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Modern Languages - The smart multilinguist

What it's all about

Use of tablets and smartphones in the classroom is a burning issue. The buzzword MALL (mobile-assisted language learning) reflects the recent shift away from outright bans of mobile technology in lessons to embracing it as a learning tool.

Free animation, video-editing and audio-recording tools - such as iMovie, Pocket RecordPad, GarageBand and StoryKit - can be used for creative activities. Why not record a song to practise vocabulary? Or create a short film or storyboard to practise sentence structure?

Foreign media apps can give you instant access to authentic language experiences. Die Welt, Der Spiegel and Tele 7 Jours are all available in app format, as are TF1 Vision, ARTE Radio, Liberation, Mundo Deportivo and Elmundo.es.

Beyond the creative and cultural possibilities, there is potential to use the technology as a modern language lab, with a range of apps created for language learners. For students who have smart mobile devices, these can be recommended for self-study. Try free flashcards such as Levitate German or Busuu's apps, available in various languages, which provide a range of vocabulary, comprehension and review activities for beginners and lower- intermediate pupils.

Alternatively, some apps focus on specific skills, such as German Conjunctive, which lists verbs and their forms.

And another thing

Cks01 has uploaded Spanish vocabulary cue cards on topics such as the weather, in the restaurant, Spanish snacks, types of shop, adjectives, movements and regular verbs.

Designed to be cut out and stuck back-to-back, with simple images revealing the required vocabulary that learners can check for themselves, the cards can be used to revise key words, as conversation prompts or a matching "snap" game.

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