Sunday, 13 May 2012

Trying out on-line learning

I'm not really that keen on 100% on-line (or on screen) learning, to be honest.  I prefer a book that I can read easily without needing glasses and that I can take around with me.  Having said that, I am enjoying using some of the wonderful BBC Learning content to revise my French, German and Spanish.  Sadly, some of the content won't work as well outside the UK, but there are often other versions for non-UK (or slow connection) users.

First of all, I'm working through the post-beginners' French course Ma France.  There are also complete beginners' materials available, but I don't need that for French, although I might play the videos for the lower level stuff through later on as well.  This course has 3 short video clips per unit, 2 of which have listening comprehension questions in English and you can select to have English and/or French subtitles running on the clips too.  I have both going at once and usually only refer to the English for one or two words per clip.  There are also other games and activities and, as long as you're signed up, you get a 'BBC Certificate' on completion. Actually, you can get this for a number of the on-line courses, so I expect to have amassed a few over the coming months...

With German, I've just started watching the comedy clips in the What's So Funny About German section.  As someone with a fairly decent level (well, for a Brit, anyway!), these short vids are just a good giggle for me, esp. as they comment on German culture as well.  I'm sure my German hubby would enjoy the humour on some of them too.  I'm going to have a look at their other material later on as well, as there are some videos for post-beginners and, although the level will probably be too low, it's never a bad thing to 'exercise' that part of my brain!

Spanish I have played with over the last 20-odd years, on and off.  The most intensive time was during my last year at uni when I did a beginners' course to level CEFR A1 (half GCSE) and got an A+.  That was 12 years ago though, so I've got 'Talk Spanish', the course they use at the local colleges for beginners out of the library and am watching the on-line video clips etc for that alongside working through the book and CD.  I'm also enjoying the interactive video course for beginners called Mi Vida Loca, which is a mystery story in which you, as the learner, take an active part.  There's a similar type of thing on the Italian page, although I'm resisting the temptation to start that one as I really can't manage two such similar languages from scratch as well as revising and building up my knowledge of 3 other languages.  French, German, Chinese and re-starting Spanish is enough for the time being!  I'll add in Italian and Dutch a little later on.=)

So, do take a few minutes to explore the BBC Learning Site's Languages section.  There are many more than just the few I've mentioned here, including beginners materials and support videos in Greek, Portuguese and Mandarin as well as the 'Steps' course in the 'Big Four' (French, German, Spanish & Italian).  There's much to learn and plenty of fun to be had in the process.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Braun said...

I love learning languages too, once I went to Barcelona to learn some spanish and I had a blast! The city is beautiful and the people there too!

(Advertising link removed! I am SERIOUS when I say 'do not leave adverts'!)