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Read on, and learn about the latest technology
tools and resources for language education.
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Language Acquisition
Resource Center
at
San Diego State University


Tech Tool Discovery:

A Language Learning Newsletter 

August, 2015 - Issue No.9


HelloTalk...Adios, impersonal learning
HelloTalk is a truly unique mobile app for language learning.  It is a smart, simple platform for people learning one another's native language.  Users build a profile, find learning partners, and text chat, or real audio chat in a text-messaging format. This gives learners a chance to real conversations, but relieves some of the pressure and speed of face-to-face turn-taking patterns. HelloTalk offers the best of both worlds, tech and human, together.

 
ReadLang - Found in translation
ReadLang is a Google Chrome app that allows users to translate words and phrases in line. Unlike some similar apps, users get to see both languages simultaneously, without leaving or obsccuring the original reading selection. Additionally, ReadLang allows users to collect words for flash-card decks, which remain linked to the original text those words came from, so meanings aren't lost out of context.

 
Memrise - Learn while laughing
Memrise is a site that offers flash cards paired with clever mnemonic devices... drawings and pictures designed to help users remember the words and phrases they learn. With Memrise, users can learn vocabulary in a way that is fun and leaves a stronger imprint on their memory. The tool is also designed to recycle vocabulary in a way that is optimal for language learning. And once users are ready, they can create their own sets to share with the community.

 
Social...sans media.
For most language learners, tech isn't the goal of learning...personal interaction is. When it's time to step away from our ed-tech, and start mingling, it's easy to forget that we can use tech to find other people who speak the language we're learning.  
  • Meetup.com is a great site for keeping your language learning social, especially in major cities.  Users can find language learning groups as well as native speaker groups to join and participate in.  And if the group doesn't exist...then maybe it's time to create one! 
  • Couchsurfing.com is an overlooked resource for language learners.  It has a search filter option for languages spoken by hosts.  And if you don't want to crash overnight with strangers, don't worry.  You don't have to stay overnight with anyone. Just tell them you'd like to hang out and chat in their native language. People on Couchsurfing.com are typically open, social individuals ready to meet other new and interesting people.
  • Finally, let's look to the future...how about a location-based mobile app that helps you immediately find a language partner nearby? The first version of just such an app was released a few days ago.  It's called FYLP or "Find Your Language Partner", and it's an exciting new way to use tech to connect with people face-to-face for language exchange.  It will be very interesting to explore the uses and advantages of this app in the months to come.

 
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