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January/February 2015

Online Resources from Señora Glass
Janet Glass was the 2008 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year, and on her website she shares a number of useful resources, including videos, music, standards-based activities for thematic units, and units from the World Languages Framework Project.

Skype in the Classroom
Skype in the Classroom allows teachers and students to collaborate with other classes across the globe, invite guest speakers into their classrooms, and take virtual field trips anywhere in the world. The website also has a library of lesson plans that can be searched by age group and subject, such as languages, culture, technology, and connect and collaborate. There are a number of languages represented. While these include those you may expect to find, such as French, German, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, and Portuguese, there are also some unexpected finds, such as Kazakh.

Site for Teachers of French and AncientLanguages
Weblettres brings together teachers of French and ancient languages on the Internet. On the website, teachers can share resources and exchange ideas. The site includes a collection of print materials from what it considers the best courses and sequences placed on the website, a platform of interactive exercises, and a space dedicated to ancient languages. In addition to the Weblettres blog, there are also links to a number of other blogs, most of which are in French since the Weblettres Association is located in Paris.

Dictionary and Search Engine for Translations
Linguee is a translation tool that combines an editorial dictionary and a search engine for searching what it says are millions of bilingual texts for words and expressions. The search results are divided into results from the editorial dictionary on one side, while on the other side are example sentences from other sources showing how the search term has been translated in context. Currently it is available in English–French, English–German, English–Portuguese, and English–Spanish, but the website notes that Chinese and Japanese options are to follow.

Mobile Language Lab
24/7 Tutor is a language learning system and mobile language lab consisting of apps that provide a set of the most common and useful words and phrases for each language organized by topic and category. The audio is by native speakers. Other features include a puzzle game, quizzes, and systems for optimizing study efforts and tracking progress. 24/7 Tutor apps are currently available in French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.

Test Generator
Testmoz is a free test generator for creating online automatically graded tests. Test types available are true/false, multiple choice, multiple response, and fill-in-the-blanks. The reports allow teachers to see the actual responses to the questions, the scores, and the averages. Questions are limited to 50 if the teacher does not have a Testmoz account (or unlimited with an account). An unlimited number of people can take the test, but without an account, you can only see 100 scores.

Sign Language Videos
Signing Savvy is a sign language resource with videos of American Sign Language signs and other common signs used in conventional signing. Although accessing the premium features requires a paid membership, the basic features on the website are available for free.

Arabic Language Podcasts
There are 10 episodes of Arabic PodClass: The Arabic LanguagePodcast. The lessons in the audio podcast are free and have been described by users as a helpful supplement to an Arabic course; however, while one customer review called them “somewhat high-level lessons,” another recommended them as useful for students of Arabic at any level of proficiency.

SpanishBoca Blog
Created by ACTFL member Leonela Santiago, the SpanishBoca blog is intended to be a supplemental resource for learners of Spanish. Santiago says that she wanted to provide something more highly visual than the standard word-of-the-day sites, so she includes pronunciation written out phonetically in English and examples of the way the word is used in Spanish.

French and German Culture and Arts on Arte TV
Arte TV is a European television network with French and German versions promoting programming in the area of culture and the arts. Among the offerings are documentaries, movies, web series, and magazine articles.

“Let it Go” in 25 Languages
Millions of children are obsessed with the movie, Frozen, and in particular the song, “Let It Go.” Language teachers might want to know that the official Disney website for the movie has a video of the song being sung in 25 different languages. The languages include French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and both Mandarin and Cantonese.