Let’s do one final round of #AuthResAugust on Musicuentos and talk interactive websites!
We well know how much the internet has revolutionized language teaching, making authentic language and culture accessible at the touch of a few buttons. One of the best opportunities the internet has presented us with is, in my opinion, websites that don’t just feed us language and culture but get us actually interacting with it. The best of these websites make for great comprehensible input combined with processing activities and feedback on comprehension. Here are three types of interactive websites to try.
- Younger learners talking about places, Mexico, and/or fun and free time will enjoy exploring the Parque Plaza Sésamo theme park in Monterrey. Which rides/food places/shows would they most want to try?
High school students not interested in finding Elmo? How about Parque Warner Madrid?
- There is truly something for everyone at the largest mall in Mexico, Centro Comercial Santa Fe. Don’t like to shop? What about the Cinemex or the fitness club?
Colombia’s largest mall, Centro Mayor, has a similarly fantastic interactive website. I mean, come on, a butterfly exhibition AT THE MALL?!
- Newspapers trying to feed our desire for interactive content will often publish it related to pop culture, social sciences, and more. Try an interactive map that compares the average height around the world and its change over the past 100 years (thanks @larryferlazzo).
Build your own…
In language class and 21st-century education we are all about personalization, right? Why not check to see if there’s a website that lets kids build something related to the theme of your current unit?
- Style: How about building your own shoe with DIZA? Or maybe Nike is more your style? Or maybe create your makeup look? Or customize your MUSTANG?
- Food: You know how you can create your pizza online and then have it delivered? You can do that in the TL too. (For these and similar sites you may have to invent an imaginary target-country neighborhood you live in, but hey, all the more interactive, right?)
- Home: Got a budding architect on your hands? HomeByMe is in Spanish too! Too much design? How about just focusing on your new IKEA bedroom?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to find interactive learning games in the target language that are educational, involve language, and don’t include a lot of ads, so when you do find them, please share! Here are a couple that my students and my own children enjoy:
- Juegos geográficos
Geography games help kids with map skills and learning about the world.
- Colombia aprende
Government education sites for younger kids are often gems because they’re targeted to help kids learn and they don’t include a lot of ads.
The best thing about these sites is how fairly easy they are to find. Try searching the target-language word for the topic you’re focusing on and add the TL words for interactive, design, create, your own, personalize, customize, and so on. I’m betting you’ll find something fun and useful within the first couple of pages of results!
How will you get kids interacting with TL websites this year?
Thanks for joining me for #AuthResAugust!