Focus on French

3rd February 2006 at 00:00
Virtual Magnifying Glass is a helpful free application for highlighting text or images on your computer. You can change the size and magnification of the glass by right clicking its icon or by using keyboard shortcuts.

Ideal for whole-class teaching with a data projector or interactive whiteboard in any subject, it will help pupils to focus on particular areas of a web page, flip-chart, document or picture.

In French lessons, I use Virtual Magnifying Glass in a variety of ways. As a teaching tool, I find it useful for highlighting individual words, such as those requiring accents. Likewise, the lens can be moved by pupils via a pen, mouse or hand to locate certain parts of speech in a text or to show the right answer. For pupils who find it difficult to follow a page of print on screen, Virtual Magnifying Glass acts as a guide that can then be moved line by line through the text, breaking it up into more manageable chunks.

The application is not just a text tool, though. Having drilled new vocabulary from a set of images on a PowerPoint slide, I use the lens to identify the different pictures and ask the class what language they represent.

Joe Dale French teacher, Nodehill Middle School, Isle of Wight

* Virtual Magnifying Glass magnifier.sourceforge.net

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