Language Challenge 180: Week 22

by Corey · 6 comments

This page is for Language Challenge 180 participants. Sign up now to join this event!

Welcome to Week 22 !

If you missed the activities these last few weeks, go to the Weekly Activity Page and click on the activities you missed. (Remember: if you aren’t yet signed up, then do so at the link at the top of this page!)

Please keep sharing resources, support and suggestions at the Language Challenge 180 language pages! The more information you can add there, the better!

Olympics 2012

Have you been watching the London 2012 Olympics? We have!

I can’t help but be inspired by the level of dedication, focus and passion of these Olympians. Day in and day out, these athletes give their all to their sport of choice. I can’t even begin to imagine what it takes to get to their level of skill.

Watching the Olympics has given me an added umph to my language learning. If these athletes can give what they give to their dreams, I can at least dedicate a few hours a day to language learning (even while watching the Olympics!). There are only a few more weeks until Language Challenge is over… so let’s give the big push at the end!

Has the Olympics given you an added boost to your/your children’s language learning?

iPad Love

Well, we did it. We got an iPad (after a year of intense deliberations). We feel like we already have too many digital items in our home already… why would we need more? But then we came up with a nice, long list of good reasons (to convince ourselves that getting one was a good idea).

Here are some highlights:  We will use it for homeschooling in the Fall (any good education apps you can recommend?), to keep the kids entertained during our flight to Germany and back and, most importantly, for daily language learning (I’ve already downloaded a few apps!). We just received it so we aren’t quite up to speed on what apps are out there (other than a long list of games that my kids insist that they need). But we are looking forward to having fun with our new digital friend.

And I have to admit it… having an iPad is awesome!!!

Do you use an iPad (or other portable device) for language learning? If so, please share your favorite apps in the comments section below!

This Week’s Activity:

  • Individuals and/or Parents: Language Challenge 180 is almost over. Only a few more weeks!
    This week, write down a list of things you are going to do each and every day to keep your/your children’s language learning going for these last few weeks.
      Write down your list and then stick to it. Pretend that you are an Olympian: Skipping your daily goals isn’t an option. Make your goals doable and you will be able to meet them each and every day!
  • Our digital world:  If you use apps for your language learning, tells us what you use in the comments below! We’d love to know what you recommend!

Happy Language Learning!

1 Andrew August 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

“Tell us which apps you use”

Well, this is probably a pretty obvious one, but Anki. I’m really curious about whether or not anyone uses this with kids, it seems like it might be just a bit too boring for them, but I could be wrong, there might be some way to make it fun.

Additionally, I use Evernote for a lot of things, but also to keep track of word lists that I’m currently learning. What I’ll do is, while I’m watching a movie or TV show or music video, I will of course look up all the words and phrases I don’t know and enter them into Anki (obviously pausing while I do this, it will take several weeks to watch a whole movie, for example). Later, when I review my cards in Anki I write down every word/phrase that comes up in Anki into a note in Evernote–that is my word list for the day. Now, what I have to do with those words and phrases is somehow use them with a native speaker, either on Lang-8 in a written entry (I like to write short stories) or on a skype call with a language exchange partner who I’ve found via a language exchange like iTalki or The Mixxer (iTalki is the best I’ve tried so far, hands down, by the way). I force myself to somehow use each word/phrase on the list. Not only does this really cement the word/phrase into your permanent memory far better than even multiple reviews in Anki could do, but also, most importantly, you learn how to use the word/phrase correctly. How’s that? Well, you’re using it in actual communication with a native speaker, so if you use it incorrectly you’ll find out immediately because they’ll tell you, and they’ll then tell you how to use it correctly. Nice, huh?

Anyway, the reason I use Evernote is because all your stuff is stored on their server so you can install Evernote on all your devices and it will update and sync itself with the server so that any changes you make in Evernote from any of your devices will also show up on the others, so I can mess with my word list on my desktop and then later go over to my laptop in the living room, pull up Evernote (which will sync and download all the changes I made on my desktop to the list), and write an entry on lang-8 from there. Very convenient.


2 Murray August 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Do five French in Action lessons per week, in preparation for a two week French Immersion course in France.

3 JTapp August 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Most languages seem to have game apps for children that teach basic words like numbers, colors, animals. There are some Turkish ones we use with our toddler.

Not language apps per se, but I use GoodReader for reading, making notes on, and highlighting PDFs, since I convert a lot of my language materials into PDF. I use Evernote with Lang-8 as Andrew talked about above, and also bought the Anki app. I also use Dropbox for easy access to new mp3s, texts, etc. that I may be using for language and need available on my device when I haven’t synced yet. I use a few different Bible reader apps (Olive Tree, YouVersion) that have Bibles and other texts in English and foreign language that can be read parallel.

4 Jenny August 2, 2012 at 4:52 am

No ipad in this family. I wish!
These last few weeks I plan to continue doing what I have been with the kids- 30 minutes of immersion per day, using songs, games, computer books or animated songs, or craft projects. I also want to make plans for the coming school year and what we will do then. My son is starting kindergarten, but his school does not offer foreign language, so I want to do something with him at home. Any suggestions?

5 Wendy August 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I’m planning to continue reading simple books in Spanish with the girls, as well as incorporating more sentences in Spanish in our daily lives. My husband bought an iPAD recently, but I haven’t yet used it to incorporate into our language learning. I try to limit the girls’ screen time, but if people know of good apps for learning Spanish, I’d like to try them.

6 Tracey August 4, 2012 at 5:19 am

Hi, I haven’t seen much of the Olympics – just updates online as we don’t watch much TV except DVDs. No iPads in this house but the girls have little children’s computers in both spanish and english and enjoy using them from time to time and an MP3 on my cellphone with lots of music in both languages.

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