Language Learning Resources

The Language Schools and language departments have long been innovators in the use of technology. Indeed Segue was first developed to make it easier to create multilingual web sites and was one of the first learning management systems to support non-Latin-based character sets such as Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian.

Language Media Sites

Many language programs have developed language learning resource sites that contain audio and video of demonstrating the language being studied. Here are some examples:

Al-Kitaab
French in Action

Sur le vif

Beyond the Basics

Beginning Mandarin Chinese

Genki

Golosa

Nakama

Phonetique

Most of the online language learning resources at Middlebury College are accessible through Segue sites. These resources generally consist of audio or video. Some of these resources can be accessed via the RSS feed for the Segue site containing the resources. Other resources can be downloaded from the site as a zip file. Most of these resources need to be restricted to the Middlebury IP range.

Many of these media files are stored on a server called otter that is accessible using a url of the following form:

http://otter.middlebury.edu/ns-media/<<language>>media/<<resource_name>>/<<filename>>

Here are some examples:

http://otter.middlebury.edu/ns-media/frenchmedia/action/01-01a.mp3

http://otter.middlebury.edu/ns-media/japanesemedia/nakama/cd01-01_Part_A_-_Pronunciation.mp3

Many of the sites that refer to media on the otter server originated as static html pages on the classes server accessible from urls with the following form:

http://cr.middlebury.edu/ls/<<language>>/<<resource_name>>

Here are some examples:
http://cr.middlebury.edu/ls/russian/poetry

http://cr.middlebury.edu/ls/german/kaleidoskop/

Many of these sites that were created in static html pages have been migrated to Segue.  For example:

http://cr.middlebury.edu/ls/german/grammatik/
was moved to:

https://segue.middlebury.edu/sites/german-grammatik

http://cr.middlebury.edu/ls/french/action/
was moved to:

https://segue1.middlebury.edu/sites/french-action

and then migrated to:

https://segue.middlebury.edu/sites/french-action

A few language learning resource sites that have been migrated to Segue or were created in Segue have their media files in the Media Library for that site. Examples:

https://segue.middlebury.edu/sites/arabic-al-kitaab

Newer language learning resource sites have their resources stored in MiddMedia: Examples:
https://segue.middlebury.edu/sites/french-sur_le_vif
https://segue.middlebury.edu/sites/french-reflets

Some language learning resources are available via StudyDB, a web application developed at Middlebury for creating lexical databases. StudyDB contains vocabulary, dialogues and phrases for Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian. For more information, see:

https://segue.middlebury.edu/sites/achapin-studydb

A number of faculty have recorded audio for use in their classes.  Kyoko Davis (Japanese) has made many audio recordings that supplement textbook material (see: Teaching with Technology > Extending the Textbook).  Patricia Saldariaga (Spanish) and Aya Claire Remon (French) have recorded audio for phonetics study.

Most audio files are in mp3 format. Most video is either in .mp4 format or .rm format. Many of these media files have had metadata added to them so that they can be used in mobile media devices such as iPods.

Language Resource Sites

In addition to language learning media sites that generally contain audio and/or video designed for language instruction, there are also resource sites that contain links to other sites in the target language, sites designed for speakers of that language.

One of the earliest and still widely used examples of this type of resource site is Lexique, developed by Carol Rifelj with the help of Ashley Waddell, Alan Katz, Stefan Nedialkov and Anton Altement.  See:

http://cr.middlebury.edu/public/french/Lexique/

Lexique is used by the French department for 2nd year courses such as fren0205 along with a number of other resources listed below.

Language Assessment Sites

The Russian, Italian, Spanish and French Schools and the French and Spanish departments have developed online exams using Measure, an instance of the Moodle course management system configured for use at Middlebury.  Some of these exams are used for entrance into programs of study, others are used for placement and some are used as exit exams to evaluate progress in a course of study.

Many language department has developed exercises that are accessible online including:

Film Viewing Exercises

The French Dept has developed a number of exercises/activities based on french films.  These usually consist of a number of questions in a Word document about the film that students need to prepare answers for.  There have been attempts to create online versions of these exercises/activities, but no tool was found that fully met the needs of the French dept faculty.  Examples:
Les film française

La Moustache

Roberto Veguez (Spanish) had developed a series of exercises based on the film Como agua para chocolate that were developed in MOTS, an online assessment application developed at Middlebury.  While many online exams and quizzes developed in MOTS were migrated to Measure, these were not included.  Still they represented a effective use of technology that allowed students to answer questions about the film they were studying and get quick feedback about their responses.

Grammar Exercises

The French and Spanish departments have developed grammar exercises that are accessible online, but not in a format that would enable immediate feedback of student answers.

Vocabulary Exercises

Many language departments have developed exercises for vocabulary acquisition.  One of the most imaginative set of vocabulary exercises was developed by Patricia Saldarriaga (Spanish) that uses images of paintings to teach vocabulary.

Online Writing & Discussion

Many language courses have an online writing and discussion component.  Online writing may involve uploading a paper to a site for peer review or submitting blog posts.  Online discussions may be initiated by the instructor or be comments by students on blog posts.