas that process spoken language - Medical Xpress | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Learning dialects shapes brain areas that process spoken language
Medical Xpress
This is a graph showing brain activity in the right and left hemispheres measured as changes in blood oxygen concentration using Near Infrared Spectroscopy.
D Flowers's insight:

Researchers using differen dialects of Japanese found “that an individual’s language experience at a young age can shape the way languages are processed in the brain”. Brain imaging was used to determine if there was a difference between standard dialect speakers of Japanese and accent-less dialect speakers. Pitch changes affect/activate both hemishperes of the brain, while word meaning is associated with the right hemisphere. When the participants heard the word pair that differed in pitch-accent, the left hemisphere was activated in standard dialect speakers, accent-less dialect speakers did not show the left-dominant activation. Standard Japanese speakers use the pitch-accent to understand the word meaning. Accent-less dialect speakers process pitch changes similar to individuals who learn a second language later in life. Both groups are native Japanese speakers who are familiar with the standard dialect.  

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The Beginning of a Language Learning Revolution in China | LanguageClan.com

The Beginning of a Language Learning Revolution in China | LanguageClan.com | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
LanguageClan.com is finally here! (The Beginning of a Language Learning Revolution in China http://t.co/QU5pq53VKd)
D Flowers's insight:

LanguageClan (or LanClan)     语言族    yu3 yan2 zu2

 

NEW WEBSITE dedicated to languiage learning in China. This website is bi-lingual and allows teachers and learners to connect and interact.

People must be able to find each other.

 

http://www.languageclan.com/en/blog/beginning-language-learning-revolution-china#sthash.Et3f1q7W.dpuf

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Innovations in Learning Technologies for English Language Teaching | EnglishAgenda | British Council

Innovations in Learning Technologies for English Language Teaching | EnglishAgenda | British Council | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Free, downloadable publication: Innovations in Lerning Technologies for EL Teaching edited by @garymotteram http://t.co/JRhcGJD6HU
D Flowers's insight:

A great site for classroom teachers, offers tons of resources including:

Flashcard maker

Word Family Framework

Phonemic chart

Staffroom posters

Teaching knowledge database

What kind of teacher are you?

Board games

Teaching resources

Activities

Lesson plans

This site is very easy to navigate and has information for those who want to learn English, broken down into various age groups.

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5 Great Language Learning Apps - AvatarGeneration

5 Great Language Learning Apps - AvatarGeneration | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Learning a new language can be hard work, but as with most things, practice makes perfect.
D Flowers's insight:

 FUN Apps for Ipad - Iphone

 

Learning a new language? These apps help you learn by offering interactive tools that assist with practice.

 

Play Say - is a game that you use to connect with others who are also learning languages in real-time. You can have a conversation, and receive instant feedback on your technique. Fun missions are also  part of this app - which makes learning more fun for many.

 

Word Lens - you va use this app to take a picture of a word (in any language) and it will translate it for you. This app is best for those who need to learn a few words quickly, and/or are travelling. The app works on minimal bits of text.

 

Google Translate - the old standard of translation sites, now its available with over 60 languages in audio form. No more typing!

 

Plango - designed for teens and adults. Allows you to download texts then see and hear the translation. It prompts "key" words visually to assist learning.

 

Mindsnacks -  six games that help teach vocabulary, spelling, grammar and context for French, Spanish, English and Chinese.

 

 

 

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Learning Language in Chunks

Learning Language in Chunks | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
How we learn languages in canned phrases, and what that means for the teaching of English.

Via Diana Turner, Lynnette Van Dyke
D Flowers's insight:

Have you ever jumped ahead while greeting someone and said "I'm great, how are you? When suddenly your realize they never actualy asked how you are?

Sometimes we learn a string of words or a phrase, and utilze it as if it were a word. This phrase is known as a lexical chunk.

This article discusses how we  learn language in chunks and often when learned at a young age - we don't even know what it means, yet we use it correctly.

It is this ability to chunk that often gives non-native speakers the ability to "advance towards nativeliek fluency".

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Improving Adult Esl Learners Pronunciation Skills. Eric Digest

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JOURNAL ARTICLE: This is an informative article that comprehensibly defines the aspects of speech and language learning, and addresses specific features involved in teaching PRONUNCIATION.

Whether teaching adults or children, strategies suggested in this article are easy and inexpensive to utilize and can be used with CALL as well as in-person.

 

Strategies:

- Learners use mirrors to see placement of tongue and lips

- Use of Kazoos to provide reinforcement of intonation patterns

- Learners stretch rubber bands to illustrate the length of vowels

- Visual aid of holding up fingers to indicate number of syllables

- Learners can touch their throats to feel vibrations or no vibration in sound production

 

The use of the above strategies with children will help them 'visualize' and 'feel' pronunciation which will enable deeper understanding.

