Lingua.ly helps language students expand their vocabulary and improve their reading skills using foreign newspaper articles —but it does a whole lot more than that too. Here are our Top Tips for Using Lingua.ly in the Language Classroom.
1. Find Authentic Content for Your Lesson
Tell Lingua.ly which words to look for by entering them in the sidebar. The platform creates a feed of current newspaper articles that contain as close as possible to 90% of the words in your lesson. Enter new vocabulary every week and we’ll use that information to provide more and more complex articles as the year goes on. Find a headline that interests you? Preview it, click on the link at the bottom to visit the original article and you’re good to go!
2. Encourage Learners to Bring Language into Class
Ask your students to download the free mobile versions of the app (Android/iPhone) and assign a word scavenger hunt for homework. E.g. Look up one food from the grocery store, one piece of furniture from your living room, one object from inside your backpack. The app will provide a definition, image, audio and example sentence for each one. You can later have them share the words they’ve collected in class and make a group list of words that are important to your students.
Lingua.ly is a great way to reward students who want to practice outside of class. Set up a reward program and give extra credit for reading Lingua.ly articles, collecting new words and practicing via the spaced repetition game. Students can simply open up their points console and email you a screenshot that records the total articles, words and practice correct they have earned for the week.
4. Follow Local News
Assign students genres to report on e.g. Entertainment, Politics, Science. Ask them to choose an article from their assigned category and present a news story on a weekly basis. As a follow up group activity, start off with the same set of words and then look for them in the various Lingua.ly categories. Compile a class list of sentences that present the same word used in different contexts.
Looking for a language lab project? All you need is Google Chrome and the Lingua.ly Extension. Have students log in to their Lingua.ly accounts and turn word collection on. Choose a site to browse to as a group e.g. the Louvre’s website, CarreFour or even Paris Metro and then just let them explore. Students can move all over the site and click on unknown words to look them up. When the visit is over, return to Lingua.ly to review the new terms and see what kind of newspaper articles they generate.
6. Use Student Vocabulary for Activities
Just because your students collect words inside Lingua.ly, it doesn’t mean that vocabulary is locked inside our system. We have an easy import/export function so you can bring words in, and more importantly, pull them out for classroom activities, games and quizzes that reflect your students’ individual working vocabularies. Just ask students to copy and paste their exported word list into an email and you can pick and choose the words you’d like to use in class.
7. Help Learners Keep Vocabulary Active
It’s difficult to maintain a long list of newly acquired words in memory. Help students keep an active vocabulary by asking them to practice all of the words the Lingua.ly system assigns them on a rolling basis. We use an adaptive spaced repetition algorithm (disguised as a fun practice game!) to ensure each student sees the right words for him or her at optimal intervals to avoid forgetting what they’ve learned.
8. Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies
Strategy training empowers language learners. Lingua.ly is a great platform for teaching reading strategies like skimming and scanning because you can take advantage of our Web App’s side-by-side article and vocabulary presentation (see our blog post on Glossing). Have students bring up an article that interests them, explain how the strategy works and then embark on some practice activities as a class. We have a lot more tips on implementing these strategies in this blog so now that you’re here, please feel free to look around!
9. Turn Recipes into Food for Thought
Create a list of common ingredients in your language’s cuisine e.g. beurre, sel, poulet and then have students either visit a local cooking blog with the browser extension or see what kind of food articles they can find in the Lingua.ly “feed.” Students look up new words along the way and then you just have to decide which recipes you’d like to assign them for homework! TOP TIP: Recipes are a great way to practice imperatives and commands.
10. Embark on Class Research Projects
Lingua.ly’s browser extension helps your students become comfortable in target language rich environments and empowers them to seek out new language and use the resources available to them (a dictionary, flashcards, practice game) to carry on learning even when you’re not there to help them. You can acclimatize learners to this “digital” immersion experience by encouraging online research projects on cultural topics that require navigating target language websites.
Have an idea we haven’t thought of? We’d love to hear from you! We’re working on new features and teacher/student dashboards to make Lingua.ly easier for everyone to use. So please send us your tips for using Lingua.ly in the language classroom and suggestions for new features or just leave us a comment below. Thanks and Happy Learning from Team Lingua.ly!