I learned Japanese in school. You would never know it today because I can hardly speak a word of Japanese. The classes were interesting, but one of the big problems was that I never had the opportunity to practise what I had learnt outside of class time. Japanese was just an academic subject with no connection to the real world for me.
But that was in the 80s – we had never heard of the Internet. EVERYTHING has changed! The role of the teacher has changed – we are now motivators and facilitators, we help learners to help themselves learn.
If you would like help to achieve your English or French learning goals, talk to us at englishonthe.net. Contact us here for a free lesson.
The role of the learner has also changed. Learners no longer sit passively and listen to information, they go out and find it themselves.
There are so many possibilities for live online language practice with native speakers. Here are a few links to help you start :
Claims to be the world’s largest EFL/TEFL social network with 50,000 visits a day. It’s main strength is the forums where learners ask all their questions concerning grammar, vocabulary, idioms, puzzles and games, distance learning, pronunciation, learning software etc. There is a large number of faithful teachers who give their time freely for advice and support, and generally questions are answered very quickly. There are also other social networking functions, such as photos & videos, live chat, and special interest forums. This site is HUGE – you need to go and explore for yourself.
A completely free network for language exchange. Connect with native speakers of the language you are learning who have similar interests to you.
Ning hosts a large number of social networks related to language learning. These are just a few:
EFL Classroom 2.0 Definitely the most active Ning network that I use. Although it seems more directed to teachers, there are also good resources for students (try the “English for Fun and Friendship” group). 4,900+ members
View my page on EFL CLASSROOM 2.0
Teachers and students have FUN (Frivolous, Unanticipated, Nonsense) to learn together in English and Spanish (500 members)
L’école hors les murs Teachers and students (from middle school up) from several (mostly European) countries join for educational projects through social networking (900+ members)
Voir ma page au L’Ecole Hors les Murs – School Beyond The Walls
Campus FLE Education
Educational social network for teachers and learners based in the University of Leon Spain – some excellent learning materials on their front page.
Foreigners in Lille also looks very good for French, but unfortunately it seems to be limited to people who live in Lille, France, and although it is based in Lille, France, they are open to members from anywhere.
Have you discovered Evernote yet? If so, have you made it part of your toolbox? If not, read on, as it will transform your Internet experience, and especially the way you use the Internet to improve your language learning.
FACT: the Internet has completely changed the way we learn. It has enabled us to take full responsibility for our learning, and to advance in our field whether or not we have a teacher to help us.
Web 2.0 has made knowledge accessible to everyone, not just to the experts. However, the accessibility of knowledge can lead to the destruction of knowledge if we don’t find ways to manage information overload, and efficient methods for the retrieval of what we learn.
Evernote claims to help you “remember everything”. It is like a kind of external brain where you can store any piece of information that you would like to find again later. The great thing is that there are several ways of “capturing” this information:
• making notes using desktop, web or mobile phone versions of Evernote
• uploading snapshots from your camera phone or webcam
• adding clippings of anything you can copy on a webpage
• dragging and dropping content from your own computer
• emailing directly to your account
• scanning printed material
• recording audio notes
Great, but what’s to stop you just piling up information that you’ll never be able to find again? I remember in the days before Internet stuffing printed material and notes that I wanted to keep into endless folders where they just gathered dust because I never had the time to search through them for what I wanted.
With Evernote you will never lose anything. You add tags to all your clippings, notes, audios, scans etc. for easy retrieval. Even if you forget to tag, you can just use the powerful search function. Evernote will even recognise text in an image (scan or photo) that you have uploaded – even if it’s handwritten! You needn’t worry about being away from your computer, as the desktop and Web versions of your Evernote account will automatically synchronise every time you log on.
How to use Evernote for language learning?
The possibilities are endless. It’s too much for one post, so click through for More ways to learn language with Evernote.
How do you use Evernote?