However, the use of the above strategies with adults will be equally beneficial including adding the FUN FACTOR. I can imagine the older students laughing and giggling which will also allow for deeper understanding.

 

LEARNING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!

 

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q-njamanze

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Information Communication Technolgy in Participatory Developement of Teaching/learning English as a Global Language in Nigeria: A Discourse

The researcher states the global language of computers is English, and that 80% of the information stored on the internet is in English. He suggests that there is an emphasis on online learning and interactions between students and teachers in language learning, and that this is being done more  and more throught various web-based applications on the internet. "English language teachers and learners in Nigeria interact freely on the internet. They write and submit their stories, articles, reports, seminars online and were also able to communicate with colleagues around the globe". Language education in Nigeria has risen to a new level with the advent of computer based learning and an increase in teachers knowledge has increased awareness as to the importance of technology in education. 

 

 

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Language Magazine » Child’s Play

Language Magazine » Child’s Play | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
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This article discussed the rise in game-based learning and whether or not it is appropriate or beneficial. Will teachers and parents need to drag children away from technology even more in the future?

I think the idea here is similar to the advent of television. We were told our brains would rot and nothing good would come from television watching. As with television, the key is balance. Proper balance is essential. Technology in the classroom and at home needs to be utilized for optimum benefits, but not used a baby sitter.

 

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Are Flashcards an Effective Learning Tool? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Voxy Blog

Are Flashcards an Effective Learning Tool? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Voxy Blog | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
D Flowers's insight:

Infographics are another tool to use with students. The 'graphic' quality makes it another great format to absorb language from. The infographic is ready to use with students - either in person or electronlically and it comes with lesson opportunities/ideas.

This inforgraphic suggests the use of an I-phone app for making your own flashcards from photos of common items. 

Voxy does a superb job of highlighting the pros and cons and offering their research (to back it up) at the click of your mouse.

 

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LLT Vol9Num3: SYNCHRONOUS CMC, WORKING MEMORY, AND L2 ORAL PROFICIENCY DEVELOPMENT

D Flowers's insight:

Comparison between face-to-face settings and chat/text sessions indicate that richer language is utilized during chat/rext sessions, and that more complex structure and accurate usgage is also evident. This research paper suggests that language learners with specific memory capacity (working memory) limitations may enhance their speaking ability in a language by utilizing real-time conversation exchanges via text, and. greater equity in participation was found among participants utilizing chat/text. Which areas of language acquisition are potentially affected by individual differences in working memory?

 

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Learning a new language alters brain development

Learning a new language alters brain development | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
The age at which children learn a second language can have a significant bearing on the structure of their adult brain, according to a new study.
D Flowers's insight:

Research from McGill suggests, if you learn more than one language from birth, brain structure is similar, yet learning a second language after the first is already established affects structure of the brain, particularly the inferior frontal cortex which plays a significant role in executive functioning, language, consciousness and memory. "The task of acquiring a second language after infancy stimulates new neural growth and connections among neurons in ways seen in acquiring complex motor skills such as juggling. The study's authors speculate that the difficulty that some people have in learning a second language later in life could be explained at the structural level".

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Video chat may help language learning - wtvr.com

Video chat may help language learning - wtvr.com | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Video chat may help language learning
wtvr.com
As a graduate student studying how children develop language, Sarah Roseberry made an interesting observation.
D Flowers's insight:

Grad student Sarah Roseberry confirmed through her research that "Language can be learned via video chat as long as the conversation allows for meaningful back and forth exchanges... It's the difference between the child being an active learner versus a passive learner".

 

The study appears in the journal Child Development

 

***Multi-modal learning continues to be the best way for most of us to learn new things, including language. I agree, the key to learning language through 'Skype' or other video chat programs is that it must be a meaningful exchange, and with the use of new and interesting words with the addition of body language and other cues the learner, either young or old will learn while being actively engaged. With second language learning/acquisition, the learner will be able to draw on prior knowledge and understanding of cues, prosody, and body language they are already familiar with.

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Interesting MOOC for Teachers on English Language Teaching Techniques ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Interesting MOOC for Teachers on English Language Teaching Techniques ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Digital Second Language Learning | Scoop.it
Interesting MOOC for Teachers on English Language Teaching Techniques ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning http://t.co/2QcrxTjLMT

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
D Flowers's insight:

Site would not be complete without the mention of a MOOC. 

This one is FREE, 4 weeks and self-paced... :)

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John O'Connor's curator insight, October 21, 2013 7:28 PM

Mooc's, everything seems to be Mooc's these days. This is worth a look.

 

holbel mendez's curator insight, January 14, 2014 11:30 PM

This blog is really interesting for teachers who want to know about teaching english with technology.